Hitman 2 PC Performance Review
Published: 20th November 2018 | Source: OC3D Internal Testing | Price: |
CPU Performance - This should be a lot better
Hitman 2 relies on a lot of world simulation, as players are expected to track targets at extreme distances and trigger traps while sitting comfortably in a place that's far from the action. With this in mind, we should expect Hitman 2 to be a CPU hog, but we didn't think that it would be to this degree.
For our CPU testing, we decided to benchmark a section of gameplay in Hitman 2's "Chasing a Ghost" campaign mission, which placed players in a large city environment, complete with a large number of civilians and plenty of content to bring even powerful processors to their knees. Another mission where CPU related performance dips frequently occur is in the game's "The Finish Line" mission. Other areas of the game are much less CPU intensive and run a lot better on PC as a result.
Hitman 2 clearly benefits from PCs with high core counts, with six cores and twelve threads appearing to be a sweet spot, though for the most part Hitman 2 is single thread limited when using high core count processors.
Sadly, we were unable to run Hitman 2 at a steady 60FPS in this scene, regardless of our CPU configuration. Hitman 2 wants us to use a system which features more than four cores and offers clock speeds that exceed 4GHz, at least for 60FPS gameplay. You will need a CPU with high levels of single-threaded performance to achieve a steady 60+ FPS in this scene. At 1080p our GTX 1080 ran with utilisation levels as low as 45%, revealing a severe CPU performance bottleneck.
This begs a question. Could IO Interactive have lowered the game's CPU overhead if they kept supporting the DirectX 12 API on PC?
Update - We plans to investigate Hitman 2's Simulation Quality Option in a future article. We will update this performance review accordingly.
At launch, the only graphical setting in Hitman 2 that can target CPU usage is the game's Level of Detail (LOD) setting, which when lowered can provide us with a few more CPU cycles to push framerates higher. In this test, we used 4c 4th Ryzen 7 1700X at 4GHz to see the performance impact of this setting.
Moving down to Medium LOD, we can see a huge increase in framerate, making it a setting to reduce if players want to mitigate CPU related framerate drops. In Hitman 2 CPU limitations are largely scene dependent, allowing framerates to vary drastically throughout the game.