Watch Dogs 2 PC Performance Review

Introduction

Watch Dogs 2 PC Performance Review

Introduction

The original Watch Dogs had a disappointing release on PC, with sub-par GPU performance (particularly on AMD GPUs at launch) and disappointing visuals when compared to the game's earlier trailers and tech demos. Combine this with the game's bland protagonist, terrible vehicle controls and a disappointingly small number of hackable objects and we have a release that has no lasting appeal. 

Within a few weeks, PC modders were even able to add a lot of Ubisoft's "E3 Visuals" back into the game with a few minor tweaks,  without resulting in a large performance impact, leaving most PC gamers disappointed in Ubisoft's attitude towards the PC platform as a whole. This prompted the company to try much harder in their future PC releases, like The Division and Rainbow Six Seige, which had a much better reception on PC than Watch Dogs, though PC gamers for the most part still have a negative attitude towards the company. 

Now, Ubisoft has rebooted the Watch Dogs series, with more GTA style gameplay, better vehicle handling, more hackable objects and an increased focus on PC development, resulting in a game that is, in theory, better than its predecessor in every way. 

Is this game one that we should watch out for, or a game that should be thrown into the bargain bin?

 

  

Drivers 

For this game, we will be using the newest drivers that were available when the game released, which is Nvidia's Game Ready Geforce 376.09 driver and AMD's 16.11.5 driver, both of which are the most recent GPU drivers for either company. 

 

Test Setup  

We will be testing this game on our dedicated GPU test rig using both high-end and mid-range GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia. 

 

Game Test Rig
Intel i7 6850K
ASUS X99 Strix
G.Skill Ripjaws 4x4GB DDR4 3200MHz
Corsair HX1200i
Corsair H110i GT
Windows 10 x64 

       Rise of the Tomb Raider - AMD VS Nvidia Performance Review  Rise of the Tomb Raider - AMD VS Nvidia Performance ReviewNo Man's Sky PC Performance Review

Nvidia GTX 980Ti (Left), AMD R9 Fury X (Middle) GTX 1070 Founders Edition (Right)

 

For the high-end, we will be testing AMD's R9 Fury X, the GTX 980Ti and Nvidia's new GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 GPUs.  

For the Mid-range offerings, we will be testing the new RX 480 and GTX 1060, both of which will be the ASUS Strix Gaming models.

 

No Man's Sky PC Performance Review  No Man's Sky PC Performance Review   

ASUS GTX 1060 Strix (Left), ASUS RX 480 Strix (Right)

 

To represent AMD and Nvidia's lower-end GPU offerings we have decided to use the AMD R9 380 and the Nvidia GTX 960. Both of these GPUs will be the ASUS Strix models. 

Both of these GPUs offer very similar performance in most scenarios and come in at very similar price points, so it will be very interesting to see which GPU will come out on top. 

 

          Metal Gear Solid 5 Performance Review with ASUS  Metal Gear Solid 5 Performance Review with ASUS

Nvidia GTX 960(Left), AMD R9 380(Right)

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Most Recent Comments

02-12-2016, 15:10:58

Dicehunter
Question, How did the VRAM usage go to 9.2GB on the 1080 when there's only 8GB of VRAM ?

Wat bee diss voodoo ? Quote

02-12-2016, 16:35:15

Wraith
Daym son! Just got me a 1070, looks like I'm going to need a Titan X.. jokes 1080p is more than adequate and I'm liking the 1070 results. Top job Mark.

EDIT: P.S the sliders thing is epic!Quote

02-12-2016, 19:55:31

AngryGoldfish
This is why I don't play games in the first year of their release—or in this case the second. I'd rather wait when hardware has caught up. With a Fury at 1440p, I'd be looking at a mixture of medium and high settings. I didn't expect to have to do that quite so soon—and that's still only 60 FPS. I do wish this was better optimised for AMD hardware.

edit: Though, actually, now that I've looked very closely at the 4k screenshots, there really doesn't appear to be that big of a difference between Medium and Ultra. There is definitely a texture sharpness to the Ultra settings that Medium and High do not have, but there isn't a great deal I can see otherwise.Quote

03-12-2016, 03:34:46

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dicehunter View Post
Question, How did the VRAM usage go to 9.2GB on the 1080 when there's only 8GB of VRAM ?

Wat bee diss voodoo ?
For the final one, I just used the VRAM usage monitor in the settings menu. I checked the VRAM usage in-game and it used the full 8GB on the 1080.

The VRAM usage scale in the settings is very accurate.Quote

03-12-2016, 07:49:04

TheF34RChannel
I'm hoping for some performance improvements in this title in the near future. I'd like to play it at ultra at 1440p w/ a single 1080 and have 60+ FPS. It's disappointing that that's currently not possible 24/7.Quote
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