Well, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands came out last Tuesday and currently has a favorable (77) Metacritic score. I’ve been seeing a lot of people playing it and I have even take a little time to start checking it out. Beyond being a great looking game it is also relatively demanding as well. Combine all of that with a built-in benchmark tool that makes testing with it easier and more consistent I was interested in checking it out to see if it might have the potential to be added to our test suites. So rather than take Friday off like I had planned after the GTX 1080 Ti launch I spent the day testing a range of video cards in just about every test configuration to see how they perform. This way if we add the game we have a few cards already tested. Well, I figured I might as well share the results as well for anyone thinking about playing the game that way you know what settings you should be running depending on your card. So let's take a quick look at the results.  

Title: Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands Performance Testing

Game Provided by: Nvidia

Written by: Wes

Amazon Link: HERE

 

It should be noted that Nvidia did give me the code for the game. I’m only taking a look though because it has the possibility of being a benchmark game in the future. I do take a quick look at the built-in Nvidia Ansel effects because they are awesome and I’ve never played with them before but that isn’t because they gave me the code. In fact, I tested the game so much because I was worried that the highly integrated Turf effects that come from Nvidia’s Gameworks SDK might cause unfair performance for AMD cards if I tested at the default Ultra setting.

 

Our Test Rig and Test Configuration

Before getting into the results I should make sure everyone knows how the testing was done. Below are the specs on our test bench. Wildlands rarely used more than 20%/25% of the CPU when testing but consistently pushed all of the video cards to 98/98%. This means you shouldn’t have to worry about our 5960X skewing the results too much for those who have slower CPUs.

Our Test Rig

CPU

Intel i7-5960X

Live Pricing

Memory

Kingston HyperX FURY Black 32GB Quad Channel Kit 2666 MHz

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Motherboard

Gigabyte X99-SOC Champion 

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Cooling

Noctua NH-U12S Cooler

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Power Supply

Thermaltake 850w

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Storage

Kingston Hyper X Savage 960GB SSD

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Case

Dimastech Test Bench

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OS

Windows 10 Pro 64-bit

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All of today's testing was done using the built in benchmark in Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands. I tested at 1080p and 1440p for resolutions and at Ultra, Very High, High, and Medium detail settings as well as a special test at the Ultra setting without Turf Effects being turned on as it is part of Nvidia’s Gameworks SDK to see if AMD users are seeing a performance hit.

 


Performance Testing

Okay on to the results, well kind of. The game is nice enough to actually show the amount of vRAM being used when doing the benchmarks so I did make sure to document each of them. At 1440p with ultra settings, it peaked at 4985MB but for the most part, anything under ultra shouldn’t run into limitations with any card with 3 or more gigs of vRAM.

1440p

vRAM Used

Ultra

4985

Very High

2885

High

2867

Medium

2564

1080p

vRAM Used

Ultra

4768

Very High

2666

High

2648

Medium

2351

I tested 4 out of the five quality settings and with those I did get a few images as well for comparison. These have been compressed and are far too small to see the details but they do give a general idea of the differences. You can see the most difference in shadows, the grass, and especially over on the left with the trees/mountain/sky in the distance.

medium

high

veryhigh

ultra

With all of that out of the way lets finally take a look at the performance numbers that I saw starting with testing done at 1440p. I grabbed one of each higher end card for testing as this is a demanding game. This is why I ended up with more Nvidia cards, until AMD releases Vega the RX480 is their highest available card. I also grabbed the RX470 to add a little more AMD in the mix even though it was a little lower end that I had intended to test at (cutoff around 1060/480). At 1440p Wildlands really pushed all of the cards when I tested at Ultra and my second Ultra test with Turf turned off. At this resolution, I would really only recommend pushing Ultra with the 1080Ti. Very High was comfortable on the 1080 and the 1070. None of the cards were really ideal for the High setting, they either performed better of needed to drop down to medium at this resolution. The RX 470 wasn’t ideal in any of the tests at 1440p, but that wasn’t a big surprise.

1440p

Ultra

Ultra wo/Turf

Very High

High

Medium

GTX 1080Ti FE

58.94

61.1

87.14

98.31

105.34

GTX 1080 FE

44.34

46.77

65.56

74.23

80.61

GTX 1070 FE

39.64

39.97

57.33

66.9

72.64

RX 480

27.16

28

41.19

46.86

50.58

GTX 1060 FE

29.8

30.71

43.51

50.02

55.03

XFX RX 470

24.03

24.93

37.89

42.82

46.24

Testing at 1080p was a lot easier. Ultra was playable on the 1080 Ti and the 1080 this time around, you could almost even do it on the GTX 1070. Very high was good for just about every card with the exception of the RX 470 that I would set to High. At this resolution, you could even start running some of the settings like High on the 1080 Ti at 120hz+ refresh rates for even smoother gameplay. Given 1080p is still the most popular resolution the game looks very playable at high settings with any of the midrange and up GPUs. Given how good the game looks this is great news!

1080p

Ultra

Ultra wo/Turf

Very High

High

Medium

GTX 1080Ti FE

70.65

73.68

109.93

126.32

135.91

GTX 1080 FE

56.44

58.05

86.53

100.09

109.78

GTX 1070 FE

50.39

52.89

79.85

90.4

97.32

RX 480

35.12

36.48

55.04

63.95

69.52

GTX 1060 FE

39.77

40.82

60.35

70.61

77.63

XFX RX 470

28.4

30.23

51.6

59.46

64.84

So I set out specifically to take a look at the AMD vs Nvidia performance to make sure the game doesn’t favor one over the other by too much. We already know that there are games that favor one manufacturer over the other, this isn’t anything new but it is important to know and to make sure we always have a good mix in our testing. In this case, Wildlands does favor Nvidia, especially at 1080p where we see the GTX 1060 pull ahead of the RX 480 by a noticeable amount but this does still seem to be a game optimized for both platforms. Both Nvidia and AMD released drivers specifically for the game and it has apparently made a big difference in performance from the beta or so I’m told. As for the turf or no turf testing, the benchmark doesn’t really spend too much time rolling around in the grass to potentially cause big performance gaps so both Nvidia and AMD cards did see a performance jump when turning Turf off so I don’t think that is going to be a major issue for us in future testing.

 


Ansel

So I had originally only planned on doing the performance testing then posting up the results. Well while messing around in the game I was reminded that this is one of the few games currently with Nvidia Ansel support. Given that none of the games with support have been anything I played (ark added it after I stopped playing) I wanted to toy around with it. Now I’m not going to go completely into the details here but the short version is Ansel is a Gameworks feature that can let you pause the game and have control of your camera to take crazy in game screenshots. Beyond the camera control, you can switch to supersampling modes where it will actually re-render the frame at crazy high resolutions or even in 360 where you can toss it on Facebook as a 360 photo or view it in VR. I was able to render a photo that was over 1 gig in size. I have no idea what I would do with one that size, but it looked amazing. Here is a video with a little bit of a how-to on using Ansel.

So this is great for people who like to mess around and create cool images. Sadly it doesn’t work with you are in the game with others, it might be disruptive but I think this could be even more fun if you could do cool selfies of you and your friends in firefights or some of the other crazy parts of the game. For solo photos, I did still have some fun. The picture below was originally huge and I had to shrink it down to fit in here. But you will see with the second photo because of the high resolution I could also zoom way in and cut the photo down to something smaller. It still looks really good zoomed in.

ansel 1

ansel 5

Here is a squad photo, still would be much cooler if it was a photo of me and three friends though.

ansel 2

Then I ended up screwing around in a tractor in game for a while. I took a photo of my guy in his pimp new tractor, then the second photo was something I took after rolling down the mountain in the tractor.

ansel 3

ansel 4

So Ansel seems to be a cool tech. I wish it wasn’t limited to one brands GPU and it was more widely available. The current list of games is below but it does seem to be growing now with a bunch of the games only recently being added.

ARK: Survival Evolved

Conan Exiles

For Honor

Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Mirror’s Edge™ Catalyst

Obduction

Paragon

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The Witness

War Thunder

Watch Dogs 2

Author Bio
garfi3ld
Author: garfi3ldWebsite: http://lanoc.org
Editor-in-chief
You might call him obsessed or just a hardcore geek. Wes's obsession with gaming hardware and gadgets isn't anything new, he could be found taking things apart even as a child. When not poking around in PC's he can be found playing League of Legends, Awesomenauts, or Civilization 5 or watching a wide variety of TV shows and Movies. A car guy at heart, the same things that draw him into tweaking cars apply when building good looking fast computers. If you are interested in writing for Wes here at LanOC you can reach out to him directly using our contact form.

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