Articles

Far Cry 5 Video Card Performance Preview

Author:Brent Justice

Editor:Kyle Bennett

Date: Monday , April 02, 2018

Far Cry 5 is finally in retail, and in this preview of video card performance we will compare performance of a few video cards, using real gameplay. This will give you an idea what you need to play Far Cry 5, what image quality settings are playable, and what resolutions work best with each video card. Our full evaluation will come later.

Introduction

Far Cry 5 was just released on March 27th, 2018. Far Cry 5 was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and Ubisoft Toronto and published by Ubisoft. Far Cry 5 is an action-adventure first-person shooter video game and the fifth main title in the Far Cry series. The PC version of Far Cry 5 currently has a 77 Metascore and 6.4 User Score. Steam sales have been very positive since the game’s launch.

Before we begin, note that this article today is a "preview" of video card performance in the new game Far Cry 5. This is not our complete evaluation of performance and image quality. The performance shown in this preview takes place in the game up to the part where you are left on the island by yourself to fend for yourself after the bunker scene. This preview also shows a limited number of video cards being compared and game settings.

Our full evaluation, coming later, will use a different run-through out in the wilderness of the game after we have played the game through quite a bit more. We will also have many more cards and game settings and resolutions to compare, including screenshots in the full evaluation. The goal of this article today is for those playing the game right now, we’ll chime in on playable game settings and what graphics settings work best for the best image quality and performance on several popular cards, and to see how those stack up.


Game Engine and Rapid Packed Math

Far Cry 5 uses the Dunia game engine, which is familiar with previous versions of the Far Cry series. In fact, the Dunia game engine goes all the way back to Far Cry 2. It has received updates over time of course. The good thing about the Dunia engine after all this time is that it is highly optimized and games that utilize it run well.

One important feature that has been added to the game engine for Far Cry 5 is support for Rapid Packed Math. If you have not heard about, or do not know what Rapid Packed Math is, you probably haven’t been paying attention to AMD’s Vega line of GPUs released in August of last year. If you have heard it, it is probably in relation of said GPUs. In fact, Rapid Packed Math is a feature introduced on AMD RX Vega GPUs, specifically the AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 and 56 video cards.

To read up on it there is a whitepaper we made available back in August of last year with information about this feature. If you check out Page 2 in our AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 Video Card Review and start with Page 8-9 of the Whitepaper you can read about Rapid Packed Math.

You can also check out Rapid Packed Math in the official Radeon RX Vega architecture presentation from our AMD Radeon RX Vega GPU Specs and Pricing Revealed article.

By use of this mixed-precision support in AMD Radeon RX Vega GPUs, and the game support of this feature in Far Cry 5 performance may be improved. In very simplistic terms, think of Rapid Packed Math as being able to accomplish more lower-precision operations in a single clock-cycle. Think of completing two Floating Point 16 operations inside a Floating Point 32 operation in the same clock-cycle as that one FP32 op would have taken. This saves bandwidth, and time, and improves efficiency.

This feature will automatically be enabled where available, there is no in-game toggle option on AMD or NVIDIA GPUs.


Game Settings

The first graphics options setting you come to is the "Video" options. From here you can select your adapter, monitor, fullscreen or windowed mode, resolution, refresh rate and an option to enable HDR on supported displays. This game does support HDR, but you will need an HDR display to make it work.

Under the "Quality" tab are the graphics quality settings. Instead of manipulating each one individually you can just use the global "Graphics Quality" selection. It will change all the settings underneath it appropriately. The options are: "Low," "Normal," "High," and "Ultra." Thankfully "Ultra" enables the highest possible settings in the game, there are no hidden settings that can be manually turned up higher like the last game had. You can rest assured that on "Ultra" you’ll be using the highest game settings possible. Also, as you hover over each selection individually it will show you on-screen, live, what that feature does and as you change the quality it will show you what that looks like in real-time.

The AA quality settings available are: "Off," "SMAA," and "TAA." SMAA is your best bet for AA reduction with no loss in texture quality and no performance loss. TAA can possibly add some texture blur, but we will have to look at that closer in our full evaluation. We’d start with SMAA as your best bet starting out playing the game.

Under the second "Video" option is the ability to change brightness, contrast, gamma and colorblind mode.

Under the third "Video" option, with the cog wheels, you will find VSYNC "On" or "Off." You can also enable a framerate lock and lock it at your desired framerate. You can also change the field of view. There is also a resolution scale option. This is similar to NVIDIA’s DSR (Dynamic Super Resolution) or AMD’s VSR (Virtual Super Resolution) technologies. It will scale up the resolution of the game intendent what your display supports, on very fast video cards it will help reduce aliasing, naturally decreasing framerate the higher you go.

Drivers

Both AMD and NVIDIA have released day 1 drivers for this game. From AMD you want to grab: Adrenalin Edition 18.3.4 Optional released on March 26th. This is the best driver for Far Cry 5 right now.

On the NVIDIA side you want to grab: GeForce 391.35 WHQL released on March 27th. This is the best driver for Far Cry 5 right now. These drivers will ensure the best experience right now, so go ahead and upgrade.


Run-Through

As we mentioned this is a preview of performance, as such we have not yet played through the game to find other areas that may be challenging graphically. To get this preview done quickly, we have played the game up to the island, after the bunker scene. For our actual run-through we are using two difference in-game manual run-throughs for real-world gameplay, we are not using the benchmark. This is real, in-game performance you’ll get during the first hour of gaming.

We are first going to use the introduction scene as you walk from the beginning at the helicopter, into the church and record that whole sequence until the crash is over. We are also going to record the entire truck chase. This will give us two different points of performance to compare in the game right at the beginning that you will encounter. Our full evaluation will use real-gameplay after we have spent a lot of time playing the game and finding out where the rough spots are.