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Remedy Entertainment is reviving the Alan Wake series. The updated first part of Alan Wake Remastered was recently released, and a full-fledged sequel, Alan Wake 2, was announced a few days ago. The remaster is designed to introduce the game to a new audience, and old players will be able to look at the familiar story in a better visual performance. In this review, we’ll talk about some performance nuances and compare modern AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards in different modes.

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The updated version of Alan Wake is not exciting at first. The picture is about the same as in 2012 in the regular Steam version.

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And only at daytime levels can you appreciate the increased quality of textures and the increased number of polygons in characters and elements of the environment.

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The game is based on the Northlight Engine. If the old version worked in DirectX 11, the new one only supports DirectX 12. This means problems with running on very old video cards.

By default, when choosing the best graphics quality, the game uses both TAA and MSAA smoothing. Since the MSAA method is the most resource-intensive, an obvious solution to improve performance would be to disable such anti-aliasing. And we will test this assumption in practice by comparing video cards in different resolutions. Among the new features of the game is support for NVIDIA DLSS scaling technology, the effectiveness of which will be tested in 4K format.

Test participants

Five video cards were involved in the testing:

  • Radeon RX 6800 16GB;
  • Radeon RX 6600 XT 8GB;
  • Radeon RX 6600 8GB;
  • GeForce RTX 3070 8GB;
  • GeForce RTX 3060 12GB.

All models are tuned to standard frequencies.

AMD’s top segment is represented by the Radeon RX 6800 reference video card.

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The youngest AMD segment is represented by ASUS models. ASUS DUAL-RX6600XT-O8G acts as Radeon RX 6600 XT. This video card is factory overclocked, but it is so meagre, that lowering the frequencies made no practical sense.

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The older segment of NVIDIA is represented by the reference version GeForce RTX 3070.

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The GeForce RTX 3060 series is presented by ASUS ROG-STRIX-RTX3060-O12G-GAMING with adjusted frequencies.

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Full technical specifications are given in the table.

Video adapter Radeon RX 6800 Radeon RX 6600 XT Radeon RX 6600 GeForce RTX 3070 GeForce RTX 3060
Core Navi 21 Navi 23 Navi 23 GA104 GA106
Number of transistors, million pcs. 26800 11060 11060 17400 13250
Techproces, n.m 7 7 7 8 8
Core area, sq. mm 520 237 237 392 276
Number of stream processors 3840 2048 1792 5888 3584
The number of tensor cores 184 112
The number of RT cores 60 32 28 46 28
Number of texture blocks 240 128 112 184 112
Number of ROP blocks 96 64 64 96 48
Base core frequency, MHz 1700 2064 1626 1500 1320
Game Clock frequency, MHz 1815 2428 2044
Boost frequency, MHz 2105 2607 2491 1725 1882
Memory bus, bit 256 128 128 256 192
Memory type GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6
Memory frequency, MHz 16000 16000 14000 14000 15000
Memory capacity, GB 16 8 8 8 12
Supported version of DirectX 12 Ultimate (12_2) 12 Ultimate (12_2) 12 Ultimate (12_2) 12 Ultimate (12_2) 12 Ultimate (12_2)
Interface PCI-E 4.0 8x PCI-E 4.0 8x PCI-E 4.0 PCI-E 4.0 16x PCI-E 4.0
Energy consumption, Vt 250 160 132 220 170

Further, the graphs for GeForce show the full frequency range — from base to peak Boost value, Radeon — the range from Game Clock to peak Boost value.

Test stand

The configuration of the test bench is as follows:

  • processor: Intel Core i9-9900K;
  • cooling system: be quiet! Silent Loop 280 mm;
  • motherboard: Asus Rog Maximus XI Formula;
  • memory: Kingston HyperX HX434C16FB3K2/32 (DDR4-3466 @ 3600);
  • system disk: Kingston SSDNow UV400 480GB;
  • additional drive #1: Kingston A2000 NVMe PCIe 1000GB;
  • additional drive #2: Kingston KC2000 NVMe PCIe 1000GB;
  • case: Antec NX800;
  • power supply unit: Antec HCG850 Gold;
  • monitor: ASUS PB278Q (2560×1440, 27 «);
  • OS Windows 10 Pro x64;
  • AMD Radeon Adrenalin Edition driver 21.10.2/21.10.1;
  • driver for NVIDIA GeForce 496.76/496.13.

For testing, a run at the initial level in the prologue was repeated. According to our observations, it is the night episodes with complex effects of ambient light that create the maximum load.

High graphics quality profile is selected for all resolutions.

Test results

First, let’s compare the younger video cards from our list in 1080p and 1440p formats.

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The Radeon RX 6600 XT shows a slight advantage over the GeForce RTX 3060. But even the younger Radeon RX 6600 video card easily copes with the game at maximum graphics settings with the standard TAA+MSAA smoothing mode. In Full HD, the game uses up to 4 GB of video memory, in large open locations it can download 5 GB.

Now let’s turn off resource-intensive MSAA smoothing.

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A 25-33% jump in productivity.

We compare younger models with older ones on a separate graph.

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Radeon RX 6800 is 45-47% faster than Radeon RX 6600 XT. The difference between GeForce RTX 3070 and GeForce RTX 3060 is 40-50%.

Let’s look at the same selection of video cards in 4K format with simple TAA smoothing.

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Even in this mode, the Radeon RX 6600 XT and GeForce RTX 3060 produce about 50 frames, but the demanding gamer needs more powerful solutions. Older video cards provide performance at the level of 70-80 frames.

Radeon RX 6800 and GeForce RTX 3070 can handle 4K with the hardest anti-aliasing mode.

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With MSAA enabled, these graphics cards display more than 60 frames per second. Download video memory in the test scene is more than 6 GB.

Finally, let’s see what GeForce RTX is capable of in 4K with DLSS Quality scaling. This technology uses a method of constructing a frame using a trained neural network, taking into account a lower resolution.

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With such parameters, even the GeForce RTX 3060 shows acceptable results for a comfortable game. The GeForce RTX 3070 has 45-47% higher frame rates compared to standard high quality mode with MSAA.

Conclusions

Alan Wake Remastered allows you to immerse yourself anew in the mysterious town of Bright Falls. The picture in the updated game has become better, the textures are clearer, but there is no wow effect. At the same time, the game became more demanding of iron. In combination with DirectX 12, this can become a problem for owners of old graphics cards. But if we talk about current graphics solutions, Radeon RX 6600 XT and GeForce RTX 3060 allow you to comfortably play at maximum graphics quality up to the 2560×1440 format. If you turn off MSAA, you can comfortably play in Full HD on budget models of the previous generation. Radeon RX 6800 and GeForce RTX 3070 provide excellent results in 4K at standard maximum quality settings, and with simple anti-aliasing settings, you can play on lower-end models. For better performance and good smoothing of edges, you can leave TAA smoothing, but FXAA will provide better picture clarity. AMD video cards show an advantage over the closest NVIDIA competitors, but the «green» ones have an additional advantage — DLSS support. And GeForce RTX 3060 confidently copes with the game in 4K with high-quality DLSS mode.

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