Recently, the game Kena: Bridge of Spirits from the Ember Lab studio was released, which charmed many players with its style. This is a cute adventure with a variety of gameplay, reminiscent of a animated cartoon. The game is based on Unreal Engine 4 and supports two APIs — DirectX 11 and DirectX 12. In this review, we will compare several video cards in different modes and determine the optimal DirectX API.
The heroine travels through a magical forest with cute little helpers called tlins. Kena explores locations, solves puzzles and fights dark creatures. The corpses help move objects, remove filth and support the hostess in battles.
The game shows a typical picture for Unreal Engine 4. The graphics are not outstanding, but thanks to the styling and animations, everything looks very nice.
We will compare several video cards at Ultra quality.
Seven video cards were used in the testing:
- GeForce RTX 3070 Ti 8GB;
- GeForce RTX 3070 8GB;
- GeForce RTX 3060 12GB;
- Radeon RX 6800 XT 16 ГБ;
- Radeon RX 6800 16GB;
- Radeon RX 6600 XT 8GB;
- Radeon RX 6600 8GB.
All models are tuned to standard frequencies.
AMD’s top solutions are represented by Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 reference video cards.
The older segment of NVIDIA is represented by the MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Gaming X Trio 8G video adapter with reduced frequencies.
The GeForce RTX 3060 series is presented by ASUS ROG-STRIX-RTX3060-O12G-GAMING with adjusted frequencies.
The youngest AMD segment is represented by ASUS models. ASUS DUAL-RX6600XT-O8G acts as Radeon RX 6600 XT. Video card with factory overclocking, but it is so meagre, that reducing the frequencies did not make practical sense.
Full technical specifications are given in the table.
|Video adapter||GeForce RTX 3070 Ti||GeForce RTX 3070||GeForce RTX 3060||Radeon RX 6800 XT||Radeon RX 6800||Radeon RX 6600 XT||Radeon RX 6600|
|Core||GA104||GA104||GA106||Navi 21||Navi 21||Navi 23||Navi 23|
|Number of transistors, million pcs.||17400||17400||13250||26800||26800||11060||11060|
|Core area, sq. mm||392||392||276||520||520||237||237|
|Number of stream processors||6144||5888||3584||4608||3840||2048||1792|
|The number of tensor cores||192||184||112||–||–||–||–|
|The number of RT cores||48||46||28||72||60||32||28|
|Number of texture blocks||192||184||112||288||240||128||112|
|Number of ROP blocks||96||96||48||128||96||64||64|
|Base core frequency, MHz||1575||1500||1320||1825||1700||2064||1626|
|Game Clock frequency, MHz||–||–||–||2015||1815||2428||2044|
|Boost frequency, MHz||1770||1725||1882||2250||2105||2607||2491|
|Memory bus, bit||256||256||192||256||256||128||128|
|Memory frequency, MHz||19000||14000||15000||16000||16000||16000||14000|
|Memory capacity, GB||8||8||12||16||16||8||8|
|Supported version of DirectX||12 Ultimate (12_2)||12 Ultimate (12_2)||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||PCI-E 4.0||16x PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0||PCI-E 4.0||8x PCI-E 4.0||8x PCI-E 4.0|
|Energy consumption, Vt||290||220||170||300||250||160||132|
Further, the GeForce graphs show the full frequency range — from base to peak Boost value, for Radeon — the range from Game Clock to peak Boost value.
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 496.13.
Testing was carried out by repeating the run through the first location. Several repetitions in each mode to reduce the error.
The maximum graphics quality profile is selected for all resolutions.
GeForce RTX 3060 and Radeon RX 6600 XT video cards show close results. But the younger model Radeon RX 6600 also copes with the game. When switching to DirectX 12, all of them lose performance, although Radeon has less loss. There is a tendency to improve rare events, but only with older video cards. In DirectX 11, the game uses less than 4 GB of video memory, in DirectX 12 the download is higher by a gigabyte.
Now let’s look at the wider list of participants in high resolution 2560×1440.
When comparing the results of different APIs, there is a tendency to increase 1% low in DirectX 12 in older models, but all other results decrease. The younger members show the best results in all parameters only in DirectX 11. GeForce RTX 3060 and Radeon RX 6600 XT are the minimum acceptable models for the 1440p format. More powerful video cards will provide 60 frames without sags. Among the older participants, the GeForce RTX 3070 and Radeon RX 6800 have close results.
Only older members tested in 4K.
GeForce RTX 3070 and Radeon RX 6800 coped well with the previous mode, but at the maximum resolution they produce about 50 frames. GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and Radeon RX 6800 XT approach a comfortable level of 60 fps. Switching to DirectX 12 reduces the results of all participants by 6-10%. In the old API, the game uses about 6 GB of video memory, in the new DirectX — about 7 GB.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits has typical requirements for a game based on Unreal Engine 4. Radeon RX 6600-level video cards can handle the maximum graphics in Full HD, including the old Radeon RX 5700 and GeForce RTX 2060. The new Radeon RX 6600 XT and GeForce will provide the maximum comfort and high frame rate. 2560×1440 format requires overclocked versions of Radeon RX 6600 XT and GeForce RTX 3060 or higher. In 4K, the game can seriously load even top video cards — Radeon RX 6800 XT and GeForce RTX 3070 Ti are the minimum solution for Ultra graphics. You will get the best performance in DirectX 11, which is true for all AMD and NVIDIA models. But it should be noted that the transition to DirectX 12 reduces the probability of fps sagging with excessive video card potential. This is noticeable when averages approach 80-100 frames.