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In July of this year, The Farm 51 studio presented the final version of the game Chernobylite, which was a gift for players who missed the atmosphere of STALKER. The project of Polish developers exploits familiar motifs and ideas, building its original game. This is a mystical adventure in the exclusion zone, where another factional struggle continues, and stalkers hunt for artifacts. It has elements of survival, horror and shooter, but it is primarily a story-based adventure game about world exploration.

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The game world itself is divided into several locations, in which we make forays to perform main and side quests. Each such location pleases with authentic design and careful processing of details.

Chernobylite

The game shows nice graphics with excellent lighting and bright effects.

Chernobylite

Chernobylite is based on Unreal Engine 4 and uses the DirectX 11 API. Different scaling methods are available for higher resolution performance — NVIDIA DLSS and AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution.

We will compare several video cards at Ultra quality. The list of graphics devices is small, but it will allow us to draw general conclusions about speed in various modes. We will also compare performance in 4K with different scaling options.

Test participants

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 were tuned to standard frequencies.

AMD’s top solutions are represented by Radeon RX 6800 XT and Radeon RX 6800 reference video cards.

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The older segment of NVIDIA is represented by the MSI GeForce RTX 3070 Ti Gaming X Trio 8G with reduced frequencies. Other senior members of NVIDIA are represented by reference options.

Chernobylite

The youngest segment of AMD solutions 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.

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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
Techproces, n.m 8 8 8 7 7 7 7
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 type GDDR6X GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6 GDDR6
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 graphs for GeForce show the full range of frequencies — from base to peak Boost value, for 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 280mm;
  • 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 496.13/472.12.

The game has a built-in benchmark, but for testing, a run was repeated in one of the initial locations with rich visual effects.

The maximum graphics quality profile is selected for all resolution options.

Test results

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GeForce RTX 3060 and Radeon RX 6600 XT level video cards confidently cope with Full HD resolution, showing similar results. It is obvious that the older GeForce RTX 2060 or Radeon RX 5700 can cope with this mode. Video memory loading in the test scene is less than 3.5 GB.

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GeForce RTX 3060 and Radeon RX 6600 XT show good fps even at higher resolutions. In the older segment, we see similar results in GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and Radeon RX 6800 XT. A simple GeForce RTX 3070 is faster than a Radeon RX 6800.

Only older video adapters have been tested in high resolution 4K.

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The Radeon RX 6800 XT shows a slight advantage over the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti. GeForce RTX 3070 still beats Radeon RX 6800. Up to 6GB of video memory download.

Comparison of AMD FSR and NVIDIA DLSS

Now let’s talk about the scaling technologies available in the game. Initially, the game was released with support for NVIDIA DLSS, later AMD FSR was added. The NVIDIA method uses AI technologies to build a frame using temporal sampling and motion vector prediction. The AMD method is the usual scaling with the application of additional sharpening filters.

For clarity, let’s compare several scenes. First, there is a frame in the original 4K resolution with TAA smoothing, then a frame with DLSS in the «Quality» mode and FSR in the «Maximum quality» mode.

In a quick comparison of the three screenshots, the one with DLSS stands out the most due to the slight reduction in sharpness.

Now let’s look at the same fragment of each frame.

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In normal rendering with TAA, the grass has sharp edges and there are small artifacts. With FSR, the rough contours of the grass are preserved. And with DLSS, we observe the smooth rounded contours of the blades of grass.

For a better understanding of the nuances, let’s compare the fragment with the antenna of the radar station at a two-fold increase.

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With FSR, the roughest irregular contours of the antenna elements. And with DLSS, the fine details of the antenna look even better than in native 4K.

Now let’s look at the cityscape.

There are clear differences in the grids, the clarity of the contours of various objects is slightly different. With DLSS, the sharpness of the frame is lower, but small elements on the roofs of distant buildings are more visible.

Let’s compare the fragment with double magnification.

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Original image and FSR Ultra Quality give more sharpness. With AMD zooming in objects with the roughest contours, there are artifacts in the display of the grid of the central box. DLSS Quality ensures correct mesh rendering without distorted geometry and is even better than native 4K. It is also worth noting the smoother contours of the fence.

Now let’s see how the speed changes. We compare two DLSS modes with maximum quality FSR scaling.

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On the GeForce RTX 3070, the DLSS Quality and FSR Ultra Quality modes provide similar frame rate results. Relative to native 4K acceleration of about 40%. Balanced DLSS mode provides acceleration of more than 50%. Radeon RX 6800 when switching from full 4K to FSR Ultra Quality gains about 40%, in Quality mode the acceleration is more than 65%.

Conclusions

1920×1080 resolution does not require high-performance video cards. Medium models of the previous generation can easily cope with this mode. 2560×1440 requires a GeForce RTX 3060, Radeon RX 6600 XT or more powerful solutions. GeForce RTX 3070 Ti and Radeon RX 6800 XT cope well with full 4K. But if you use the available scaling options, the bar of requirements in 4K is lowered.

If we talk about the difference between NVIDIA DLSS and AMD FSR, then each option has its advantages. NVIDIA technology improves the visibility of small details even against the background of native 4K c TAA, but the overall sharpness of the image decreases. With AMD FSR, the image is sharper, but the contours of small objects are rougher. The advantage of the AMD method is compatibility with any video cards. To speed up the game on GeForce RTX video cards, DLSS is the best option.

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