In its MMO, Wargaming has successfully mastered all the elements that are subject to military equipment. Following World of Tanks and World of Warplanes, expansion into the open sea followed. Warship battles in World of Warships are now on the wave of popularity, and the project continues to develop. The game demonstrates a good balance between image quality and high performance, although in certain modes it can create a serious load on older video cards. We will talk about this in this article, focusing directly on the performance of AMD and NVIDIA graphics solutions of different generations.
The Lesta Studio team is responsible for the development of World of Warships. The game uses a modified version of the BigWorld engine. The theme assumes the main focus on the development of ships and the water surface, but the detailing of coastal areas and islands is at a very high level.
Water is the main environment in the game, and it is implemented quite well. This applies to both glare and wave detail, and general dynamics — explosions deform the surface, raise waves and ripples.
In ship matches and other thin structural elements, a stepped structure is clearly visible against a light background. Therefore, smoothing plays an important role. By default, the game offers different levels of FXAA, but higher quality MSAA anti-aliasing is also available.
The general set of graphics settings is very wide, but we are interested in the maximum quality of graphics and the capabilities of video cards in this mode. Therefore, the parameters were selected above the standard Very High presets and most of the tests were carried out at MSAA 4x.
17 video adapters of different generations and different graphic architectures will take part in testing. We will compare current representatives of the middle class, old flagships and budget solutions from different years.
The full list of test participants is as follows:
All participants are tested at nominal and overclocked. The upper bar is represented by direct competitors — the GeForce GTX 1060 and the Radeon Radeon RX 480. There is also a representative of the older segment in the face of the GeForce GTX 1070, but it was tested only at standard frequencies.
It so happened that we have more NVIDIA representatives, so we will place them at the top of the performance charts. All video adapters were brought to standard frequencies in order to be close to the reference versions in terms of performance. The tables show the official graphics card specifications, the charts show the full GPU frequency range, including short-term Boost values.
Specifications for NVIDIA graphics cards
|Video adapter||GeForce GTX 1070||GeForce GTX 1060||GeForce GTX 780 Ti||GeForce GTX 780||GeForce GTX 1050 Ti||GeForce GTX 1050||GeForce GTX 960||GeForce GTX 950||GeForce GTX 760||GeForce GTX 580||GeForce GTX 750 Ti|
|Number of transistors, million pieces||7200||4400||7100||7100||3300||3300||2940||2940||3500||3000||1870|
|Process technology, nm||16||16||28||28||14||14||28||28||28||40||28|
|Core area, sq. mm||314||200||561||561||132||132||228||228||294||520||148|
|Number of stream processors||1920||1280||2880||2304||768||640||1024||768||1152||512||640|
|Number of texture blocks||120||80||240||192||48||40||64||48||96||64||40|
|Number of render units||64||48||48||48||32||32||32||32||32||48||16|
|Core frequency, MHz||1506–1683||1506–1708||875–926||863–900||1290–1392||1354–1455||1126–1178||1024–1188||980–1033||772–1544||1020–1085|
|Memory bus, bit||256||192||384||384||128||128||128||128||256||384||128|
|Memory frequency, MHz||8000||8000||7010||6008||7012||7012||7010||6610||6008||4010||5400|
|Memory size, MB||8192||6144||3072||3072||4096||2048||2048||2048||2048||1536||2048|
|Supported version of DirectX||12.1||12||11.1||12||12||12||12||12||12||11||11.2|
|Interface||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 2.0||PCI-E 3.0|
Specifications for AMD graphics cards
|Video adapter||Radeon RX 480||Radeon R9 290||Radeon RX 460||Radeon R9 270X||Radeon R9 270||Radeon HD 7870||Radeon HD 6970|
|Core||Polaris 10||Hawaii||Polaris 11||Curacao||Curacao||Pitcairn||Cayman|
|Architecture||GCN 1.3||GCN 1.1||GCN 1.3||GCN 1.0||GCN 1.0||GCN 1.0||VLIW4|
|Number of transistors, million pieces||5700||6020||3000||2800||2800||2800||2640|
|Process technology, nm||14||28||14||28||28||28||40|
|Core area, sq. mm||232||438||123||212||212||212||389|
|Number of stream processors||2304||2560||896||1280||1280||1280||1536|
|Number of texture blocks||144||160||56||80||80||80||96|
|Number of render units||32||64||16||32||32||32||32|
|Core frequency, MHz||1120-1266||to 947||1090-1200||1050||925||1000||880|
|Memory bus, bit||256||512||128||256||256||256||256|
|Memory frequency, MHz||8000||5000||7000||5600||5600||4800||5500|
|Memory size, MB||8192||4096||4096||2048||2048||2048||2048|
|Supported version of DirectX||12||11.2||12||12||12||12||11.1|
|Interface||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 3.0||PCI-E 2.1|
The test bench configuration is as follows:
- processor: Intel Core i7-6950X (firstname.lastname@example.org GHz);
- cooler: Noctua NH-D15 (two NF-A15 PWM fans, 140 mm, 1300 rpm);
- motherboard: MSI X99S MPower (Intel X99);
- memory: G.Skill F4-3200C14Q-32GTZ (4×8 GB, DDR4-3200, CL14-14-14-35);
- system disk: Intel SSD 520 Series 240GB (240 GB, SATA 6Gb/s);
- secondary drive: Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 (1 TB, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200 rpm);
- power supply: Seasonic SS-750KM (750 W);
- monitor: ASUS PB278Q (2560×1440, 27″);
- operating system: Windows 10 Pro x64;
- GeForce driver: NVIDIA GeForce 378.78;
- Radeon driver: AMD Crimson Edition 17.3.1.
For testing, one of the replays was chosen, posted in public access on the official website. A recording of a battle with difficult graphic conditions was specially selected: a bright day, an intense battle, frequent aiming with zoom, the use of smoke. A long test scene for 150 seconds was played four times for each test participant.
The frame rate hits the bar around 75-77 fps. Therefore, video adapters of different performance levels were tested at different resolutions in order to better appreciate the difference in their potential: 1920×1080, 2560×1440 and 3840×2160. Based on the Very High settings configuration, the quality of additional reflections and vegetation has been improved. The simplest participants were tested with high level FXAA smoothing, further tests were carried out with MSAA 4x.
Let’s take a look at the first results in Full HD with simple FXAA.
It is clearly seen how, after reaching a certain threshold in the average value of 73.5 fps, the difference between the video adapters is leveled. Therefore, older models from NVIDIA were not included in this comparison. All participants showed good results, you can comfortably play at 1920×1080 even on the old GeForce GTX 580 or on the budget newcomer Radeon RX 460. Only the aged Radeon HD 6970 looks weak, it loses 16-29% to the new Radeon RX 460 and is about 25% behind the simple GeForce GTX 750 Ti. But the more powerful representatives of AMD pale in comparison to competitors. The Radeon R9 270X is slightly weaker than the GeForce GTX 580, and the Radeon R9 290 loses to the GeForce GTX 950! The new GeForce GTX 1050 is almost as good as the GeForce GTX 960, and together they will easily provide stable 60 fps and above.
Let’s use better MSAA 4x anti-aliasing. Some younger participants were not included in this comparison, but older video cards were added.
The drop in performance during the transition to MSAA cannot be called critical, although it is quite noticeable in terms of the minimum fps. Thus, the GeForce GTX 960 is 17% weaker in this parameter in the new mode, the GeForce GTX 1050 loses up to 14%, and the results of the Radeon R9 270X fall by 8%. It has little effect on the overall balance. The Radeon R9 290 is better than the GeForce GTX 960 in terms of average frame rate, but in terms of the minimum frame rate, it is again at the level of the younger Radeon R9 270X, which is weaker than the GeForce GTX 950. It is noteworthy that the GeForce GTX 1050 is actually not inferior to the GeForce GTX 960. GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and GeForce The GTX 780 actually hit the performance ceiling already at face value. Both overtake the Radeon RX 480, which is quite sad for the latter.
Now let’s look at the situation at 2560×1440 with MSAA 4x.
Notice the slight performance loss relative to 1920×1080 for the older Radeons and the more severe drop for the younger GeForces. The gap between the Radeon R9 270X and the GeForce GTX 950 is now minimal, and the Radeon R9 290 is second only to the GeForce GTX 780 in terms of average frequency. The latter is still faster than the Radeon RX 480. The GeForce GTX 760, GeForce GTX 960 and GeForce GTX 1050 trio have close results. All of them they give out more than 40 fps, but with drawdowns below this level, so for a comfortable game you will have to abandon MSAA in favor of FXAA. It is normal to play at full maximum in WQHD video adapters from the GeForce GTX 780 and older. We have already added the GeForce GTX 780 Ti and GeForce GTX 1060 to this resolution — the first one hits the fps ceiling after overclocking, and the second is still at par. The difference between the GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 480 can not be said, it is huge.
The final test mode will be an extreme test for senior participants — 4K resolution with MSAA anti-aliasing. The GeForce GTX 1070 video adapter has been added to rivals in the face of the GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 480.
This combination of settings turns out to be unbearable for the Radeon RX 480, and the GeForce GTX 1060 only reaches 50 fps after overclocking, so it’s better to abandon MSAA again in favor of FXAA. But with the GeForce GTX 1070, you can no longer ask such questions — turn everything on to the maximum and enjoy the game.
The video memory load in the test scene was at 1.8 GB at 1920×1080 and 2 GB at 2560×1440. At the maximum resolution of 4K with MSAA, memory usage reached 2.8 GB.
World of Warships has low system requirements, which will allow owners of budget PCs and laptops to join the game. If you want to get the maximum experience with the best picture quality in Full HD, then even the old GeForce GTX 580 will cope with this task, and the GeForce GTX 950 will provide more than 60 fps. Switching from the default FXAA anti-aliasing to a higher-quality MSAA variant is fraught with noticeable performance losses, but the GeForce GTX 950 still copes with a resolution of 1920×1080. More powerful NVIDIA graphics cards will eliminate performance drops below 60 fps. If you play at 2560×1440, then under the maximum settings with you need to consider an option no weaker than the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, and again with the reservation about using FXAA anti-aliasing. Good results in such a high resolution at MSAA will be provided by the GeForce GTX 780 and more powerful solutions. The GeForce GTX 1070 will allow you to play 4K normally at full maximum, and the GeForce GTX 1060 will cope with this resolution at the default Very High settings.
For AMD graphics solutions in this game, everything is sad. Radeon is noticeably inferior to competitors. At a simple resolution of 1920×1080, the Radeon R9 290 video adapter loses to the GeForce GTX 950 in terms of minimum fps, although these solutions are from different weight categories. In our testing of World of Tanks, there is no such a serious gap between GeForce and AMD, and games are based on the same engine. So Radeon’s problems can also be attributed to poor optimization of AMD software. It is possible that performance will improve as Radeon video drivers are updated. And even now the general situation is not so bad. At maximum settings in Full HD, you can play on the Radeon R9 270X, and if you limit the parameters a little, then even weaker models will provide comfort in the game. Although the Radeon RX 480 loses to direct competitors in heavy modes, it allows you to play at resolutions up to 2560×1440.