This spring, Square Enix delighted PC gamers with the release of Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition. This is an updated and improved version of the original game with the best picture. Without the hardware limitations of consoles, on PC you can fully enjoy the beauty of Final Fantasy XV in any high resolution. At the same time, the game has acquired some new effects. As a result, the system requirements are quite solid. In this review, we will find out which video cards allow you to comfortably play at maximum graphics quality, and what budget models are capable of. Along the way, we will study the effect of NVIDIA effects on the picture and overall performance.

Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition

The game is powered by the Luminous Engine and runs on the DirectX 11 API. Final Fantasy XV features large, detailed environments with nice lighting and various weather effects. The picture is nice and detailed.

At the same time, it is clear that in some aspects the engine is rather weak. This applies in particular to water. Lots of dark caves with intentionally limited visibility. And such deliberate shading sometimes works in open areas, creating darkness outside a certain field of view.

Battles are accompanied by bright effects with abundant particles and rich post-effects.

Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition

The complex geometry of the relief surface of the earth is achieved through tessellation.

Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition

Some visual enhancements come from additional NVIDIA GameWorks technologies. We will talk about them at the end of the article. The main comparison was made in the maximum quality mode without NVIDIA effects.

A demonstration of the graphics potential will serve as a video with different gaming moments in 4K on the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti graphics card. Ultra settings enabled, enhanced grass powered by TurfEffects active.

Comparative testing will involve solutions from the top, middle and budget segments, including new generation models and old cards.

NVIDIA’s most powerful solution will be the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition

ASUS CERBERUS-GTX1070TI-A8G introduces the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti series. A review of this video adapter will be released soon.

Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition

From AMD’s side, the standard-design Radeon RX Vega 64 is the top choice.

Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition

Also in testing will take part Radeon RX Vega 56 by ASUS. This is the ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 56 model, which has a slight overclock. Therefore, the video card was put into Quiet mode by switching to the second BIOS in order to achieve performance at the level of standard versions.

Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition

The full list of participants is as follows:

All video adapters were brought to standard frequencies to match the reference options. The Radeon RX Vega 64 was tested with the stock BIOS in normal balanced mode (default settings). Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 480 are represented by the same video card with different frequencies. The Radeon R9 270X replaces the Radeon HD 7870 video adapter.

The participants have been tested at nominal and overclocked. But in simple modes, older models are only used at standard frequencies.

The test bench configuration is as follows:

  • processor: Intel Core i7-6950X (3.0@4.1 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: Kingston SSDNow KC400 (512 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;
  • Radeon driver: AMD Adrenalin Edition 18.3.4 and 18.4.1;
  • GeForce driver: NVIDIA GeForce 391.35.

For testing, a special benchmark was used, but since it is very long, performance was measured in the first test scene lasting two and a half minutes. The data was taken by Fraps. Three or four repetitions.

Graphics settings are set in accordance with the parameters that offer standard quality profiles in the full version of the game. Modes of average quality (Medium) and maximum quality (Ultra) are involved. Intermediate High settings were not used. NVIDIA effects are disabled.