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'Assassin's Creed: Syndicate' Benchmarks: A Stressing Experience

It might not have come out at the same time as its console counterparts, but less than a month after the original release, Assassin's Creed: Syndicate is finally available on PC. As usual, the Tom's Hardware news team used the game as another benchmark for our various builds.

Before we present the builds and final data, it should be noted that this is only a sampling of the game's performance across a variety of systems. It shouldn't be considered comprehensive.

Reference System
CPUIntel Core i7-5930k (4.2 GHz)
GPUPowerColor Radeon R9 390X (8 GB)
GPU 2Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980Ti Xtreme Gaming WINDFORCE Edition (6 GB)
RAMCrucial 16 GB DDR4 (4x4 GB)
StorageCrucial M200 SSD (500 GB)
Personal System #1
CPUIntel Core i7-4790K (4.4 GHz)
GPUEVGA GeForce GTX 970 (4 GB )
RAMPatriot Viper 3 DDR3 16 GB (2x8 GB)
StorageSamsung 840 EVO SSD (500 GB)
Personal System #2
CPUIntel Core i3-4160 (3.5 GHz)
GPUSapphire Radeon R9 280 (3 GB)
GPU 2EVGA GeForce GTX 980 (4 GB)
RAMG.Skill Ares Series DDR3 8 GB (2x4 GB)
StorageWestern Digital Blue HDD (1 TB, 7200 RPM)
Personal System #3
CPUIntel Core i5-4670K (3.4 GHz)
GPUEVGA GeForce GTX 760 (2 GB)
RAMCorsair Vengeance Pro 8 GB DDR3 (2x4 GB)
StorageSeagate HDD (1 TB)
Personal System #4
CPUAMD A10-6800K (4.1 GHz, overclocked to 4.6 GHz)
GPUAMD Radeon HD 8670D (integrated graphics)
RAMSamsung 8 GB DDR3 (2x4 GB)
StorageSeagate HDD (500 GB)
Laptop
CPUIntel Core i7-3632QM (2.2 GHz)
GPUNvidia GeForce GT 620M (1 GB)
RAMG.Skill Ripjaws 8 GB DDR3L (2x4 GB)
StorageSeagate SSHD (1 TB)

Testing Systems And Procedures

The builds used to benchmark Assassin's Creed: Syndicate were the same builds used for Star Wars Battlefront. However, we added a new entry: an AMD APU build. Although the game's minimum requirements ask for a discrete GPU, the use of integrated graphics is warranted with an APU.

Each build's graphics settings were automatically detected and changed by the game. Some settings decreased the resolution to 720p or increased it to 4K. However, 1080p was still the standard. The AMD build used a 16:10 display, so it displayed in resolutions of 1280x800 and 1920x1200.

The Results

Across the board, all the GPUs had difficulties with reaching high frame rates. At 1080p, our reference system combined with the Gigabyte GeForce GTX 980Ti managed to pull off an average of only 41.775 fps on Ultra High settings. The same system with a PowerColor Radeon R9 390X provided a 41.05 fps average, but that was on High settings.

My budget build was able to post more than satisfactory results in Fallout 4 and Star Wars Battlefront. Unfortunately, it failed to even reach 40 fps, with averages of 38.36 fps and 39.65 fps at 720p and 1080p, respectively. The only system that reached the 60 fps average was the Intel Core i5-4670K and the EVGA GTX GeForce 760 build, which hit 61.68 fps, and that was on Low.

With this amount of stress on the desktop builds, it's no surprise that the game performed worse on the laptop (its highest score was a 7.138 fps average at 720p on Low). The fact that the discrete GPUs didn't reach the 50 fps average also bodes ill for the AMD APU, which delivered just an 8.05 fps average at 1200x800, and an even worse 4.225 fps average at 1920x1200.

Tweaks

The 40 fps range is a respectable range, but for those who want to achieve 60 fps, a series of tweaks to the graphics settings is in order. We performed a majority of the tests on settings dictated by the game, but you can change elements such as anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion, the overall graphics settings or even the resolution to get the smooth framerate.

Another option is optimization through the GeForce Experience (Nvidia) or Raptr Gaming Evolved (AMD) apps. Both programs optimize the game based on your settings, but you can also manually make changes in both apps, as well.

Of the three games tested so far, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate was, by far, the most taxing on all builds. Half of the systems used GPUs that met or surpassed the required VRAM specs on the GPU, but it wasn't enough on automated settings. To get the most out of the latest Assassin's Creed title, you'll need to spend a few minutes in the settings section before donning the hood and hidden blade.

______________________________________________________________________

Rexly Peñaflorida II is a Contributor at Tom’s Hardware. He writes news on tech and hardware, but mostly focuses on gaming news. As a Chicagoan, he believes that deep dish pizza is real pizza and ketchup should never be on hot dogs. Ever. Also, Portillo’s is amazing.

Follow Rexly Peñaflorida II @Heirdeux. Follow us on Facebook, Google+, RSS, Twitter and YouTube.

  • FITCamaro
    This is terrible testing. The only common denominator in the tables is the resolution. You have multiple configurations and settings all in one table which makes the results misleading and hard to read.

    Tom's if this is what you have for reviews today you have problems.
    Reply
  • namtrooper81
    I skimmed the article, that is some poor performance from a 980TI. No idea however if the graphics quality warrants such low fps.
    Reply
  • cknobman
    I skimmed the article, that is some poor performance from a 980TI. No idea however if the graphics quality warrants such low fps.

    Easy explanation: Its a sh!t port done by UbiSoft.
    Reply
  • Daniel Ladishew
    While it may be of value to readers to know what settings the game automatically applied based on each systems specs, as a comparison it makes for very difficult reading. Putting all that into a graph and calling it a 'benchmark' is a stretch. I applaud that your using on hand hardware to test new games (gives readers a more realistic set of examples), but find the testing procedure itself lacking for any kind of meaningful comparisons on the hardware itself. You can do better.
    Reply
  • Kwuarter
    Can the text be any more blurry? I'm sorry but it's kind of silly that I have to click on the graph in order to see it properly.
    Reply
  • tstng
    Pretty awful review, there is no consistency, you are testing different cards with different cpu's at different quality settings. It's all a mishmash, not to mention really small and blurry images.

    Also I do have to mention that currently (even with the latest 359.00 drivers) Nvidia's HBAO+ Ultra and PCSS Ultra are murder or any system and MFAA is incompatible with the game (you are forced to turn it off in ncp otherwise you get missing textures and artifacts in the game), so both the drivers and the game optimization are shoddy at best. (Game Ready Driver my posterior) On my 970/i5-2500k I can play 50-60 fps if I use High Shadows (not PCSS) and only HBAO+ (not the Ultra one).
    Reply
  • spentshells
    System 1 should be at least a fury if not fury x for AMD
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    17003935 said:
    Pretty awful review, there is no consistency, you are testing different cards with different cpu's at different quality settings. It's all a mishmash, not to mention really small and blurry images.

    Also I do have to mention that currently (even with the latest 359.00 drivers) Nvidia's HBAO+ Ultra and PCSS Ultra are murder or any system and MFAA is incompatible with the game (you are forced to turn it off in ncp otherwise you get missing textures and artifacts in the game), so both the drivers and the game optimization are shoddy at best. (Game Ready Driver my posterior) On my 970/i5-2500k I can play 50-60 fps if I use High Shadows (not PCSS) and only HBAO+ (not the Ultra one).

    I agree the image quality is pretty low but this is not a review. It is a sample benchmark. While I wish they would do a normal full review this is being looked at the wrong way. Think of this as the equivalent of a couple of people on forums poting their specs, settngs and results. It may not give a full idea but it gives somewhat of an idea.

    To me this shows that the game is very poorly optimized. I don't see how a top end i7 and 980Ti should have any issues maxing the game out at 1080P. And I don;t think it is the HBAO or PCSS as I have run games maxed at 1080P with maxed out PCSS/CCSS and HBAO+. Considering their track record, Ubisoft has had a lot of performance issues with their game releases.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    This is not a graphic card comparison, it tells what setting you can use with your hardware in this game.
    And also that this game is seriously power hungry game as it has been said above.
    Reply
  • schiwing
    This is terrible testing.

    Hopefully this doesn't become the new trend for testing.
    Reply