Our Conclusions (Plus Bonus Testing With Two High-End Cards)
The main reason we're running these bonus tests--with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition and AMD Radeon RX Vega 64--is to determine the effect of optimizations for AMD's Vega architecture, including support for Rapid Packed Math and Shader Intrinsics. Polaris-based cards have already shown themselves to be plenty competent, but Vega should be even more effective in the face of its direct competition, GeForce GTX 1080.
Of course, we're hungry for beautiful visuals, so we also test at resolutions beyond 2560x1440.
Because it's deliberately optimized for AMD's Radeon portfolio, Far Cry 5 runs well at 1440p on our Radeon RX Vega 64. The frame rate never dips below 75 FPS, and the average stays above 83 FPS. Also, the Radeon takes a noticeable lead over the GeForce at this resolution with maxed-out settings.
Shifting up to 3840x2160 causes an understandable performance drop. But the game remains smooth enough for an enjoyable experience. Both cards maintain frame rates in excess of 30, and the Radeon RX Vega 64 enjoys a comfortable lead.
And at 5K?
Finally, we ran a battery of tests at 5K, plus QHD with 2x super-sampling, yielding the same number of pixels. The objective of super-sampling, of course, is to minimize aliasing at the cost of performance, since the image is rendered at a higher resolution than what it's displayed at, then down-sized to fit the screen.
This time, the Vega 64 and GTX 1080 both struggle to output frame rates above 20 FPS, putting such high resolutions beyond their reach. Once again, though, AMD's card beats Nvidia's, thanks in part to Ubisoft's optimizations.
The same CPU-oriented observations that we made earlier apply here as well. Far Cry 5 is well-threaded. And while certain cores reach saturation, overall utilization remains reasonable. We also note that the usage is slightly higher with Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080.
Yes, Far Cry 5 is magnificent. Nature scenes are superbly portrayed, lighting effects are very convincing, and ambient sounds refine the immersive gameplay. Don't forget the great physics, either. Of course, this franchise's game mechanics are well-established. But the new visuals are a must-see.
In addition, Ubisoft's Dunia Engine seems solidly optimized. This is quantifiable in the excellent frame-time variance results we observed, even at 2560x1440, which improves perceived smoothness. Another indicator of the engine's robustness is a small delta between minimum and average frame rate; there's very little dramatic slow-down to draw your attention away from the action.
Nevertheless, Far Cry 5 will use host processing resources if you make them available. For comfortable gameplay, you need at least a quad-core CPU. And enthusiasts with Radeon cards (particularly those based on AMD's Vega architecture) will be excited to see what an engine optimized for their hardware can do. But don't worry, GeForce owners, this game runs great on Nvidia graphics cards, too.