Get Best Far Cry 5 Performance: 10 Graphics Cards Tested at “Ultra” Quality

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.

CPU Utilization

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.

Conclusion

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.

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  • jaexyr
    Game is pretty. (All else about the game was hugely disappointing.) My 1080 card running @ 1440/G85hz was quite nice.
  • AgentLozen
    I'm really impressed by how well optimized this game is. There are lots of granular options for visual tweaking.

    Does anyone remember ID Soft's "Rage" launch from a few years back? That game was highly anticipated and also got good reviews, but suffered from a wide variety for technical problems on PC. The engine was so glitchy that it barely ran on AMD video cards for a week before they released drivers to make it playable. Also, there were hardly any configurable graphics options besides resolution. ID Soft didn't make the engine from scratch either. It derived from Doom 3's Tech Engine 4.

    Comparing the Far Cry 5 launch to Rage reveals a night and day difference.
  • redgarl
    AMD console strategy is paying off.

    Also, would have been interesting to see a 8400 system compared to the 1600x at these resolutions with these cards.
  • popatim
    @RedGarl. Why x1600? so you can see which ones stutter the most? The game is just playable at 1440 only with several of the cards in this review. LoL
  • therickmu25
    The game is 'optimized' because they nerfed the physics and detail that FC2 had 10fold.
    You can't even shoot through a wooden fence in this game. For anyone interested, the video below shows all the things left out.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCeEvQ68jY8&t=621s
  • jaexyr
    Even in comparison to 3 & 4.... 5 is horrible. I love that video of 2. I used it in a steam review

    1383434 said:
    The game is 'optimized' because they nerfed the physics and detail that FC2 had 10fold. You can't even shoot through a wooden fence in this game. For anyone interested, the video below shows all the things left out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCeEvQ68jY8&t=621s
  • eduardoceliseduardocelis
    Titan v 4k core i7 8700k ultra settings no less than 60fps. I think that's enough to enjoy the game without stuttering. O lag
  • photonboy
    Uh.... WHAT??
    "This is also the first time we have encountered a game that monopolizes CPU resources to such an extent. Could this be due to the Denuvo DRM and/or the physics engine?"

    How are the CPU resources monopolized if you have minimal benefit beyond TWO cores plus hyperthreading?

    That's not a very heavy load.
  • mitch074
    About the Rage comparison: Rage was the first OpenGL game to push the API so hard. Most fixes were done at driver level - while FC5 is DX11 only. Had it been done in DX12/Vulkan, and really pushing physics, I'm not so sure it would run that well. DE:MD actually looks better to me.
  • AgentLozen
    mitch074 said:
    About the Rage comparison: Rage was the first OpenGL game to push the API so hard. Most fixes were done at driver level - while FC5 is DX11 only. Had it been done in DX12/Vulkan, and really pushing physics, I'm not so sure it would run that well. DE:MD actually looks better to me.


    You're right about the reasons why Rage was such a mess at launch. As I recall, the drivers at the time were underdeveloped for OpenGL and Rage was asking for more than the drivers were used to. This was largely an AMD problem. I think Nvidia wasn't plagued the same way.

    I used Rage for the comparison because it offered VERY few graphics customization options and it wouldn't run for a significant part of the PC user base, regardless of reason.