Final Fantasy XV: Performance Analysis With 10 GPUs

Developed and published by Square Enix, Final Fantasy XV was first available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles back in 2016. It only recently became an option for Windows gamers in March 2018. Was the wait worthwhile?

For Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition, the developer used an updated version of its multi-platform Luminous Studio engine. While it remains DirectX 11-compatible, a number of Nvidia-specific features are now part of the package, including Voxel Ambient Occlusion, HairWorks, ShadowWorks, Turf Effects, and Nvidia Flow.

This is incidentally one of the game's paradoxes. While it was conceived for eighth-gen consoles based on AMD graphics architectures, Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition seems to be optimized for Nvidia GPUs. How does that affect performance comparisons in the real world? Our benchmark data should paint a pretty clear picture.

Benchmark Sequence

Earlier in the year, Square Enix released a benchmark for Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition on its website. Our initial tests, however, showed that it was unusable, exhibiting multiple display bugs, large stutters that were both isolated and random, and its overall scores were much too variable to be conclusive. The publisher quickly confirmed that its benchmark was not reflective of the final game's performance.

So, we started from scratch and created our own test, opting for a multi-stage sequence between Hammerhead and Crown City Checkpoint. The first leg takes place in a vehicle (and is therefore automated), followed by a pass on foot through the vegetation and terrain, and finally a sprint through some enemies raining down a hail of bullets.

Additionally, the first half takes place in sunlight, while rain appears in the second. Basically, we try to incorporate everything that might play into how AMD and Nvidia GPUs behave with respect to each other under various in-game conditions. The exact test sequence is visible below:

Final Fantasy XV Benchmark

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements

The game's Steam page conveys the minimum and recommended configurations for a good experience in Final Fantasy XV. The publisher's objective is to assure a minimum frame rate of 30 at 720p with its lowest-end configuration, while the recommended setup should be able to attain 30 FPS at 1080p. In order to play at 3840x2160 and still see 30 FPS (or 60 FPS at 1440p), you need a high-end card like Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Configuration
Minimum
Recommended
4K HDR
Processor
Intel Core i5-2500
AMD FX-6100
Intel Core i7-3770
AMD FX-8350
Intel Core i7-7700
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
Memory
8GB
16GB
16GB
Graphics
GeForce GTX 760 / GTX 1050
Radeon R9 280
GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
Radeon RX 480
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
Operating System
Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit)
Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit)Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit)
Disk Space
100GB
100GB
155GB

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  • redgarl
    We finally see what is going to happen with AMD graphic strategy by focusing on consoles. In the long term, this is going to be good for them.
  • Diji1
    Yes, it's always tomorrow with the AMD crowd, it's going to run Directx 12 faster next year etc.
  • aquielisunari
    Far Cry 5 or FFXV? I easily pick Far Cry 5.

    The bench isn't indicative of real world behavior? It's a FFXV trailer with a score. Who's line is it anyways... Look at us!!!!? Harvesting? Fortunately through Steam we can return most any game that we have played for less than 2 hours and within a certain window from the purchase date.

    Thanks for the real test Tom's.
  • germz1986
    Where are the high resolution 1440 & 2160 benchmarks? Where are the higher tier graphics cards at?
  • redgarl
    Anonymous said:
    Yes, it's always tomorrow with the AMD crowd, it's going to run Directx 12 faster next year etc.


    Well, AMD cards are better at DX12 than Nvidia cards. Hardwarecanucks made that analysis a long time ago.

    However this is not really important here. The Xbox One X is hosting something similar to a RX 580. Of course if games are developed with the chip in mind, the port is going to swing on AMD side.

    There is a couple of game that I would love to have result with. Ports from the consoles like Tecmo games, Capcom games, Square Enix games, Konami games, Platinum games... basically the japanese devs.
  • aquielisunari
    Anonymous said:
    Where are the high resolution 1440 & 2160 benchmarks? Where are the higher tier graphics cards at?


    The higher tier GFX cards are there but aside from that I agree the test wasn't thorough.

    I was averaging around 90FPS at 1080p because of my 4690K at 100%.
    At 3840 x 2160 I was averaging around 50FPS. Looks like 1440p will be best for my setup.
  • logainofhades
    Sounds like even my 980ti will not max this game out, especially since I now game at 1440p.
  • jimmysmitty
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    Yes, it's always tomorrow with the AMD crowd, it's going to run Directx 12 faster next year etc.


    Well, AMD cards are better at DX12 than Nvidia cards. Hardwarecanucks made that analysis a long time ago.

    However this is not really important here. The Xbox One X is hosting something similar to a RX 580. Of course if games are developed with the chip in mind, the port is going to swing on AMD side.

    There is a couple of game that I would love to have result with. Ports from the consoles like Tecmo games, Capcom games, Square Enix games, Konami games, Platinum games... basically the japanese devs.



    It has yet to show this though. Not one game ported from consoles has shown any advantage to AMD at all and they wont because there is still differences in the hardware and the API and how it calls to it compared to PCs even with DX12/Vulkan.

    The only advantage is porting has become easier since x86-64 is the same base and the Xbox now uses a similar Windows 10 kernel, although modified for the Xbox.

    They still need to recode for PCs and their drivers/OS kernel. Then they need to optimize for both sides.

    Unlike most I am not surprised the game features NVidia tech when it was a console game first. That fact means nothing and NVidia is known to work more with developers than AMD does. Might change but NVidia does push that a lot.

    Anonymous said:
    Sounds like even my 980ti will not max this game out, especially since I now game at 1440p.


    It would be close but the 6GB of VRAM will limit it. My 1080 is playing it nicely on highest, no AA, at 1080 and I am more than happy. I am just glad they included the soundtracks to all the old games for the car rides.
  • Zaporro
    Why no 1440p with GTX1080ti??

    Why everyone is forcing 4k on GTX1080ti if its obviously not ready for it yet?
  • Ionlydothis
    AMD's focus on consoles? Hardly a focus, more like desperate plea for money. They cut ridiculous deals for those consoles. Meanwhile, Nvidia leapfrogged AMD with the switch and it's a now relatively ancient chipset. Just wait until they put more money into developing Tegra now that it has a much bigger market than just set-top boxes and tablets.

    Meanwhile, AMD remains good at begging for deals, offering razor thin profit margins to keep their heads up while they offer nothing compelling and their "gamble" in the APU market has remained laughable.

    I really wish AMD was competitive again and that I could count on them to keep it together to really hammer Intel after Ryzen and provide real competition in the graphics market.

    But alas...Not going to happen.
  • belegCZE
    HA - 970!
    that GPU is true legend :)
  • Sam Hain
    Anonymous said:
    HA - 970!
    that GPU is true legend :)


    Had an MSI 970 before my 1080 Ti and it OC'd like a BOSS! One of the best GPUs NV turned out IMO.
  • rhugg
    love my 970!