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Prey Performance Review

How We Tested Prey

Test Configuration

CPUCore i5-6500
Motherboard (LGA 1151)Asus Z170-Deluxe
RAMKlevv DDR4-2133 8GB
SSDMX500 SSD
ControllerIntel PCH Z170 SATA 6 Gb/s
Power SupplyCooler Master G450M
CaseHaf XB EVO
OS
Operating SystemWindows 10 x64 Pro 1703 (15063.296)
Graphics DriversNvidia GeForce Game Ready 382.05AMD Radeon Crimson ReLive Edition 17.5.2

We're using a fairly mid-range gaming PC that we hope represents what a lot of our readers are running. If you're lucky enough to own faster hardware, you'll naturally enjoy higher frame rates. Steam's survey of hardware and software configurations offers us a view of the most prevalent components and settings (the data comes from April 2017):

  • Windows 10 64-bit representing more than half of the market (50.08%, to be precise).
  • 8GB RAM, present in 36.6 % of surveyed gaming PCs (our configuration has 16GB).
  • Full HD (1920x1080) is used by 46% of gamers, while 23% are still at 1366x768. QHD (2560x1440 pixels) is used by less than 2% of gamers, and 4K is still anecdotal. As a result, we're testing at 1920x1080 and 2560x1440.
  • Quad-core CPUs are installed in half of the examined systems (50.11%). Logically, our configuration is loaded with a mid-range quad-core Intel CPU.

Graphics Card Selection

We picked eight graphics cards to test. They're mostly mid-range, and they represent popular choices from current- and previous-generation architectures. Here are the competing cards:

The Radeon RX 480 “Core” from XFX is at a disadvantage, given its stock clock rate, compared to the Asus Strix OC and its GPU frequency of 1645 MHz. We're overclocking it +4% to the level of a factory-tuned model, yielding a 1340 MHz GPU and 2 GHz memory.

These two cards represent where the mid-range segment starts. The Radeon RX 470 should have an advantage with its additional gigabyte of memory.

Nvidia's GeForce GTX 970 and AMD's Radeon R9 390 are previous-gen cards, but they'll no doubt remain popular in mid-range gaming PCs for months to come. We picked them more for their popularity in existing gaming machines, rather than their retail prevalence, which is quite variable.

And finally, we add two lower-end cards to gauge whether entry-level hardware is good enough for playable frame rates with the most recent titles.

Test Procedure

All performance data is collected using the PresentMon tool and our own custom front-end.

In order to represent graphics card performance accurately, each test subject is warmed up to a stable temperature before measurements are collected. Most GPUs employ mechanisms to optimize clock rates based on variables like power and temperature. So, tests run during the warm-up period would convey better performance than you'd see in the real world.

We therefore run the benchmark sequence twice to warm up each card. Then we gather the data for our charts. again, we tested the game at Full HD and QHD, with the Very High preset (the game's top set of quality options).


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  • Bryan_B103
    I love the "Frame Time" chart on page 3. This provides a really nice graphical representation of what your experience would be in-game. I'm excited to see charts like that one used in future reviews.
    Reply
  • barryv88
    Why was yesterday's RX480 used and not the newer 580?
    Reply
  • c4s2k3
    19742011 said:
    Why was yesterday's RX480 used and not the newer 580?

    I suspect they are going for cards in the mainstream. I'm sure there are plenty of 480s in use out there. Not too many 580s yet since it is new.
    Reply
  • ykki
    No Ryzen benches? Are you planning to redo all the gaming benches for Ryzen once R3 hits and AGESA 1006 is in full effect?
    Reply
  • coolitic
    Dishonored 2 was bad, Toms, even ignoring the bugs.
    Reply
  • coolitic
    Why no high-end tests?
    Reply
  • elbert
    Only a half review without Ryzen.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    19742276 said:
    Why no high-end tests?

    19742283 said:
    Only a half review without Ryzen.

    Well there's a lot of hardware missing I'd have liked to have seen as well like a GTX 1080. However in all fairness, they said they chose their hardware on what people *currently* have (according to Steam user hardware surveys), not what they may get in the future. Not many have Ryzen builds and GTX 1080s yet.

    In any event, as a 1440p GTX 970 SLI owner, I'd have liked to have seen the VRAM consumption at that resolution since there are benchmarks for it here. For me it's a little concerning that even at 1080p it uses 3.1GB. I'm trying to squeeze another year out of my GPUs holding out for Volta. But Pascal is due for a refresh later this summer/early fall (2xxx series).
    Reply
  • elbert
    19742377 said:
    19742276 said:
    Why no high-end tests?

    19742283 said:
    Only a half review without Ryzen.

    Well there's a lot of hardware missing I'd have liked to have seen as well like a GTX 1080. However in all fairness, they said they chose their hardware on what people *currently* have (according to Steam user hardware surveys), not what they may get in the future. Not many have Ryzen builds and GTX 1080s yet.

    In any event, as a 1440p GTX 970 SLI owner, I'd have liked to have seen the VRAM consumption at that resolution since there are benchmarks for it here. For me it's a little concerning that even at 1080p it uses 3.1GB. I'm trying to squeeze another year out of my GPUs holding out for Volta (expected to be nearly twice as powerful as Pascal).
    I see the argument but how big of a percentage will not buy the game thinking the Ryzen was left out because of very poor optimization? Its a bad move for a game developer to risk limiting its potental customers. I was wanting the game but I'll wait till I see Ryzen benchmarks.
    Reply
  • 10tacle
    19742461 said:
    I was wanting the game but I'll wait till I see Ryzen benchmarks.

    You can get an idea of that right now with other games and what to expect: http://www.pcgamer.com/gaming-performance-of-ryzen-7-vs-core-i7-with-geforce-gtx-1080-ti/

    My guess is based on that, it will be fine for above 1080p resolutions as the GPU is used more no matter how powerful the CPU is.
    Reply