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Performance Analysis: World of Tanks enCore, Tested on 10 GPUs

The Graphics Engine & How We Tested World of Tanks enCore

In 2009, the publisher Wargaming.net, based in Belarus, unveiled World of Tanks, a massively multiplayer simulation game showcasing early 20th-century combat tanks. It's a multi-platform game, available on the PC, Xbox 360, PS4, Xbox One, and also iOS and Android devices. Though World of Tanks has enjoyed many years of success and continues to run well on entry-level hardware, its aging 3D engine just doesn't look modern anymore.

Enter World of Tanks enCore, described as a demo app for Core—a new, unreleased graphics engine for World of Tanks that will eventually improve the game's visuals to bring them up to date. It is this benchmark that we're interested in today. Does World of Tanks enCore force our test platform to its knees, or does it maintain a mainstream allure to avoid excluding gamers with low-end hardware?

Benchmark Sequence

For once, we didn't have a hard time deciding on a game sequence to use as a benchmark: the demo only follows one path, limiting our options.

Wargaming.net's FAQ claims that World of Tanks enCore's minimum requirements are the same as the original game's. In other words, the new engine should run well on very lightweight machines using its Minimum preset. The demo also includes Medium and Ultra presets, which of course differ from World of Tanks' Minimum, Low, Medium, High, and Maximum options.

Operating system support reaches all the way back to Windows XP SP3, and includes Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10. Clearly, Wargaming.net wants the game to run just as well in DirectX 9 or DirectX 11 mode (a capability that was indeed implemented in World of Tanks version 9.15).

ConfigurationMinimumRecommended
ProcessorDual-core with SSE2 supportIntel Core i5-3330
Memory2GB4GB
GraphicsGeForce 6800 UltraRadeon HD X2400 XTGeForce GTX 660 2GBRadeon HD 7850 2GB
Operating SystemWindows XP SP3, Vista, 7, 8, 10Windows XP SP3, Vista, 7, 8, 10 (64-bit)
Disk Space16GB30GB

Test Configuration

AMD Ryzen 5 1600XView Deal

Asus ROG Strix X370-F GamingView Deal

G.Skill Flare X (2x 8GB)View Deal

Crucial MX200 (500GB)View Deal

be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 750WView Deal

Be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900View Deal

Thermal Grizzly HydronautView Deal
OS
Operating SystemWindows 10 x64 Pro 1709 (16299.125)
Graphics DriversThe game was tested using the latest public drivers available at the time we ran our benchmarks:Nvidia GeForce Game Ready 390.77AMD Radeon Adrenalin Edition 18.2.1
GameThe most up-to-date version of the game was tested at the time we ran our benchmarks:World of Tanks enCore v0.1

We recently updated our test configuration to better reflect mid-range gaming in 2017. This time around, we picked an AMD Ryzen-based platform, honing in specifically on the 1600X as a great option for enthusiasts looking to save some money.

Steam's survey of hardware and software configurations, offers us a view of the most prevalent components and settings (the data comes from January 2018):

  • 8GB of RAM is the most popular capacity point; that's what 43% of surveyed gamers have installed. (Our system has 16GB, similar to nearly 39% of surveyed games, which we wanted to measure peak RAM utilization.)
  • Full HD resolution is used by 71% of gamers (a noticeable drop from the previous month). But 10% are still at 1366x768. QHD is used by only 3.5% of gamers, and 4K still remains anecdotal.
  • Quad-core CPUs are installed in more than two-thirds of surveyed systems (70%, to be exact). In anticipation of the coming months, we're using a mid-range six-core processor.

Graphics Card Selection

We chose 10 graphics cards for this test, representing mainly entry-level and mainstream options. Here are the competing cards:

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 WF2OC-3GD 3GBView Deal

MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GBView Deal

PNY GeForce GTX 1050 2GBView Deal

MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4GView Deal

Asus RX 570 Strix OC 4GView Deal

XFX Radeon R9 390 8GView Deal

Test Procedure

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

To accurately represent performance, each graphics card is warmed up to a stable temperature before measurements are collected. Most newer 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 execute the benchmark sequence once to warm up the card prior to gathering official data. As usual, we test at 1920x1080 and 2560x1440 with the graphics options maxed out (Ultra and TSSAA HQ).


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World of Tanks enCoreView Deal
  • Gadhar
    They are still trying to catch up to War Thunder and WT has the new Drago engine upgrade releasing soon with the 1.77 update. I would love to see that tested in the same fashion.
    Reply
  • Domaldel
    Hum, there's a lot of multi-core low end CPUs out there, especially from AMD.
    For those the lack of utilization of more then 4 threads is bad news, not good news with this title.
    It's more important that the workload *on* those threads is low as that would both allow CPUs with fewer cores to more easily keep up with the ones with many cores as well as allow those with slow cores to keep up with those with fewer faster ones.
    As is this thing is optimized for the i5 and i3 CPUs from Intel...

    Now granted, one argument for optimizing for fewer cores is that there's some overhead involved with increasing the thread count.
    But still, this is 2018, surely they can do 6 threads with a low workload on each...
    That would increase the performance on CPUs such as the FX series 8350 and 6300 as well as older CPUs such as the 1090T.
    And those optimizations could be carried on with the next round of engine upgrades as we now have hex core processors both on AMD and Intels side that's actually *good*.
    Reply
  • Gadhar
    "Quad-core CPUs are installed in more than two-thirds of surveyed systems (70%, to be exact)." That is the reason the game is optimized for fewer cores.
    Reply
  • Domaldel
    20737464 said:
    "Quad-core CPUs are installed in more than two-thirds of surveyed systems (70%, to be exact)." That is the reason the game is optimized for fewer cores.

    I know...
    My point is just that in the article they suggest that the game only utilizing 4 cores is a good thing for *low end* CPUs.
    The term "low end" and the term "quad core" might overlap, but they're not identical...
    Those 30% of processors that do not have 4 cores include a lot of low end CPUs, some of them might actually have the potential throughput to handle this game if all of their cores are permitted to help out.
    They choose not to do so, for better and worse.
    They've already gone with some multi-threading so a bit of the overhead involved with that is already there...
    The difference between making the game n-threaded instead of 4-threaded wouldn't have been *that* great...
    And as long as they'd use a quad core as reference system to test how much resource they can afford using it would still run just fine on a quad core.
    All while *also* have some benefit for those of us with more cores.
    Thankfully I'm on a modern R7 1700 now so it's not a major issue anymore for me.
    But back in the day when I was on a FX 8350 it was a pain to run games from WarGaming.
    They'd only use 4 of the 8 cores, just the right number to *really* trigger the the turbo of my CPU making it hotter then when running pretty much anything else.
    Each module running as fast as it could go both in frequency and single-threaded performance.
    It ran, but it ran tosty on my system...
    I never felt comfortable with playing their games for that reason...
    Reply
  • snidely196
    I've been playing the crap out of this on the test server with a i5 3570 with a 1050 @ 1080p on ultra settings. Looks great and I'm getting a pretty steady 60 fps. My son's machine has the same proc. with a 750ti and he's getting between 100 and 110fps @ 720p on ultra. Nvidia's new driver is supposed to bump performance for this by up to 10%.
    Reply
  • mischon123
    There is nothing wrong with a slight cartoonish appearance. Its immersive but at the same its one step removed from a scenario that appears to real otherwise.

    I run Wot on a B350/1800x/32GB/1080/960Evo. Framerate is 120 on a 4k running 2.5 Res. There is no 4k mode or super high res tex.

    Enjoy the game immensely.
    Reply