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?
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.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
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).
|Processor||Dual-core with SSE2 support||Intel Core i5-3330|
|Graphics||GeForce 6800 UltraRadeon HD X2400 XT||GeForce GTX 660 2GBRadeon HD 7850 2GB|
|Operating System||Windows XP SP3, Vista, 7, 8, 10||Windows XP SP3, Vista, 7, 8, 10 (64-bit)|
|Operating System||Windows 10 x64 Pro 1709 (16299.125)|
|Graphics Drivers||The 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|
|Game||The 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:
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).