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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Performance Analysis

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GTX 770 Testing:

The GTX 770 was released in 2013 and features NVIDIA's Kepler architecture with 2 GB of GDDR5 RAM. After three years it is definitely showing some age, but is still a capable GPU; you just might need to step down some options. I certainly did.

Because of the only 2 GB of VRAM on board, the first option I made sure was lowered was the Texture Quality. This was set to High, as Very High and Ultra require 4 GB or more of buffer space.

Most every other option aligned with the High preset as well, except for those few I routinely turn off and Tessellation. In this preset it is turned off, but I turned it on to see what the impact would be. For the tests I did I did not notice any substantial performance loss, so I kept it on. Here are all of the options:

MSAA Off
Vsync Triple Buffering
Texture Quality High
Texture Filtering 4x
Shadow Quality High
Contact Hardening Shadows Off
Temporal Anti-Aliasing On
Motion Blur Off
Depth of Field Off
Bloom On
Volumetric Lighting On
Subsurface Scattering On
Cloth Physics On
Ambient Occlusion On
Tessellation On
Parallax Occlusion Mapping High
Screenspace Reflections On
Sharpen On
Chromatic Aberration Off
Level of Detail High

By the way, both the MSAA and VSYNC options are set on the Display menu page, and not graphics.

I tested the performance of these options by running a circuit on the West side of Prague always off of the same save file. You might think just running around a city would not be too hard on a system, but it actually is. There is a fair amount to render when outside, and NPCs with AI to process. My CPU is definitely still capable, but I have observed it holding me back in some recent titles, and I suspect that might be the case here as well. I have observed higher performance in other places, such as when inside buildings, but I never observed significantly lower performance while playing the game (admittedly on the GTX 1080). Basically a good portion of the game can demonstrate higher performance than this.

Watching the Steam FPS count in the counter, I would put the average FPS around 33-35, but at times it topped out at 40 and there was a spot or two where it dipped to 27 or 28 FPS. Something I observed in these tests but not so much with the other GPUs is the performance actually increasing slightly after having run the circuit a couple times. The increase just brought the average up to about 35-37, so not much, but I could see the performance being a bit smoother and more stable.

While these are not the highest settings in the game, they certainly seem to make it playable for a GTX 770. Paired with a better CPU than mine, and the performance should be even better.


 

GTX 980 Testing:

The GTX 980 uses NVIDIA's second generation Maxwell architecture and was released in 2014. At one point it was the most powerful GPU NVIDIA offered, and after two years it can still hold its own. Naturally that 4 GB of VRAM helps as it allows the texture quality to be bumped up to Very High. Not all options can be pushed to the max here, but enough can that if you have one of these, I think you will be satisfied.

MSAA Off
Vsync Triple Buffering
Texture Quality Very High
Texture Filtering 16x
Shadow Quality Very High
Contact Hardening Shadows On
Temporal Anti-Aliasing On
Motion Blur Off
Depth of Field Off
Bloom On
Volumetric Lighting Ultra
Subsurface Scattering On
Cloth Physics On
Ambient Occlusion Very High
Tessellation On
Parallax Occlusion Mapping High
Screenspace Reflections Ultra
Sharpen On
Chromatic Aberration Off
Level of Detail Very High

For the most part, this mirrors the Very High preset in the game, except for Volumetric Lighting and Screenspace Reflections both being kicked up to Ultra and the Texture Filtering being set to 16x instead of just 4x.

At these settings the framerate stayed very comfortably between 30 and 40, making the game quite playable. I did observe some stuttering, but it was not that bad and something either further optimizations will help with or a better CPU will solve. I found it to be comparable performance to what the GTX 770 got with the settings I gave for it earlier. Either the difference in settings roughly matches the difference in power between the GTX 770 and GTX 980, or we are seeing my CPU bottleneck performance enough on these tests that it is holding them both back to the same point. What matters in the end is that it is playable at these settings and still looks pretty good.




  1. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Performance Analysis - Introduction
  2. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Performance Analysis - Graphics
  3. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Performance Analysis - GTX 770 & GTX 980
  4. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Performance Analysis - GTX 1070 & GTX 1080
  5. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Performance Analysis - Conclusion
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