Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (Vulkan)

id Software is popularly known for a few games involving shooting stuff until it dies, just with different 'stuff' for each one: Nazis, demons, or other players while scorning the laws of physics. Wolfenstein II is the latest of the first, the sequel of a modern reboot series developed by MachineGames and built on id Tech 6. While the tone is significantly less pulpy nowadays, the game is still a frenetic FPS at heart, succeeding DOOM as a modern Vulkan flagship title and arriving as a pure Vullkan implementation rather than the originally OpenGL DOOM.

Featuring a Nazi-occupied America of 1961, Wolfenstein II is lushly designed yet not oppressively intensive on the hardware, something that goes well with its pace of action that emerge suddenly from a level design flush with alternate historical details.

The highest quality preset, "Mein leben!", was used. Wolfenstein II also features Vega-centric GPU Culling and Rapid Packed Math, as well as Radeon-centric Deferred Rendering; in accordance with the preset, neither GPU Culling nor Deferred Rendering was enabled.

Wolfenstein II 1920x1080 2560x1440 3840x2160
Average FPS
99th Percentile

I am actually impressed with Wolfenstein II and its Vulkan implementation more than the absurd 250+ framerates, if only because many other games hold back the GPU because of the occurring CPU bottleneck. In DOOM, there was a hard 200fps cap because of engine/implementation limitations, a bit of a corner case, but manufacturers make 240Hz monitors nowadays, too. On a GPU performance profiling side, of course, reducing the CPU bottleneck makes comparing powerful GPUs much easier at 1080p, and with a better signal-to-noise than at 4K.

This is combined with the fact that at 4K, the 20 series are looking a huge 60 to 68% lead over the 10 series, and we'll be cross-referencing these performance deltas with other sections of the game. Even in the case of a 'flat-track bully' scenario where the 2080 Ti is running up the score, the 2080 Ti's speed compared to the 2080 is somewhat less than expected at 24 to 27%. It's a somewhat intriguing result for an optimized Vulkan game, as the game runs and scales generally well across the board; It's also not unnoticed that both the RX Vega cards and GeForce Turing cards outperform their expected positions, though without the graphics workload details it's hard to speculate with substance. With framerates like these, the 4K HDR dream at 144 Hz is a real possibility, and it would be interesting to compare with Titan V and Titan Xp results.

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  • mapesdhs - Thursday, September 27, 2018 - link

    It also glosses over the huge pricing differences and the fact that most gamers buy AIB models, not reference cards.
  • noone2 - Thursday, September 20, 2018 - link

    Not sure why people are so negative about these and the prices. Sell your old card and amortize the cost over how long you'll keep the new one. So maybe $400/year (less if you keep it longer).

    If you're a serious gamer, are you really not willing to spend a few hundred dollars per year on your hardware? I mean, the performance is there and it's somewhat future proofed (assuming things take off for RT and DLSS.)

    A bowling league (they still have those?) probably costs more per year than this card. If you only play Minecraft I guess you don't need it, but if you want the highest setting in the newest games and potentially the new technology, then I think it's worth it.
  • milkod2001 - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    Performance is not there. Around 20% actual performance boost is not very convincing especially due much higher price. How can you be positive about it?
    Future tech promise doesn't add that much and it is not clear if game developers will bother.
    When one spend $1000 of GPU it has to deliver perfect 4k all maxed gaming and NV charges ever more. This is a joke, NV is just testing how much they can squeeze of us until we simply don't buy.
  • noone2 - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    The article clearly says that the Ti is 32% better on average.

    The idea about future tech is you either do it and early adopters pay for it in hopes it catches on, or you never do it and nothing ever improves. Game developers don't really create technology and then ask hardware producers to support it/figure out how to do it. Dice didn't knock on Nvidia's door and pay them to figure out how to do ray tracing in real time.

    My point remains though: If this is a favorite hobby/pass-time, then it's a modest price to pay for what will be hundreds of hours of entertainment and the potential that ray tracing and DLSS and whatever else catches on and you get to experience it sooner rather than later. You're saying this card is too expensive, yet I can find console players who think a $600 video game is too expensive too. Different strokes for different folks. $1100 is not terrible value. You talking hundreds of dollars here, not 10s of thousands of dollars. It's drop in the bucket in the scope of life.
  • mapesdhs - Thursday, September 27, 2018 - link

    So Just Buy It then? Do you work for toms? :D
  • TheJian - Thursday, September 20, 2018 - link

    "Ultimately, gamers can't be blamed for wanting to game with their cards, and on that level they will have to think long and hard about paying extra to buy graphics hardware that is priced extra with features that aren't yet applicable to real-world gaming, and yet only provides performance comparable to previous generation video cards."

    So, I guess I can't read charts, because I thought they said 2080ti was massively faster than anything before it. We also KNOW devs will take 40-100% perf improvements seriously (already said such, and NV has 25 games being worked on now coming soon with support for their tech) and will support NV's new tech since they sell massively more cards than AMD.

    Even the 2080 vs. 1080 is a great story at 4k as the cards part by quite a margin in most stuff.
    IE, battlefield 1, 4k test 2080fe scores 78.9 vs. 56.4 for 1080fe. That's a pretty big win to scoff at calling it comparable is misleading at best correct? Far Cry 5 same story, 57 2080fe, vs. 42 for 1080fe. Again, pretty massive gain for $100. Ashes, 74 to 61fps (2080fe vs. 1080fe). Wolf2 100fps for 2080fe, vs. 60 for 1080fe...LOL. Well, 40% is, uh, "comparable perf"...ROFL. OK, I could go on but whatever dude. Would I buy one if I had a 1080ti, probably not unless I had cash to burn, but for many that usually do buy these things, they just laughed at $100 premiums...ROFL.

    Never mind what these cards are doing to the AMD lineup. No reason to lower cards, I'd plop them on top of the old ones too, since they are the only competition. When you're competing with yourself you just do HEDT like stuff, rather than shoving down the old lines. Stack on top for more margin and profits!

    $100 for future tech and a modest victory in everything or quite a bit more in some things, seems like a good deal to me for a chip we know is expensive to make (even the small one is Titan size).

    Oh, I don't count that fold@home crap, synthetic junk as actual benchmarks because you gain nothing from doing it but a high electric bill (and a hot room). If you can't make money from it, or play it for fun (game), it isn't worth benchmarking something that means nothing. How fast can you spit in the wind 100 times. Umm, who cares. Right. Same story with synthetics.
  • mapesdhs - Thursday, September 27, 2018 - link

    It's future tech that cannot deliver *now*, so what's the point? The performance just isn't there, and it's a pretty poor implementation of what they're boasting about anyway (I thought the demos looked generally awful, though visual realism is less something I care about now anyway, games need to better in other ways). Fact is, the 2080 is quite a bit more expensive than a new 1080 Ti for a card with less RAM and no guarantee these supposed fancy features are going to go anywhere anyway. The 2080 Ti is even worse; it has the speed in some cases, but the price completely spoils the picture, where I am the 2080 Ti is twice the cost of a 1080 Ti, with no VRAM increase either.

    NVIDIA spent the last 5 years pushing gamers into high frequency displays, 4K and VR. Now they're trying to do a total about face. It won't work.
  • lenghui - Thursday, September 20, 2018 - link

    Thanks for rushing the review out. BTW, the auto-play video on every AT page has got to stop. You are turning into Tom's Hardware.
  • milkod2001 - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    They are both owned by Purch. Marketing company responsible for those annoying auto play videos and the lowest crap possible From the web section. They go with motto: Ad clicks over anything. Don't think it will change anytime soon. Anand sold his soul twice to Apple and also his web to Purch.
  • mapesdhs - Thursday, September 27, 2018 - link

    One can use Ublock Origin to prevent those jw-player vids.

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