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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  • Santoval - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - link

    The problem is that it does not bring those things to the current table but is going to bring them to a future table. Essentially they expect you to buy a graphics cards that no current game can support its advanced features merely on faith that it both will deliver them in the future *and* that they will be will be worth the very high premium.

    If there is one ultimate unwritten rule when buying computers, computer parts or anything really, it must be this one : Never buy anything based on promises of *future* capabilities - always make your purchasing decisions based on what the products you buy can deliver *now*. All experienced computer and console consumers, in particular, must have that maxim engraved on their brain after having been burnt by so many broken promises.
  • Writer's Block - Monday, October 1, 2018 - link

    That is certainly true; 'we promise', politicians and companies selling their shit use it a lot... And break it about as often.
  • Inteli - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - link

    It's not that the price increase wasn't warranted, at least from the transistor count perspective, it's that there's not a lot to show for it.

    Many more transistors...concentrated in Tensor cores and RTX cores, which aren't being touched in current games. The increased price is for a load of baggage that will take at least a year to really get used (and before you say it, 3 games is not "really getting used"). We're used to new GPUs performing better in current games for the same price, not performing the same in current games for the same price (and I'm absolutely discounting everything before 2008 because that was 10 years ago and the expectations of what a new μArch should bring have changed).

    I get the whole "future of gaming" angle you're pushing, and it's a perfectly valid reason to buy these new GPUs, but don't act like an apples-to-apples comparison of performance *right now* is the "wrong way of looking at it". How the card performs right now is an important metric for a lot of people, and will influence their decision. Especially when we're talking a potential price difference of $100+ (with sales on 1080 Ti's, and FE 2080 prices). Obviously there isn't a valid comparison for the 2080 Ti, but anyone who can drop $1300 on a GPU probably doesn't care too much about the price tag.
  • Flunk - Thursday, September 20, 2018 - link

    Nvidia is charging what they are because they have no competition at the top end. That's it, nothing else. They're taking in the cash today in preparation for having to price more competitively later.
  • just4U - Thursday, September 20, 2018 - link

    Flunk, we are talking Nvidia here.. typically speaking they don't lower prices to compete.. Sometimes they bump to high and to few bite.. but that's about it. The last time they lowered prices to compete was the 400 series but they'd just come off getting zonked by amd for basically 2 generations.. and when they went to the 500s series it was fairly competitive with amd.. (initially they were better but Amd continued to improve their 5000/6000 series.. til it was consistently beating Nvidia.. did they lower prices? NO.. not one bit..)

    TNT cards were competitive and cheap.. but once Nvidia knocked off all other contenders (aside from AMD) and started in with their geforce line they have always carried premiums regardless competition or not.
  • eddman - Thursday, September 20, 2018 - link

    GTX 280, launched at $650 because they thought AMD couldn't do much. AMD came up with 4870. What happened? Nvidia cut the card's price to $500 a mere month after launch. So yes, they do cut prices to compete.
  • Dragonstongue - Thursday, September 20, 2018 - link

    13.6 and 18.6 (bln transistor estimated) die size of 454/754mm2 (2080/2080Ti) 12nm
    7.2 and 12 (bln transistor estimated) die size of 314/471 (1070/1080-1080Ti/TitanX) 16nm

    yes it is "expensive" no doubt about that, but, it is Nv we are talking about, there is a reason they are way over valued as they are, they produce as cheaply as possible and rack them up in price as much as they can even when their actual cards shipped are no where near the $$$ figure they report as it should.

    also, if anything else, they always have and always will BS the numbers to make themselves ALWAYS appear "supreme" no matter if it is actual power used, TDP, API features, or transistor count etc etc etc.

    as far as the ray tracing crap...if they used an open source style so that everyone can use the exact same ray tracing engine so they can be directly compared to see how good they are or not then it might be "worthy" but, it is Nv they are and continue to be "it has to be our way or you don't play" type approach...I remember way back when with PhysX (which Nv boug out Ageia to do it) when Radeons were able to use it (before Nv took the ability away) they ran circles around comparable Nv cards AND used less cpu and power to do it.

    Nv does not want to get "caught" in their BS, so they find nefarious ways around everything, and when you have a massive amount of $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ floating everything you do, it is not hard for them to "buy silence" Intel has done so time and time again, Nv does so time and time again........blekk

    DLSS or whatever the fk they want to call it, means jack shit when only specific cards will be able to use it instead of being a truly open source initiative where everyone/everything gets to show how good they are (or not) and also stand to gain benefit from others putting effort into making it as good as it possibly can be...there is a reason why Nv barely supports Vulkan, because they are not "in control" it is way too easy to "prove them wrong"..funny because Vulkan has ray tracing "built in"

    IMO if they are as good as they claim they are, they would do everything in the light to show they are "the best" not find ways to "hide" what they are doing.....their days are numbered....hell their stock price just took a hit....good IMHO because they should not be over $200 anyways, $100, maybe, but they absolutely should not be valued above others whos financials and product shipment as magnitudes larger.
  • Spunjji - Friday, September 21, 2018 - link

    Remind me why consumers should give a rats-ass about die size, other than its visible effects of price and performance.

    If you want to sell me a substantially larger, more expensive chip that performs a little better for a lot more money, a better reason is needed than "maybe it will make some games that aren't out yet really cool in a way that we refuse to give you any performance indications about".

    Screw that.
  • Writer's Block - Monday, October 1, 2018 - link

    They look poor value; good performance, sure. But a 1080ti offers the same for much less.
    They want me to buy promises! Seriously, promises are never worth the paper they are printed on - digital or the real stuff.
  • Writer's Block - Monday, October 1, 2018 - link

    Oh and, yeh agree.

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