The AMD Radeon VII Review: An Unexpected Shot At The High-Endby Nate Oh on February 7, 2019 9:00 AM EST
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.
We've known that Wolfenstein II enjoys its framebuffer, and to explain the obvious outlier first the Fury X's 4GB HBM1 simply isn't enough for smooth gameplay. The resulting performance is better conveyed by 99th percentile framerates, and even at 1080p the amount of stuttering renders the game unplayable.
Returning to the rest of the cards, Wolfenstein II's penchant for current-generation architectures (i.e. Turing, Vega) is again on display. Here, the Pascal-based GTX 1080 Ti FE isn't in the running for best-in-class, with the RTX 2080 taking pole and Radeon VII in a close second. Once again, the raw lead in average frametimes grows at lower resolutions, indicating that the Radeon VII is indeed a few shades slower than the reference RTX 2080, but judging from 99th percentile data the real-world difference is close to nil.
Compared to the RX Vega 64, the performance uplift is exactly 24% at 4K and 25% at 1440p, an amusing coincidence given the guidance of 25% given earlier.