Wolfenstein: The New Order Performance Review

Wolfenstein: The New Order is out on PC. It utilizes the id Tech 5 game engine and sports fast paced first-person shooter gameplay. We look at some video card performance, make some comparisons, and look at image quality as well. Can this game overcome the stigma associated with RAGE since its the same engine?

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Video Card Comparison Performance

On this page we are now going to look at video card performance comparison between AMD and NVIDIA. We will start with XFX Radeon R9 290X DD versus GeForce GTX 780 Ti. We will run at 2560x1600 with custom maximum settings between the two video cards.

Second, we will compare the AMD Radeon R98 280X and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770. When we evaluated those video cards we discovered something very different and learned more about how this game operates. The GeForce GTX 770 has 2GB of RAM on board, and the Radeon R9 280X has 3GB. We found that this game is sensitive to local video RAM capacity in the sense that it won't show graphics setting quality types depending on the RAM capacity. Even when trying to customize settings beyond what it allows, the game can exhibit terrible framerates, and even crash with an error message. We will talk more about that below.


XFX R9 290X vs. GTX 780 Ti

We are running at 2560x1600 with the custom maximum settings, this means maximum Max PPF and maximum screen-space reflections enabled. The R9 290X video card has 4GB of RAM and the GTX 780 Ti has 3GB. The maximum graphics settings worked just fine at 2560x1600 on both video cards.

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As we discovered on the previous page, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti is somewhat faster than the Radeon R9 290X in this game. GeForce GTX 780 Ti is 4.5% faster here. In terms of actual gameplay experience and performance, we could not tell or notice this difference while we actually played the game.

We had just as good of an experience on the 290X as we had on the GTX 780 Ti. Both video cards allow the game to be "maxed out" at 2560x1600 with performance to spare. This game is no burden for these high-end cards.


Radeon R9 280X vs. GeForce GTX 770

This is where things got complicated. First, we wanted to test performance at 1080p (1920x1080). Our displays we use, Dell 3007WFP's are 16:10 aspect ratio natively, i.e. 2560x1600 and then 1920x1200 for the native resolution. With any other game this has never been an issue to run those games at 1920x1080 with a 16:9 aspect ratio. Well, this game is very restrictive. This game only detected 16:10 aspect ratio support and would not let us set a 16:9 aspect ratio setting like 1920x1080 from within the games resolution setting. This has never been a problem with other games, but this game is much more restrictive. There is probably a way to edit a config file and force it, but we like it if we can easily set these options from within the game. This game offers no aspect ratio options, and only allowed us to run at 1920x1200, not 1920x1080.

Therefore we set the game to 1920x1200 and found out we were restricted yet again in another way. On the GeForce GTX 770, which has 2GB of VRAM on board we found "Ultra" quality setting was no longer there! That's right, it was gone, we could only set the quality to the highest setting of "High" on the GeForce GTX 770, even at 1920x1200. Now, "Custom" still existed, so we attempted to set a custom "Ultra" setting that matched Ultra settings. When we ran the game we experienced horrible framerates in the single digits, and even a crash to desktop with an error box saying the video card doesn't meet the hardware requirements.

We learned from this that video cards with 2GB of VRAM are limited in the graphics options you can set for this game. The AMD Radeon R9 280X video card with 3GB of VRAM had the "Ultra" setting show up just fine and the video card ran just fine at "Ultra."

With all this in mind we tried playing at 1920x1200 with "High" settings on the GTX 770 and performance was well, fast. It was flat lined at 60 FPS the entire time, so that setting is no way a performance burden for the GTX 770, or the R9 280X for that matter. So, we bumped the game up to 2560x1600, still using "High" settings, to compare both cards so at least it would be a little more demanding.

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As you can see, both cards are more than playable at 2560x1600 with "High" settings enabled. Once again, the NVIDIA GPU is faster in this game compared to the AMD GPU. Note though that only the AMD Radeon R9 280X could be turned up to "Ultra" settings at 2560x1600 and 1920x1200, and it was playable. The GeForce GTX 770 could not do it simply because it had less VRAM, 2GB, which limits the graphics settings in this game.