Grand Theft Auto V IQ Features Performance - Part 3

In our second to last in-depth evaluation into Grand Theft Auto V on the PC we dive into each feature and find out how demanding each feature truly is. We look at FXAA, MSAA, Reflection MSAA, TXAA, as well as Tessellation, Grass, and Extended Distance Scaling performance.


Today we have begun the journey into evaluating and comparing the performance of every graphics feature supported in Grand Theft Auto V. This installment today continues our in-depth coverage into this new game which pushes GPUs harder than any game before it.

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Let's start from the top, where you should start reading if you have just begun this series of evaluations.

Grand Theft Auto V Video Card Performance Preview - Start your reading here, this summarizes the in-game graphics options and preliminary feature testing.

Grand Theft Auto V Single GPU Performance Review Part 1 - Continue here where we dive into single-GPU performance and find out what settings are best playable on a lot of video cards.

Grand Theft Auto V Multi-GPU Performance Review Part 2 - Then continue here as we dive into multi-GPU performance and find what is playable with SLI and CrossFire and 4K resolutions.

Today in this chapter we are going to evaluate specific feature performance comparisons in GTA V. This game has so many features and options and combination of options possible that there was simply too much to cram into one single article. We are therefore going to break up this last part of performance and image quality into two sections. It simply is the best way to bring you all this information instead of either delaying reviews for a long while, or trying to cram it all into one evaluation potentially missing on many key points.

In this first part we are going to look at AA performance in all its forms available, including Reflection MSAA, and including VRAM utilization. We are also going to look at the performance comparisons that different levels of Grass make. We will find out if Tessellation even makes a difference at all, and finally we will summarize with a look at the Extended Distance View option and its impact on performance.

In the second part next week, and the final part at that, we will cover Shadow performance in all its possible combinations including Soft Shadows, High Resolution Shadows, and Extended Distance Shadows. There are a lot of shadow options, and those settings alone constitute almost an entire evaluation. We will also include some CPU utilization testing with TITAN X SLI and summarize with plenty of image quality comparison screenshots.

As you can see, this last article is quite large in scope, so breaking it up makes a lot of sense and lets us better focus on each feature better.

Test Setup

For this evaluation today we are going to use a GeForce GTX 980 and XFX Radeon R9 290X Double Dissipation video card for evaluation. Both video cards run at the stock reference clock speeds for each GPU. We are going to directly compare feature performance between each feature and see the burden each subsequent setting takes over the other on said card. We will also make observations on which video card is doing a better job with each feature in regards to demand.

We will focus on these in-game settings in the game: FXAA, MSAA, TXAA, Reflection MSAA, Grass Quality, Tessellation, Extended Distance Scaling (found under the Advanced Graphics Options.)

We are using the latest drivers, Catalyst 15.4 Beta, and GeForce 350.12. We are also running the latest build of the game, Build 350.

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