The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings GPU & CPU Performance

By on June 3, 2011, 4:23 AM

Hot on the heels of Dragon Age II's somewhat disappointing March debut, CD Projekt Red has quenched the thirst of role-playing buffs with the sequel to its critically acclaimed RPG, The Witcher. Released on May 17, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings was greeted with much fanfare, earning a score of 88/100 on Metacritic and a user score of 8.7/10.

We had high hopes for The Witcher 2's graphical fidelity, though we were surprised and a bit disappointed to learn that it's strictly a DirectX 9 title. This has become somewhat of a trend for 2011's PC games, as you know Crysis 2 shipped solely with DirectX 9 support, though Crytek has promised to deliver DirectX 11 with a patch sometime this year. Unfortunately, CD Projekt also embraced another unsavory trend of late by shipping a bug-riddled product.

Considering the initial performance issues, we decided to delay our performance review until some of the major kinks were ironed out. That time has come and we're happy to bring you our full performance test, complete with nearly two dozen video card configurations running The Witcher 2 with various quality settings in three popular resolutions.

Read the complete review.




User Comments: 30

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Guest said:

Getting around 70 FPS on Ultra in 1920x1080 with just one of my 6970s, with Uber and SSAO off. Waiting for Crossfire support.

KRayner96 said:

Hey Steve, great article. One of the oddities I did notice in the game was the strange 'cross-hatching' effect seen on the edges of shadows. I thought it was a bug/driver related problem at first but it turns out this is simply the way the game handles the edges of shadows. Perhaps it is a lot less strenuous on the hardware utilising this method over the more traditional 'soft edge' rendering you generally see. I checked your screenshots and see that you have the same thing so it's definately a game thing.

Jet Blazer said:

I guess we have our new "but can it run Witcher 2?" game for 2011.

Guest said:

Why the whining isn't that what "true" PC gamers want? Games that bring their uber graphic cards on their knees? How much time we got until developers ask for SLI or Crossfire set ups as standard because they are lazy asses?

A game that achieves like 21 fps on a Radeon 6990 card in max settings is just lol and in beta in my eyes... There were times coding was art, now it's all about SDK crap and unoptimized BS.

Dev A: "Hey Joe this shadow routine we wrote mate gives like 2 fps when enabled?"

Dev B: "So what mate in two years time graphics card will catch up, we are just ahead of our time. PC gamers will love it, leave it as is."

Dev A: "I guess you are right there will always be ****** willing to spend $2000-3000 on custom cooled PCs with $700 graphics cards just to brag in forums that they can enable this option."

Guest said:

Caution : Lazy programmer detected !!!

Guest said:

I like the game but it's obvious that ubersampling was added last with out much testing. Looks slightly better enabled but runs like s***. Take a look at crysis 1, looks way better with everything on and runs way better. I love CDP for bringing us this great game but lazy programming is the right term here.

Olo1602 said:

today 1.2 patch will be available.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Olo1602 said:

today 1.2 patch will be available.

I was hoping there would be an "and..."

Anyway here are the patch notes... nothing to do with performance...

http://en.thewitcher.com/patch1-2/

Guest said:

"Ubersamplink" is just SSAA - it has been there for ages. Basically, it renders the game at 4X resolution. ANY modern game rendered in such mode would kill the most powerful GPUs available now.

I think CDPR made marketing mistake giving such a vague name to this feature (most people would think that this option has nothing to do with AA and seeing massive performance drop blame developers for being lazy).

The other CDPR mistake is making it enabled by default on "Ultra" preset.

There should be additional preset called "Uber" (or whatever) with Ubersampling on, and big warning message should be displayed when selecting it, stating that ultra-heavy AA in Uber mode will most likely kill your GPU.

otester said:

After the way they've been treating file-sharers they can go to hell!

otester said:

Also reviews should be done on release, this makes developers think twice before releasing shoddy products.

Guest said:

I like to see pictures of the CPU usage in the task manager for this kind of article.

Guest said:

I can't help feel that this DirectX 9 "trend" as you call it originated from some Legion of Doom type sort of meeting between epic game developers.

I guess it's not all that bad though. Hopefully though it will be a short lived "trend".

herpaderp said:

otester said:

After the way they've been treating file-sharers they can go to hell!

So after deciding to go after illegal sharing of their work, despite releasing a DRM-free game, they deserve to be shafted? Sounds more like you're mad that they might come after you one of these days :V

otester said:

herpaderp said:

otester said:

After the way they've been treating file-sharers they can go to hell!

So after deciding to go after illegal sharing of their work, despite releasing a DRM-free game, they deserve to be shafted? Sounds more like you're mad that they might come after you one of these days :V

IPR is anti-freedom and anti-free market.

If you're into tyranny then there's not much more to say.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

IPR is anti-freedom and anti-free market.

If you're into tyranny then there's not much more to say.

Quite possibly the most ignorant ,ill conceived thought I have ever seen seen posted here.

here is some tyranny for you

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khmer_Rouge

I am surprised though that you didn't drag out the troll favorite 'draconian'...or were you getting to that?

Guest said:

@red1776

Do you have some kind of troll detecting sensors ? Just viewing your posts, most of them are "Ahaa, a troll, ..." followed by posts of a few buttheads "Let's kick his ***, it will be fun ..."

I think you deserve the word "Troll" more than others in this forum. Because your posts are not related to the topic and won't help. You are just raising flaming wars to make people attention to you and increase your post count. If that's your problem I can ask mods to lend you a few.

Please stop this madness kiddie.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

@red1776

Do you have some kind of troll detecting sensors ? Just viewing your posts, most of them are "Ahaa, a troll, ..." followed by posts of a few buttheads "Let's kick his ***, it will be fun ..."

I think you deserve the word "Troll" more than others in this forum. Because your posts are not related to the topic and won't help. You are just raising flaming wars to make people attention to you and increase your post count. If that's your problem I can ask mods to lend you a few.

Please stop this madness kiddie.

Yes....no, no , no, go ahead, and who cares. I have a mailbox full of thank you's that disprove your uninformed opinions. now hush junior.

Guest said:

@Previous Guest, I wonder if you have checked red's posts at all, to me he is very helpful xD

Guest said:

Very information article. Been looking for exactly this information and did not find it until now.

The High/Ultra (sans Uber) is interesting. Using a GPU monitor i'm not seeing any difference in GPU Vid Mem usage when switching between High and Ultra.

At first I really didn't like cinematic depth of field, but I have to say, from towers and looking down roads, this setting really looks stunning.

Zecias said:

otester said:

herpaderp said:

otester said:

After the way they've been treating file-sharers they can go to hell!

So after deciding to go after illegal sharing of their work, despite releasing a DRM-free game, they deserve to be shafted? Sounds more like you're mad that they might come after you one of these days :V

IPR is anti-freedom and anti-free market.

If you're into tyranny then there's not much more to say.

how would you like to work and not get paid?

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

how would you like to work and not get paid?

Guest said:

Although I agree with a few of the users with the assertion that it may be inefficient programming at some level, but I for one like to see a game come out that at max settings can bring even the best rigs to their knees. Not only does it push for the hardware to be better, but also if you only are able to use low or mid settings at launch, and you upgrade later and re-play the game at now top settings you are then rewarded with those beautiful graphics the developers intended. Also, forcing developers to target only mid-rage hardware out currently potentially stifles creativity...

That's my 2 cents at least...

Guest said:

Duke Nukem Forever benchmarks please!

Guest said:

i wonder if they developed TW2 using DX11... IT WILL PUTS ALL OTHER AAA GAMES A SHAME!!!

Guest said:

Its just a bloody shame that one cannot play W2 on a computer that had no problems while running Oblivion.

Guest said:

Please Techspot, include an Intel dual core processors (e.g. Intel Core i3 2100) in the CPU performance benchmark to see how Intel dual cores processor perform compared to others.

Guest said:

Thanks for the results, have been using as reference for future purchases.

Only bummed testing did not involve the intel gulftowns (hexacores) I7-980x =(. If CPU scaling is that much of a factor, kinda surprised 990x was not on here (smaller/newer technology, 12mb cache) other than non-mainstream/cost issues (who are we kidding, these are $500+ video cards when you can run TW2 on $150 GPUs)). If people are shelling out that kind of dough to kill time, ie high quality $500+ videocards, $100+ CPU coolers, $100+ aftermarket enclosures, multiple $300+ LCDs, an unknown amount of time lost due to testing/fiddling around... what people would pay for productivity/multitasking (and a little gaming wont hurt!). I most certainly see no reason for compromise when I can justify a xxx GPU, running on my workstation.

Regardless, good to see I've invested on futureproofing (my workstation, also runs TW2, DA2, etc, just fine):

Sager 9280 laptop (X58 chipset)

Desktop I7-960 CPU in laptop form factor (upgradeable to 990X)

Nvidia GTX285 (upgradeable to 485)

12GB RAM (upgradeable to 24GB)

Operating System Drive: Raid0 intel x25 SSDs x2

Data Drive: SATA Western Digital Scorpio Blue 1tb.

Guest said:

What is the rest of your system? I just bought parts for a new PC (HD 6970, i7 2600, 8GB RAM 1600). Would be awesome if I could get around 70fps on 1920*1200.

Guest said:

Very poor saying its runs in dx9

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