Dying Light not only looks great visually but it also looks like a lot of fun -- at least for those who aren't having performance issues. Similar to what many users are reporting, we also experienced a massive fluctation in frame rates, where one minute we would be testing happily at 100fps and then the game's performance suddenly dips down to 40-50fps.
For example, we rotated slowly in the middle of a small room and Dying Light's frame rate went as high as 130fps and as low as 50fps when using Nvidia's flagship. That's a strangely large variation for what's happening in game and is what we believe is causing gamers so much grief.
The fluctuating frame rates on our GTX 980 aren't that noticeable as they don't dip below 40fps and for the most part never go below 50fps. However GPUs that only managed around 50fps in our benchmarks would often drop to 20fps or below, causing very noticeable frame rate lag. It's also worth noting that the same issue was seen on both AMD and Nvidia hardware
After further investigation we discovered the issue seemed to be the game's draw distance setting. As explained in our testing notes, this doesn't appear to have much of an impact indoors where we conducted our testing, so the performance as shown in our benchmark graphs is accurate with draw distance performance at 100%.
However, during a normal gaming session you'll likely find that once you hit ground level and walk outside frame rates will take a huge hit. Until Techland fixes this issue via a patch, our results should be treated as though the draw distance was set to 50%.
When it comes to CPU performance, those running a Core i5 or Core i7 processor won't have to bother with overclocking. It's possible to max out a GTX 980 at 1080p with a clock speed of around 3GHz. To achieve the same feat with an AMD FX CPU you'll want to aim for at least 4.5GHz.
When measuring CPU utilization with a Core i5-4690K we rarely saw more than 60% usage. For the most part it sat around the 50% mark. The first core was heavily utilized at around 90%, the second was more like 70%, while the third and fourth sat at 30%.
If you want to play Dying Light at 1080p we recommend either a R9 290 or GTX 970, while 1366x768 requires at least a GTX 660 or HD 7850. To run Dying Light at resolutions of 2560x1600 or above you'll need a R9 290X or GTX 980.
Until the next one, you can check out more PC gaming benchmark tests here, including GTA V, Far Cry 4, Battlefield Hardline, Evolve and more.