Developed and published by Ubisoft, Far Cry 5 arrives this week on PC, PlayStation and Xbox, marking the fifth installment to the main series and the 11th Far Cry release overall. The latest iteration should be familiar if you've played previous releases of this open world first-person shooter. Without saying much about the gameplay before we get into its performance, Far Cry 5 is set in the fictional Hope County, Montana and touts new features including a character creator as well as an emphasis on melee weapons/close-quarters combat.
As with several previous releases, Far Cry 5 has been built using the Dunia Engine, a modified version of the CryEngine. In the past, Dunia has had issues with textures popping in and unfortunately I've already noticed quite a bit of this when playing with high-end GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia. So, that's annoying and does detract from the experience at times, but overall the game is visually impressive and for an open world title it does appear quite well optimized.
Speaking of optimization, unlike many titles these days, Far Cry 5 doesn't have GameWorks plastered all over it. Instead, this is an AMD sponsored title, though I would consider it a neutral performer overall and it doesn't appear to be handy-capping Nvidia users.
Also read: Far Cry 5 (gameplay) review
AMD says it has worked closely with Ubisoft to ensure that Far Cry 5 is well optimized with excellent visual quality, high frame rates and low latency. The game supports several advanced Radeon RX Vega-specific features such as Rapid Packed Math, Shader Intrinsics and Radeon FreeSync 2, but none of these impact GeForce users negatively.
To play Far Cry 5, Ubisoft recommends that you have a Core i7-4770 or Ryzen 5 1600 processor along with a GeForce GTX 970 or Radeon R9 290X -- fairly heavy recommendations, but you can also get away with a Core i5-2400 or AMD FX-6300 along with a GTX 670 or R9 270 according to the official specs. Far Cry 5 is DirectX 11-only but that's not terribly surprising given the game engine.
For testing, AMD supplied us with its latest Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 18.3.4 which is now publicly available and this is the red team's Far Cry 5-ready driver. At this point, Nvidia is yet to release a game-ready driver for this title, so please keep that in mind. Once that driver is available we will update the results if necessary.
Benchmarking Far Cry 5 has been made easy by the fact that there is a built-in benchmark which appears to do a good job of replicating the kind of performance you can expect to see when playing the game. The benchmark pass runs for 60 seconds and reports the minimum, average and maximum frames per second. However, we're manually recording the FPS performance so we can report the 1% low frame time result, rather than the minimum frames per second figure, though the frame time data is converted into an FPS metric.
The game offers four visual quality presets: Low, Normal, High and Ultra. We used the Ultra quality preset for our 1080p, 1440p and 4K benchmarks but I've also done some additional testing using Normal quality with some older graphics cards. We tested 50 different graphics cards in total so there's loads of data to go over. Let's get into it...
At 1080p we see some pretty decent numbers from the mid-range models. The R9 390 and GTX 970 both averaged just over 60fps and despite this being an AMD-sponsored title the GTX 970 and 980 beat the Radeon competition. The Fury X also looks respectable despite the GTX 980 Ti offering greater performance.
As expected, however, the R9 380 does beat the GTX 960 by a comfortable margin. For smoother gameplay, the R7 370 and GTX 950 will require a lower quality preset, but the performance they're offering with the ultra quality settings is surprisingly good.
For the new current-gen GPUs, right away we see the RX and RX Vega optimization that AMD spoke about. It's not often that we see the RX 560 beating the GTX 1050 and matching the 1050 Ti, but that's the case here. The RX 570 is also hot on the heels of the GTX 1060 3GB while the RX 580 configured with either 8GB or 4GB of memory outpaced the 6GB 1060.
It gets even more interesting as we get to the Vega graphics cards. Here Vega 56 can be seen not only destroying the GTX 1070 by a 22% margin but also beating the 1070 Ti and GTX 1080. That's an incredible result and while I recognize that Nvidia will no doubt improve performance with an optimized driver, I can't imagine they'll find enough for the 1070 to match Vega 56.
This also shows by Vega 56 is the gem of the Vega lineup, the much more expensive Vega 64 air-cooled model is just 4% faster and the super expensive liquid cooled version, just 5% faster.