Watch Dogs Benchmarked, Performance Review

By Steve · 52 replies
May 26, 2014
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  1. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Wow, to be honest im shocked right now at the performance of both the cards and Processors. It looks like at least for a single GPU and for the multi-core processors the optimizations are fairly well done this round on this game which is something I was not expecting.

    Definitely will be picking this title up on PC, sounds like an awesome game and I will be ready to play it though from what I heard about the game I am a little worried.
  2. kingmustard

    kingmustard TS Member Posts: 18

    Hurry up, CrossFireX support :D
    GhostRyder and Arris like this.
  3. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 782   +235

    Thank you for simulating an FX-8320 by underclocking your FX-8350 to 3.5GHz.
  4. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Anyone using an Nvidia card should grab the 337.88 driver that dropped today. Makes a big difference.
    Very sharp looking game (haven't got too far into it), although there's still some driver optimization left on the table (GTX 780 SLI has a few hitches/lags)
  5. 4670k faster than FX

    There goes Ubi's 8 cores marketing :)
  6. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,038

    The 4670K is about as much of an 8-core CPU as the FX-8350 so not really.

    Also this is the best performance showing we have seen from the FX CPU's in a new game for quite some time.

    Does it make a big difference over the beta version we used? I haven't had a chance to check yet, will do soon.

    Not a problem we always test FX scaling. As expected the 500MHz made little difference.
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
  7. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Couldn't say TBH from personal experience. General feedback I've noted would indicate that this is the case though. My game arrived today at midday via courier, and I already had 337.88 installed by then.
    Other games such as Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider have pretty decent framerate (and fluidity) increases (over the 337.50 driver) , although a friend who is going through Wolfenstein at the moment said the new 337.88 is worse than the 337.50 from a gameplay perspective.

    SLI performance definitely has some wiggle room, since other profiles give a pretty good lift- but I'm assuming for testbench purposes you'd need to go with the official driver game profile. Hacks and workarounds generally fall outside of the review remit - as they should since they don't typify the official specification or user experience.
  8. And AMD just released the 14.6 Radeon beta driver for improved Watch Dogs performance :D
    Will you test with that one too, to see if it really helps?
  9. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,038

    I will certainly check it out, looking at the Nvidia driver right now.

    The driver isn't available yet but I will jump on it once AMD release it.

    UPDATE: Just checked the 337.88 WHQL drivers and the performance with the GTX 780 was exactly the same as the 337.50 BETA drivers. I was under the impression that they were the same driver, version 337.88 was just certified. Anyway performance in Watch Dogs goes unchanged.

    Given the performance that we saw from AMD and Nvidia I don't think either has much room for improvement. Multi-GPU performance is another matter but I don't see single card configs getting much faster. That said I am keen to check the AMD driver as they have had less time than Nvidia to prepare their drivers for this title.
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
    Burty117, GhostRyder and dividebyzero like this.
  10. havok585

    havok585 TS Booster Posts: 155   +27

    Maybe for 780 the performance is the same but the new WHQL is smoother, and has higher frame rates even than the last beta, 337.81 for videocarsd like 770, 760, 660.
  11. DJMIKE25

    DJMIKE25 TS Addict Posts: 174   +68

    Great Review. I am really loving this game so far. Thank you for testing the performance across a wide range of products.
    Steve likes this.
  12. Appreciate testing watch dogs,and also with new drivers later-on.
    What about Wolfestein new order?Ain't that should have been benched before watch dogs?!
  13. I'm a little confused as to where my Processor stands now that they updated the naming convention for the I5 and I7 processors. I bought my I5-2500K back when the I7-2600K was all the rage... now they have the I5-4650 and the I7-4770.... So I dont see the older terminology anywhere... can anyone elabortate on where I stand amongst the rest of these procs?
  14. Smoolio

    Smoolio TS Rookie

    Why is the 7990 listed in the test specs but there isn't any results for it? It it because it flat out crashes when starting the game like the 6990?
  15. robb213

    robb213 TS Maniac Posts: 330   +100

    I was a bit shocked to see that CPU overclocking did little to nothing overall, seeing how the game leans so heavily on it for a change. I'll have to fool around later checking out minimums between 4.5 and stock on my 3770k.

    Is this a particularly hot running game? I won't have a chance to play it on my 480 'till end of week.
  16. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    Not interested in the game but impressive results for AMD, nice review.
    Steve likes this.
  17. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Well it seems like ubisoft did a fine job in the overall performance areas of optimising for a wide range of processors and GPU's which is what matters. Fact is since you can match performance in the processor realms with both companies is a good thing and that the GPU's offer similar performance with their respected counterparts makes this a good thing for all.

    Now we just have to wait for CFX and better SLI support.

    I got the driver for my laptop yesterday but didn't notice anything that it brought yet. Ill have to try it but I intended to play it on my desktop which has AMD GPU's inside.
    Steve likes this.
  18. Game reviews: VG - 7.0, Euro 7.0, Poly - 8.0, GS - 8.0, IGN - 8.4

    Nothing bad with those reviews (other than the car chases) but its been hyped that much it may hurt sales so it could drop in price quickly.
  19. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    @SteveI guess the Watchdogs optimized Catalyst 14.6 beta driver from AMD came too late!

    Other than that though, another great benchmark! The game looks amazing and performs well.
  20. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Pretty pointless for the most part. The game isn't graphically challenging and has a hardcoded 60 f.p.s. cap
  21. Notuptome2004

    Notuptome2004 TS Rookie

    Thanks for doing this. currently my system is a Core i7 2600K with 16gb of ram and a GTX 480 and it is nice to know even on the best quality settings the game is very playable on this card so TY also I got the new drivers so that should also help
    Steve likes this.
  22. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,073   +219

    You know what, console ports can be a bad thing, but this game is for next gen consoles so I expected a heavy optimization hand.
  23. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 2,869   +2,038

    Havok are you talking about Watch Dogs? I have now checked out the 760 and 660 and the frame rate is exactly the same so not sure how its smoother. Seems to play the same to me. Again I am pretty sure they are the same driver.

    As DBZ pointed out the game is locked at 60fps and I don’t think there is a way to circumvent the cap. It would be pretty pointless showing you a game where most cards are limited to 60fps so we skipped it. Other than that the game play and graphics seemed very average.

    Although we didn’t test it the Core i5-2500K should be as fast as the i5-4650K in Watch Dogs, it’s almost guaranteed. Worst case it is 1 – 2fps slower. Given that the Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge and Haswell stuff all performs much the same we are primarily focusing on Haswell now.

    If the CPU can max out the R9 290X at 2.5GHz (which it seems the 4770K could) then overclocking can’t and won’t help.

    Days after we ran out tests and the article was live, yeah a bit late ;) I am looking at the 4.6 performance now.

    UPDATE: Just tested the R9 290X and it's 2fps faster with the new 4.6 Beta driver. The 270X was just 1fps faster so that is well within the error testing margin. I think its safe to say the driver we tested with and the new 4.6 Beta driver offer much the same performance in Watch Dogs. I will check out CF soon to see if it works now.
    Last edited: May 27, 2014
    Jad Chaar likes this.
  24. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    So much for the "25% improvement" @ 1080P... I am excited about the CF results because AMD states a 92% improvement :D (at least at 4K) :D! Thanks for this Steve!

    Any improvements on the nVidia side with the 337.88 driver?

    If anyone is curious, these are the releases notes for the 14.6 beta driver.

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