Dark Souls 3 PC Performance Review

Dark Souls 3 PC Performance Review

Introduction  

The Dark Souls  series has had a very flavoured history on PC, with the original having what is generally described as a bad PC port while at the same time having a huge and loyal following on the platform.  

Many people describe Dark Souls as an unforgivably difficult game, but that is true it is also a game that is very fair with its difficulty. While Dark Souls is a game where you will die and die again it is also a game where there is a surprising amount of hope, allowing players to keep getting up and trying again and again until they eventually kill that boss or get to the next bonfire.    

One of the key aspects of Dark Souls is how differently the game can be played by different people, with some players tackling certain objectives in different orders to the sheer variety in the combat system that allows the use of Magic, Melee and ranged attacks, with every weapon type having its own unique playstyle and quirks.   

The console versions of Dark Souls 3 run at 30FPS, even then with some significant reported framerate drops in some areas, making it seem like the PC platform really is the place to play, where a more solid framerate can be achieved with variable graphical settings and powerful hardware.

In a game that is all about well-timed dodges and attacks framerate is very important, so how well does Dark Souls 3 perform on the PC platform?

 

 

Drivers 

For this game, we will be using the newest drivers that were available when the game released, which is Nvidia’s Game Ready Geforce 364.72 driver and AMD’s 16.4.1 driver, both of which are the most recent GPU drivers for either company. 

Test Setup  

We will be testing this game on our dedicated GPU test rig using the current flagship GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia. Both GPUs will be the reference design and will be running at stock settings. 

 

AMD R9 Fury X & Nvidia GTX 980Ti
Intel Core i7 6700K @ 4.7GHz
ASUS Maximus VIII Hero
G.Skill Ripjaws 4x4GB DDR4 3200MHz
Corsair HX1200i
Corsair H110i GT
Windows 10 x64 

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Nvidia GTX 980Ti (Left), AMD R9 Fury X (Right)

 

To represent AMD and Nvidia’s Mid-range GPU offerings we have decided to use the AMD R9 380 and the Nvidia GTX 960. Both of these GPUs will be the ASUS Strix models

Both of these GPUs offer very similar performance in most scenarios and come in at very similar price points, so it will be very interesting to see which GPU will come out on top. 

 

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Nvidia GTX 960(Left), AMD R9 380(Right)