Total War: Warhammer PC Performance Review
Published: 26th May 2016 | Source: OC3D | Price: |
Testing Methodology and CPU usage
Play testing Total War Warhammer was a long and difficult process, especially given many varying map types, battle types and a huge number of variables that could greatly affect the games performance.
When playing the game we found that while the game does perform a lot better than previously released Total War games, Warhammer does still have some performance issues, particularly when it comes to CPU usage.
Some maps are a lot more demanding than others but in pretty much all situations the CPU usage on our i7 6700K like the screenshot below, with a single CPU core at 100% usage while in battle with the other CPU cores seeing a lot less utilization.
On some maps performance is a lot better than others, with open Grassy maps in the Empire being significantly easier to run than some of the maps in the Dwarfen regions, with underground maps seeing performing a lot worse than above ground maps.
When testing the game we played one of the Total War Warhammer's Quest battles, allowing us to play a scene that was very repeatable over a large number of GPUs and a variety of settings.
Initially, we had tried a 2v2 custom battle with full-sized 20 unit armies, but with the AI ally and opponents changing their starting location and strategy with each playthrough we were not convinced that the data from this scene would be consistent enough to publish. This is why we used a Quest battle rather than a custom battle.
The Quest Battle that we played is Thorgrim Grudgebearer's Ambush at Thundering Falls, which was located underground and proved to be the most demanding location that we could play in the game.
(One of these cores are not like the others)
DirectX 12 Benchmark
We can see e that the performance of this game CPU wise will be heavily defined by the performance of a single CPU core, often limiting this games performance more than your GPU.
With one of DirectX 12's primary benefits being the reduction of CPU driver overhead the new API is expected to give the game a significant performance boost during regular gameplay.
Creative Assembly did provide us with access to an early access build of the game's DirectX 12 benchmark, but it is a standalone application and cannot be used with DirectX 11 for comparison purposes. The scene used in the benchmarking tool is one of the better performing maps in the game, making it a great tool to compare GPU performance but not representative of the games performance in certain maps.