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2016 Hardware Benchmark - DCS World 1.5.x


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Thanks once more. Now nobody should miss the tl;dr section. ;)

 

Do you have a chance to give a GTX 780 (withoute TI) a test? Would be interesting to see how that compares. :)

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...I know you purists probably cringe at people like me buying pre-builds, but I just can't put the whole thing together myself without screwing something up! I'm looking at getting the following (https://www.pccasegear.com/products/34077), and would be really curious about other opinions on 4k playability (let's assume I also buy a good g-synch etc monitor as well) with a 980Ti. I understand it's a way off being current 1080 smooth, but what luck are others having at 4K? This is a great benchmark for me to come to my own conclusions, but others must be exposing comparable rigs to other DCS scenarios.

Hey Wizz,

 

glad I could help you out. Actually, in my work we do professionally work with PCCG and the aforementioned rig is a well balanced PC indeed. A lot of power and the right will soar through 4K like it's nothing. It also possesses a nice overclocking potential so there is a way to even further increase performance of the rig!

 

 

what would be the most uber components would you suggest to get right now?

This setup would be a good balance between price and performance for DCS for 4K gaming:

 

- CPU: Intel Core i7 6700K

- ASUS Maximus VIII Hero motherboard

- RAM: 2x8GB DDR3-3200 Corsair Vengeance LPX C16 (or similiar)

- SSD: Intel SSD750 400GB drive or 2x256GB SATA6GB/s in RAID0

- GPU: GeForce GTX 980 Ti (ASUS Strix, Gigabyte WindForce 3X, MSI Gaming 6G)

- Chassis: Fractal Design Define S

- PSU: Corsair RM650 (or any renown 650W 80Plus Gold or better)

- Cooling: EK-XLC Predator 360 (inql. QDC) + pre-filled water block for your GPU

 

It's pointless to invest more money in e.g. GTX Titan X or Haswell-E platform for DCS. Spend the money on good CPU cooling, power supply and chassis as these parts will stick with you the longest.

 

These are just my 2 cents. You could save additional 100 USD/EUR by choosing i5 6600K instead.

 

Thanks for all your effort.

 

Maybe I'm going too far, but.....

 

What about SLI/CrossFire and/or multi monitor setup.

What would be the impact on FPS?

Hey grefte,

 

I will try CFX on a 295X2 and hopefully SLI on GTX 970 (but no promises on the latter).

 

5.6 Multi-monitor gaming performance analysis:

The purpose of this test is to test out the impact of the multi-monitor high FOV display setup on the general FPS performance. As for the multi monitor setup I did try it out (3x FHD = 5760x1080) and was surprises how demanding this is, despide lower megapixel count (6.2MPix vs. 8.3MPix) compared to 4K. Very large FOV, which is caused with "3 Monitor" option literally drops performance to the floor.

"1 Monitor" (WALL) option works perfectly and within expectations - it performs equally good as the single-monitor setup at comparable (total) resolution.

sEQDjWQl.jpg

UKaUmzel.jpg

My findings were:

- GTX 780 Ti, GTX 970 and GTX 980 Ti: they all perform pretty much exactly the same - around 38FPS (9FPS min ; 66FPS max)

- There must be a bottleneck somewhere... Not sure if it's CPU bound, GPU arch bound or DCS engine limitation.

- I tried further overclocking the CPU but didn't get much better, maybe 2.5 FPS better on average (in the from 38FPS to ~ 40FPS)

- Doesn't appear to be CPU bound, at least not frequency wise. Has to be DCS engine limitation or simply GPUs cannot cope with number of polys on the screen

- I tried GPU overclocking but also only did *maybe* 1-2FPS better on average

- I observed GPU video ram usage - on 4K it never goes above 2.8GB with general preset at High.

- I tried lowering Trees Visibility, Lowering Preload Radius, Disabling shadows and HDR: No real improvement, altogether maybe 4-5 FPS better performance on average.

- I tried "3 Monitor" option then on a single 4K resolution screen (8.3MPix image) and results we're better - around 45 FPS average (10FPS min ; 94FPS max) - but most likely due to smaller FOV. I was getting frustrated by then...

 

Then came the big revelation - the power draw of a system with an overclocked (1400MHz GPU Titan X) used to be up to 380W throughtout the majority of the benchmark. With 4K "3 Monitor" and everything on HIGH settings it only reaches this value for a very short period of time, otherwise it's somewhere between 230-260W. But... When main quality PRESET is set to MEDIUM the power draw is constantly over 300W and average FPS goes sky high instantly! On LOW preset the power draw never drops below 320W. This means the GPU is being starved.

 

rBEkuwU.png

 

I strongly believe there is something with the DCS 1.5 engine not being able to feed the GPU in time when running 3 screens in high FOV ("3 Monitors" profile) WALL mode. :pilotfly:

 

Bottom line with high-FOV "3 Monitor preset" multi-monitor setup (BOX): It's playable at butter smooth FPSs for sure however one needs to set general quality PRESET to MEDIUM or LOW!

 

Bottom line with "1 Monitor preset" multi-monitor setup (WALL): Such setup performs equally good as the single-monitor setup at comparable (total) resolution. Therefore it's possible to build a cheap large, high-resolution screen out of smaller panels.

 

I have also update the lessions learned (tl;dr) with lession no. #8:

8. Multi-monitor WALL setup - with 'regular' FOV (field-of-view, e.g. "1 Monitor preset within the game settings) - performs equally good as the single-monitor setup at comparable (total) resolution. Therefore it's possible to build a cheap large, high-resolution screen out of smaller panels.

9. Multi-monitor BOX setup - with high FOV (field-of-view, e.g. "3 Monitor" preset within the game settings) - heavily taxes the FPS, regardless of your graphics card, most likely because of the DCS 1.5 engine limitation. A workaround is to set the MEDIUM graphics preset to enjoy high FPS.

- - - - - - - - - - -

 

Thanks once more. Now nobody should miss the tl;dr section. ;)

 

Do you have a chance to give a GTX 780 (withoute TI) a test? Would be interesting to see how that compares. :)

Sounds good :) I have one GTX 780 non-Ti at work, I might give it a spin tomorrow.

 

This is fantastic. I'd love to see more CPU architecture testing though as I'm running an old i5 2500K at 4.2GHz with 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3 and am wondering what kind of performance this will give relative to Skylake.

 

I have an 2550K and 2600K somewhere at work, need to dig out my old Z77 mobo and I will give it a spin as well!

 

Thank you very much for this test! I see you test RAM with a total amount of 16Gb, could you run a test with 8Gb? I see some users says that they have better FPS with 16 instead of 8, true?

This should not be the case. More memory should always run faster, provided that the memory settings remain the same. But the system never exceeded ~ 5GB of usage in any of my test. 8GB should yield the same performance however I would always recommend 16GB if money allows. This way you can have you work running in the background :)


Edited by tiborrr
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Thanks for this! I need to conduct some comparison benchmarking myself, at some point.

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@Axion: I can send you the track file if you wish to contribute:

- Use FRAPS, set recording time length to 305s

- Set FRAPS recording trigger to middle mouse button (this also kills the TrackIR head movement in replay which is what we want here)

- Set the same settings as described in #1 post.

- Load the replay track, trigger the recording button and click "FLY"

- Do not move the mouse after clicking FLY!

- After 305 seconds the recording is complete :)

 

P.S.: Just tried the theory that the GPUs might be bandwidth limited in high FOV scenario. Plugged in the R9 Nano with 512GB/s bandwidth - exactly the same outcome. So it must be the DCS engine...

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Really disappointed to see how CPU bound frame-rates are. This does not bode well for VR performance where keeping frames over 75fps is crucial.

 

Is there any testing you can do to see what settings can raise the lower CPU bound. Everything set to LOW and Traffic:OFF maybe.

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Tiborr, Im surprised thats theres such little difference between a 970 and 980ti even at 4k! I think thos may be due to the fact the the F15C quick mission is relatively less demanding than say flyibg over las vegas.

 

Not sure if you have the nevada map but could you retest 4K with a much more graphically intense mission. Say flying over Las Vegas? I suspect the 970 may tank in comparison.

 

Thanks.

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Really disappointed to see how CPU bound frame-rates are. This does not bode well for VR performance where keeping frames over 75fps is crucial.

 

Is there any testing you can do to see what settings can raise the lower CPU bound. Everything set to LOW and Traffic:OFF maybe.

I may try all the options but please do understand this is huge amount of work. For starters I can try settings you mentioned, but I don't think I can afford the time to test each setting individually (snow is here, winter climbing begins :music_whistling:)

 

Tiborr, Im surprised thats theres such little difference between a 970 and 980ti even at 4k! I think thos may be due to the fact the the F15C quick mission is relatively less demanding than say flyibg over las vegas.

 

Not sure if you have the nevada map but could you retest 4K with a much more graphically intense mission. Say flying over Las Vegas? I suspect the 970 may tank in comparison.

 

Thanks.

That's the thing - I don't believe there's any performance difference even on the Vegas map (which I don't have actually), because the fillrate or bandwidth doesn't seem to be problem here, but rather the DCS 1.5 engine. This is why I belive the performance drops to the ground with "3 Monitor" high FOV setting - the engine simply cannot process all the elements in time and is bottle-necking the GPU, which has nothing to do in the mean while (hence lower power draw as mentioned above). Graphics wise DCS 1.5 is not a demanding title compared to current standards.

 

Large number of elements/poligons is something that hurts all GPUs equally, at least in 1.5.x.

 

If ED is willing to send me a license for Nevada map (they can revoke it later) I can do this testing as well. I am confident DCS 2.0 will fare better.

 

Best Regards,

Niko

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If ED is willing to send me a license for Nevada map (they can revoke it later) I can do this testing as well. I am confident DCS 2.0 will fare better.

 

For what's it's worth, I think this is a great idea. Niko, winter climbing is cancelled! - If not Ed; one us here in the forum will get you a Nevada key!

 

Anyone have a spare?

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Once you get your key, I hope you can do similar testing for Nevada. Great thread, much KUDOS!

 

I am currently on the fence about pre-ordering the CV of the Oculus Rift. It should be available for pre-order in about a day or so.

 

I suspect my 970GTX won't be good enough to run DCS with the Rift properly.

 

Is there any truth to the rumor that running two Nvidia cards in SLI will have some additional benefit for Rift users, regardless of whether SLI is properly utilized in the game engine or not, or is that just an urban legend?

 

I'm also on the fence about switching to a higher resolution monitor/higher display frequency monitor. Currently there seem to be problems with Vsync in Nevada 2.0 causing some stuttering issues.

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I have an 2550K and 2600K somewhere at work, need to dig out my old Z77 mobo and I will give it a spin as well!

 

Heavy +1 for this :)

I am still sitting on Sandy @4.5 GHz and so far decision to go for Skylake was inconclusive.

Would love to see that test result.

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If there's a GPU bottle neck, where a gtx 970 gives the same performance as Gtx 980 Ti, is this something ED is likely to fix? I just spent a fortune on a 980 Ti, arriving today. I'm thinking to return it and get a 970 at half the price. This is really disappointing news for the new DCS engine.

My monitor is a 34" uhd, running 1440p @60hz

 

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk


Edited by bernp
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If there's a GPU bottle neck, where a gtx 970 gives the same performance as Gtx 980 Ti, is this something ED is likely to fix? I just spent a fortune on a 980 Ti, arriving today. I'm thinking to return it and get a 970 at half the price. This is really disappointing news for the new DCS engine.

My monitor is a 34" uhd, running 1440p @60hz

 

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk

 

 

 

Something must be wrong with your settings.

 

I am also running 1440p with very decent fps @ 144Hz Gsync screen and I would not really wanna change to a 970 when I look at my GPU usage.... and Powertarget....and oc-level... dont think the 970 would keep up with it.

 

I would keep the 980Ti and check for the culprit, there is one, that is sure !

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I agree with Bitmaster. I have a 970 which works great with my 27" 1440p 60hz Dell but on 4K or faster refresh I doubt it would cut it. Something is just not right.

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Keeping 980 ti

 

I agree with Bitmaster. I have a 970 which works great with my 27" 1440p 60hz Dell but on 4K or faster refresh I doubt it would cut it. Something is just not right.

 

Thank you and BitMaster for your responses. My 980 ti card arrived just a short while ago, I haven't installed it yet. However, I've decided to keep it, even though I'm not running 4k. It's probably overkill for my system but I'd rather be overpowered than under. It will be nice not to have my gpu be the weak link, at least for awhile. Thanks again.

Bern

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Hello everybody,

 

thanks to Decibel, who offered to give me the key for the Nevada map I will soon be starting DCS 2.0 alpha engine testing. Only thing left to finish is to run R9 295X2 and to complete CPU platform testing, which has already begun.

 

:pilotfly:

 

Nevada is demanding as hell in 4K ultra settings on a evga gtx 980 not TI ill get 40-50 frames on taxi take off 55 - 60 frames high in the air and over vegas low 30 - 35 frmaes.

Thanks for the reference, I'll try to do the similiar mission. Pit a few ground attack planes against my F-15, throw a MiG-23 or similar in the mix and then do some dogfight and indulge in a energy game :) This way we will get a nice mix of high- and low-level flying.

 

Once you get your key, I hope you can do similar testing for Nevada. Great thread, much KUDOS!

 

I am currently on the fence about pre-ordering the CV of the Oculus Rift. It should be available for pre-order in about a day or so.

 

I suspect my 970GTX won't be good enough to run DCS with the Rift properly.

 

Is there any truth to the rumor that running two Nvidia cards in SLI will have some additional benefit for Rift users, regardless of whether SLI is properly utilized in the game engine or not, or is that just an urban legend?

 

I'm also on the fence about switching to a higher resolution monitor/higher display frequency monitor. Currently there seem to be problems with Vsync in Nevada 2.0 causing some stuttering issues.

 

Thank you very much for your kind words.

 

Funny you mention, my coworker wanted to purchase the Rift yesterday (we was a DK2 user for some time) but got turned off by the price. Is there a way to simulate VR resolution testing? If there is, I might include it in the test, at least as a detailed analysis for a single GPU.

 

If there's a GPU bottle neck, where a gtx 970 gives the same performance as Gtx 980 Ti, is this something ED is likely to fix? I just spent a fortune on a 980 Ti, arriving today. I'm thinking to return it and get a 970 at half the price. This is really disappointing news for the new DCS engine.

My monitor is a 34" uhd, running 1440p @60hz

 

Sent from my SPH-L900 using Tapatalk

I believe there's no GPU bottle neck, but rather the DCS engine bottleneck. GPU bottleneck would mean the stronger GPU would perform better. If the results are pretty much the same across the performance range that is the sign the GPU is not the limiting factor. GTX 980 Ti for sure is a great card. Crank up AA (anti-aliasing) if you wish to stress it badly! :smilewink:

 

As promised, I have added GTX 780 (KFA2 version, slightly overclocked) and reference Fury X to the test suite. GTX 780 is still a solid choice for DCS and would be pointless to upgrade it at this point unless you want 4K. High fillrate is what this card has. Fury X performs as expected given the previous results where NVIDIA cards perform slightly better across the board.

 

Jyw1X3j.png

 

dWEOloA.png

 

bTxb36D.png


Edited by tiborrr
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Heavy +1 for this :)

I am still sitting on Sandy @4.5 GHz and so far decision to go for Skylake was inconclusive.

Would love to see that test result.

 

+1

Still using 2500K @4,5 GhZ ATM.

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So glad i was proven right, at least with these conclusions, that even the 780 non-ti (a 3 year old card) is still faster than pretty much anything amd has... at least at less than 4k...(only 3gb vram) ati fanboys read'em & weep lol

 

and yeah i use a sandy 2600K at 4.6ghz, newer cpus are more efficiant(power and heat), and have more pci-e lanes, but they aren't really much faster per clock, and can't overclock as well...


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So glad i was proven right, at least with these conclusions, that even the 780 non-ti (a 3 year old card) is still faster than pretty much anything amd has... at least at less than 4k...(only 3gb vram) ati fanboys read'em & weep lol

Hi,

 

I wold like for everybody to refrain from calling people names or fanboys. After all, I am an die hard AMD fanboy. AMD cards are great but the thing is DCS performs better on NVIDIA cards at the moment. Truth be told, DCS engine is fairly aged (not that it hasn't aged well) and AMD never bothered to fix somewhat broken legay functions (including DX9) performance when they purchased ATi back in 2006.

 

This was the sole purpose of creating this thread and making the benchmark because comparing the GPUs in modern games doesn't (necessarily) reflect the performance in DCS.

 

I have found a way to 'simulate' 4K performance on a 1920x1080 resolution: Simply, force SSAA - Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing mode (a.k.a. FSAA - Full Scene Anti-Aliasing) through drivers instead of default MSAA mode. In game, select 4x MSAA and resolution 1920x1080 and there you have it. Since SSAA (one of the oldest and most basic, yet very demanding AA methods) works by super sampling the scene - calculating it at higher resolution - and then scaling it down this is perfect. Factor x4 means the image is drawn and calculated at 4x the display resolution - in our case 1920x1080 resolution - which equals 3840x2160 (4K). I have tested the theory with R9 Nano and got exactly the same results on native 4K or FHD 4xSSAA.

 

So, without further ado - R9 390X added:

 

ouF3iep.png

 

Best Regards,

Niko :joystick:


Edited by tiborrr
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Is there a way to simulate VR resolution testing? If there is, I might include it in the test, at least as a detailed analysis for a single GPU.

 

Yes, there is actually! Download and install the Oculus runtime.

https://developer.oculus.com/

 

There's a setting somewhere that lets it run without the headset for development purposes. You will still get an image in a window on your monitor. It will not look great, but it might work for the purpose of your tests. I don't remember exactly what the setting was called, but you will probably find it on your own. Maybe it was "debug mode" or something?

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