Hardware

Group testing of 46 video cards in Far Cry 6

Far Cry games have been and continue to be the recognized benchmark for GPU performance. And although system requirements for new parts of the project are increasing more slowly than they are growing performance of modern hardware, Far Cry still has something to surprise gamers. This time – an elegant implementation of ray tracing, available to owners of almost any video card with RT-blocks, and the FidelityFX Super Resolution upscaling function, which is able to amplify even the GPU of five years ago. Let’s see how Far Cry 6 looks on computers of various levels and what hardware is required to play with certain image settings.

#Graphics quality settings

Far Cry 6’s menu allows you to change several graphics quality settings. They can be adjusted at the same time by choosing one of four preset detail modes – from the lowest (Low) to the highest possible (Ultra). High-resolution textures are highlighted in a separate settings item, which have a particularly noticeable effect on the memory consumption of a video card – only they will take a whole gigabyte of VRAM, and this, as practice shows, is a key characteristic for a comfortable game in Far Cry 6.

According to the counter in the settings menu, under any circumstances (even in 4K at maximum speed and with ray tracing), Far Cry 6 fits into 8 GB of local GPU memory when it comes to NVIDIA chips (on AMD accelerators, the allocation is always slightly higher). However, the developers recommend stocking up on at least 12GB of VRAM to play games at 1080p with high settings. And in 4K mode with the highest quality and ray tracing, the recommended minimum is 16 GB. Judging by the tests carried out using the built-in benchmark, the last number can be safely divided by two – the lack of VRAM will not affect the frame rate. However, there is a grain of truth in Ubisoft’s recommendations: when the amount of video memory was much less than the one set by the developers, we were constantly faced with unpredictable framerate failures and unstable game operation, up to crashes and desktop locking. Finally, the VRAM reserve, which the top AMD 6000 series video cards and older GeForce 30 models have, will come in handy.

For performance testing, we chose three settings modes: minimum (preset Low), medium (Medium) and maximum (Ultra) – the latter we supplemented with HD textures. The screenshots below show how the look of the game changes depending on the options selected. As usual, a sharp jump in quality causes a transition from low to medium settings, and the maximum adds the cherry on top, but at the same time dramatically increases the system requirements of Far Cry 6.

Low

Medium

Ultra + HD Textures

Low

Medium

Ultra + HD Textures

Low

Medium

Ultra + HD Textures

Low

Medium

Ultra + HD Textures

Low

Medium

Ultra + HD Textures

Low

Medium

Ultra + HD Textures

Low

Medium

Ultra + HD Textures

#Ray tracing

Far Cry 6 introduces real-time ray tracing for the first time in the series. However, like most other ray tracing projects, Far Cry 6 does not use the full suite of RT technologies – reflections, shadows, and global illumination (i.e., reflected light tracing). There are only reflections and shadows, and the reflections, judging by the result, are formed by a relatively low density of rays, and this, of course, benefits AMD Radeon 6000 series video cards and younger models based on NVIDIA chips of the previous generation, which lack the performance for rendering more complex effects …

Be that as it may, ray tracing has obviously improved the graphics of Far Cry 6. Not only are the traced reflections sharper, they, unlike screen space reflections, allow you to see what is outside the direct field of view.

In turn, the traced shadows look very different compared to the result of using regular shadow maps. Firstly, the edges of the shadows are softened in a realistic way and without characteristic steps depending on the distance from the light source. And secondly, lighting “baked” in the graphics of the island sometimes draws shadows that do not coincide at all with the position of the sun in the sky – ray tracing completely eliminates this defect.

#FidelityFX Super Resolution Scaling

As we’ll see later, even ray tracing doesn’t make Far Cry 6 a game with high system requirements. If the GPU can perform ray tracing “in hardware”, then there is no reason to refuse “rays” at least in 1080p mode. The only pity is that access to DXR is closed for NVIDIA GeForce 10 and GeForce 16 video cards, which have software ray tracing on shader ALUs. But at high screen resolutions and especially if the VRAM volume is 8 GB or less (on such video cards, as we noticed, the game is often unstable), the scaling function using the FidelityFX Super Resolution algorithms will come in handy. We’ve previously looked at FSR with several games and are happy to see that technology has finally made its way into a project as significant as Far Cry 6.

Recall that FSR, being an alternative to DLSS of the second version, differs from the latter in that it is not tied to the hardware of a certain architecture and works on almost all video cards released over the past few years (at least, devices as old as the Radeon 400 series and GeForce 10 exactly support FSR). The downside of wide FSR compatibility is the fact that scaling quality varies greatly from game to game and is on average inferior to DLSS results with the same ratios between source and final frame sizes.

Native resolution

FSR Ultra Quality

FSR Quality

FSR Balanced

FSR Performance

Native resolution

FSR Ultra Quality

FSR Quality

FSR Balanced

FSR Performance

We rate the quality of FSR implementation in Far Cry 6 as average. The algorithm, as usual, handles simple monochrome textures well and it can even be argued that upscaling with moderate ratios (Quality and Ultra Quality settings) benefits the image by enhancing the local contrast.

Native resolution

FSR Ultra Quality

FSR Quality

FSR Balanced

FSR Performance

Native resolution

FSR Ultra Quality

FSR Quality

FSR Balanced

FSR Performance

Far Cry 6’s graphics, however, are full of objects traditionally difficult for any zoom tool, including DLSS. Already at the Quality level, when the original frame is stretched 1.5 times on each side, the images of plant foliage become jagged, which is additionally accentuated by the sharpness filter.

But on the whole, FSR is a perfectly acceptable solution for owners of weak or simply outdated hardware, especially since DLSS is, in principle, not supported by video cards that really need upscaling tools.

Native resolution

FSR Ultra Quality

FSR Quality

FSR Balanced

FSR Performance

Native resolution

FSR Ultra Quality

FSR Quality

FSR Balanced

FSR Performance

#Test stand, testing methodology

Test stand
Cpu AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (4.4 GHz, Fixed All Cores)
Motherboard ASUS ROG Strix X570-E Gaming (Resizable BAR incl.)
RAM G.Skill Trident Z RGB F4-3200C14D-16GTZR, 4 × 8 GB (3600 MT / s, CL17)
ROM Intel SSD 760p, 2048 GB
Power Supply Corsair AX1200i 1200W
CPU cooling system Corsair iCUE H115i RGB PRO XT
Frame Open stand
Operating system Windows 10 Pro x64
AMD GPU Software
All graphics cards AMD Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.30.17.06
NVIDIA GPU software
All graphics cards NVIDIA GeForce Game Ready Driver 472.12

Performance tests were performed using the built-in Far Cry 6 benchmark.

#Test participants

  • AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT (1825/2250 MHz, 16 Gbps, 16 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT (1825/2250 MHz, 16 Gb / s, 16 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 (1700/2105 MHz, 16 Gb / s, 16 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT (2321/2581 MHz, 16 Gb / s, 12 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 6600 XT (2064/2607 MHz, 16 Gbps, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (1605/1905 MHz, 14 Gbps, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 5700 (1465/1725 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT OC (1420/1750 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT (1235/1620 MHz, 12 Gbps, 6 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT (1607/1845 MHz, 14 Gbps, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT (1607/1845 MHz, 14 Gbps, 4 GB);
  • AMD Radeon VII (1400/1750 MHz, 2 Gbps, 16 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 LC (1406/1677 MHz, 1.89 Gbps, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 64 (1247/1546 MHz, 1.89 Gbps, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 (1156/1471 MHz, 16 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 590 (1469/1545 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 580 (1257/1340 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 570 (1168/1244 MHz, 7 Gbps, 4 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 560 16 CU (1175/1275 MHz, 7 Gb / s, 4 GB);
  • AMD Radeon RX 560 14 CU (1090/1175 MHz, 7 Gbps, 4 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 (1395/1695 MHz, 19.5 Gbps, 24 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti (1365/1665 MHz, 19 Gbps, 12 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (1440/1710 MHz, 19 Gb / s, 10 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Ti (1575/1770 MHz, 19 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 (1500/1730 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti (1410/1665 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 (1320/1837 MHz, 15 Gb / s, 12 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition (1350/1635 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 11 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER (1650/1815 MHz, 15.5 Gbps, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Founders Edition (1515/1800 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER (1605/1770 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Founders Edition (1410/1710 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER (1470/1650 MHz, 14 Gbps, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (1365/1680 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti (1500/1800 MHz, 12 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER (1530/1830 MHz, 14 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 (1530/1785 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER (1530/1770 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 4 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (1485/1725 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 4 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (1480/1582 MHz, 11 Gb / s, 11 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (1607/1733 MHz, 10 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti (1607/1683 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (1506/1683 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 8 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (1506/1708 MHz, 9 Gb / s, 6 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (1506/1708 MHz, 8 Gb / s, 3 GB);
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (1290/1392 MHz, 7 Gb / s, 4 GB).

Approx. In brackets after the names of video cards, the base and boost frequencies are indicated according to the specifications of each device. Factory overclocked video cards are brought in line with the reference parameters or close to the latter, provided that this can be done without manual editing of the clock frequency curve. Otherwise, the manufacturer’s settings are used.

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About the author

Dylan Harris

Dylan Harris is fascinated by tests and reviews of computer hardware.

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