Notebookcheck

Batman: Arkham Knight Notebook Benchmarks

Florian Glaser (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 07/06/2015

PC debacle. Even high-end notebooks hit their limit with Batman: Arkham Knight. We've checked the performance of the game with its open-world structure on several different systems.

Batman: Arkham Knight

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Graphics

Whereas the console version of the game has been pretty well-received by both media and users, the PC installment of the game has garnered its fair share of criticism - justifiably so: even our most potent system with Core i7-3770K and GeForce GTX 980 was plagued by substantial frame-rate drops in single-player mode. Especially when calling the Batmobil or while driving it, Arkham Knight stuttered heavily and froze completely at times. This behavior doesn't just negatively impact the flow of the game, but sometimes results in an unwelcome "game over".

Interactive Smoke/Fog On
Interactive Smoke/Fog On
Interactive Smoke/Fog Off
Interactive Smoke/Fog Off

Depending on the system the game is installed on, there are additional smaller to medium-large bugs the user might encounter. An example: Arkham Knight refused to work in full-screen mode on the Schenker XMG A505. Another system - an AMD Kaveri desktop - produced errors while set to the typical minimum resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels. Of course, bug like this are quite common, but Arkham Knight also has very high demands on the hardware. At a minimum, 6 GB of RAM and a GPU with at least 2 GB VRAM are required; 36 GB of hard drive space are also nothing to sneeze at. At least we didn't have to deal with crashes during the review period, but that can be - at least to some extent - attributed to the newest set of drivers we used for our tests (Nvidia 353.30 & AMD 15.6 Beta).

Interactive Smoke/Fog On
Interactive Smoke/Fog On
Interactive Smoke/Fog Off
Interactive Smoke/Fog Off

Another aspect we need to mention are that some effects are exclusive to Nvidia. While options like "Enhanced Rain" and "Enhanced Light Shafts" are available with AMD and Intel GPUs, "Interactive Smoke" and "Interactive Debris" only work on computers and notebooks equipped with Nvidia chips. Although the latter effects look rather cool, they do take their toll on the performance. Even with the aforementioned GeForce GTX 980, the frame rate decreases by 30 % (Full-HD, maximum details). The most demanding effects are "Smoke/Fog" and "Paper Debris". 

The rain and light effects, on the other hand, don't really impact performance. Anti-aliasing effects are - with SMAA as the sole choice - pretty moderate; it also doesn't matter much if the user picks low or medium textures. Although a minimum of 3 GB of RAM are recommended for the "normal" setting, we didn't see much of a difference - at least not during our benchmark run with the GeForce GTX 960M. We should point out here that there's no "high" setting for textures.

Enhanced Light Shafts On
Enhanced Light Shafts On
Enhanced Light Shafts Off
Enhanced Light Shafts Off

The graphics menu has 11 options altogether, among them settings for resolution, vertical resolution, graphics mode, shadow quality, and detail level. The other available settings we've talked about already. Aside from the smoke and debris effects, changes don't require restarts.   

Visually, Arkham Knight looks very good. Despite the fact that the gloss- and plastic-effects seem a little over-the-top, we tend to like the beefed-up Unreal Engine 3 a lot. Both the texture quality as well as the particle quality are above average (explosions, sparks etc.). Systems with Nvidia GPUs look exceptionally good when rendering smoke. From a gaming perspective, Arkham Knight definitely has its strengths, although the game ends up being repetitive in the long run (take the missions for example). The intro-sequence is quite compelling, choreographed well and makes the user yearn for more.

Enhanced Light Shafts On
Enhanced Light Shafts On
Enhanced Light Shafts Off
Enhanced Light Shafts Off

A less compelling feature is the "normal" behavior of the Unreal Engine 3: depending on system and graphics settings, the textures are loaded too late, which in turn leads to a rather mushy graphical representation initially. We also simply don't understand the built-in 30 fps limit. At least this limitation can be removed manually. In order to do so, one needs to open the gaming folder (hard drive: Steamsteamapps\common\Batman Arkham Knight\BMGame\Config) and change the "MaxFPS" setting in the .ini file named "BMSystemSettings" from 30.000000 to 9999.000000. Very good: excluding the intro-videos - which can't be skipped - leads to short load times.

Interactive Paper Debris On
Interactive Paper Debris On
Interactive Paper Debris Off
Interactive Paper Debris Off

Benchmark

Arkham Knight comes with an integrated benchmark called "PC Performance Test", which is accessible using the options menu. The sequence is about 1.5 minutes long and utilizes various scenes at different angles. It also displays the various GameWork-effects (see video). At the end of the test, the benchmark not only displays the average, but also the minimum and maximum frame rates. The minimum frame rates can't be compared to a "real" game, so it pays of to allow for some reserves. Our evaluation of the performance is based on the benchmark sequence.

Results

Discussion

As the screenshots below indicate, there are no significant differences between the settings save for the GameWork-options. An unfortunate side effect: Arkham Knights has high demands on the hardware even at low settings. Low-end GPUs like on level with the HD Graphics 4600 or the GeForce GT 740M are generally simply not powerful enough. For 1280 x 720 pixels and low details, at least a GeForce GTX 850M is necessary. Normal settings and  a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels requires at least a GeForce GTX 850M or better.

1920 x 1080 pixels and high details (Enhanced Rain & Light Shafts On) require a GeForce GTX 870M or above for smooth gameplay. A combination of Full-HD and active GameWorks effects is only possible with either a GeForce GTX 970M or a GeForce GTX 980M (not accounting for dual-GPU setups). All tested graphics solutions could not handle 4k (3840 x 2160 pixels) output. High settings caused stutters even with a GTX 980M - and that's with Smoke and Paper Debris deactivated. The CPU didn't matter that much and even a standard Intel processor with Turbo Boost is fast enough.

Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
Low Settings
Low Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
Low Settings
Low Settings

All things considered, we would recommend postponing a purchase until the developers have optimized the PC version and brought the frame-rate drops at least somewhat under control. Note: as soon as Arkham Knight is installed on about 5 systems, the activation is blocked for at least 24 hours - a behavior we normally know from EA and their Origin platform. At this time, we would also like to thank Nvidia and Schenker Tech for the provided keys.

Update: because of the substantial technical problems, at the time of writing, Steam has stopped the sale of the game.

Batman: Arkham Knight
    3840x2160 High / On (Interactive Smoke & Paper Debris Off) AA:SM AF:8x     1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x     1920x1080 High / On (Interactive Smoke & Paper Debris Off) AA:SM AF:8x     1366x768 Normal / Off AF:4x     1280x720 Low / Off AF:Trilinear
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 3770K
Desktop-PC
33 (min: 25) fps ∼57%
59 (min: 38) fps ∼42%
81 (min: 52) fps ∼57%
96 (min: 57) fps ∼62%
104 (min: 66) fps ∼63%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
25 (min: 14) fps ∼43%
72 (min: 33) fps ∼50%
101 (min: 60) fps ∼65%
114 (min: 73) fps ∼69%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
22 (min: 15) fps ∼38%
44 (min: 28) fps ∼31%
67 (min: 46) fps ∼47%
88 (min: 56) fps ∼57%
94 (min: 66) fps ∼57%
AMD Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
20 (min: 15) fps ∼34%
58 (min: 42) fps ∼41%
89 (min: 55) fps ∼57%
96 (min: 62) fps ∼58%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960, E3-1230 v3
MSI GeForce GTX 960 Gaming 4G Desktop-PC
18 (min: 13) fps ∼31%
37 (min: 23) fps ∼26%
56 (min: 43) fps ∼39%
88 (min: 63) fps ∼57%
97 (min: 71) fps ∼59%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
18 (min: 13) fps ∼31%
33 (min: 22) fps ∼23%
52 (min: 34) fps ∼36%
79 (min: 55) fps ∼51%
86 (min: 62) fps ∼52%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
14 (min: 10) fps ∼24%
30 (min: 19) fps ∼21%
43 (min: 34) fps ∼30%
71 (min: 49) fps ∼46%
81 (min: 58) fps ∼49%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
11 (min: 8) fps ∼19%
25 (min: 14) fps ∼18%
36 (min: 28) fps ∼25%
62 (min: 45) fps ∼40%
71 (min: 55) fps ∼43%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
9 (min: 6) fps ∼16%
21 (min: 13) fps ∼15%
32 (min: 19) fps ∼22%
57 (min: 42) fps ∼37%
66 (min: 53) fps ∼40%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
7 (min: 5) fps ∼12%
17 (min: 9) fps ∼12%
25 (min: 16) fps ∼17%
44 (min: 34) fps ∼28%
51 (min: 40) fps ∼31%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
15 (min: 8) fps ∼11%
23 (min: 17) fps ∼16%
44 (min: 33) fps ∼28%
52 (min: 42) fps ∼32%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
7 (min: 2) fps ∼5%
9 (min: 7) fps ∼6%
19 (min: 13) fps ∼12%
23 (min: 18) fps ∼14%
AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
20 (min: 13) fps ∼12%
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ
Schenker S413
15 (min: 3) fps ∼10%
17 (min: 12) fps ∼10%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
4 (min: 3) fps ∼3%
12 (min: 9) fps ∼8%
14 (min: 11) fps ∼8%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
6 fps ∼4%
10 fps ∼6%
13 fps ∼8%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
10 (min: 7) fps ∼6%
12 (min: 9) fps ∼7%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, 2637M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
9 (min: 2) fps ∼6%
12 (min: 3) fps ∼7%
Intel HD Graphics 5500, 5010U
Intel NUC Kit NUC5i3RYH
9 (min: 7) fps ∼6%
11 (min: 8) fps ∼7%

Test Systems

Four review systems are courtesy of Schenker Technologies:

  • W504 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 860M, GTX 870M, GTX 880M, GTX 970M, GTX 980M)
  • A505 (Core i7-4720HQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 960M)
  • M504 (Core i5-4340M, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 850M)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M)

The OS on these notebooks is 64-bit Windows 7 (Win 8.1 @XMG A505).

Three systems were provided by Nvidia:

Intel sent us one notebook:

  • Schenker S413 (Core i7-4750HQ, 8 GB DDR3, Iris Pro Graphics 5200)

The desktop systems feature CPUs/APUs from Intel and AMD, SSDs from Micron, Intel and Samsung, motherboards from Intel and Asus, as well as GPUs from Nvidia and AMD, Our 4 K monitor is Asus' PB287Q.

We used the following GPU drivers: Nvidia 353.30, AMD 15.6 Beta, Intel 10.18.14.4222

Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight
Batman: Arkham Knight

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Batman: Arkham Knight
 Batman: Arkham Knight (2015)
low
1280x720
Low / Off
TrilinearAF
med.
1366x768
Normal / Off
4xAF
high
1920x1080
High / On (Interactive Smoke & Paper Debris Off)
8xAF SMAA
ultra
1920x1080
High / On
16xAF SMAA
4k
3840x2160
High / On (Interactive Smoke & Paper Debris Off)
8xAF SMAA
 2NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
143
95
58
 3NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop)
134
78.52
48
 5NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
141
1053
563
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 SLI (Laptop)
160
148
96
64
32
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
163
155
1072
797
433
 11AMD Radeon R9 Fury
138
131
109
39
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
104
96
81
612
33
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
1522
143.52
1013
675
343
 16AMD Radeon R9 390X
125
124
93
32
 17NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
119
108
60.52
41.52
18
 18NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
165
150
97
67
32
 19*NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
837
56.58
28
 27AMD Radeon R9 290X
114
101
72
25
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI
69
40
27
 34NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
1333
118.34
7512
50.512
235
 36AMD Radeon R9 280X
96
89
58
20
 37AMD Radeon R9 380
117
112
64
19
 38NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
97
88
56
37
18
 41NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
1004
947
5913
40.510
16.52
Pos      Model                                     Batman: Arkham Knight
lowmed.highultra4k
 44NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
88
78
48
26
14
 55AMD Radeon R7 370
82
73
39
35
 57NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
81
71
43
30
14
 58NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
87
77
40
11
 63NVIDIA Quadro K5100M
65
54
33
23
11
 67NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
934
755
395
235
10
 68NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
71
62
36
25
11
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
717
6116
3322
2317
9
 89NVIDIA Quadro M2000M
692
573
31.54
234
10
 94NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
51
44
25
17
7
 103NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
52.56
468
227
196
4
 105AMD Radeon R9 M385X
43
40
24
 106NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
52
44
23
15
 108AMD Radeon R9 M280X
38
32
19
 113NVIDIA GeForce 945M
47
39
18
 136NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
37
30
17
12
5
 144NVIDIA Maxwell GPU Surface Book (940M, GDDR5)
23
14
 145AMD FirePro W5130M
30
17
 175NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
23
19
9
7
 177NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
304
254
11.52
92
Pos      Model                                     Batman: Arkham Knight
lowmed.highultra4k
 178NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
18
15
8
6
 179NVIDIA GeForce 940M
215
18.56
134
84
 181AMD Radeon R9 M375
27
22
 184AMD Radeon R7 M370
313
253
113
 188NVIDIA GeForce 840M
232
19.52
132
72
 194AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
20
 195Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
17
15
 197NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
14
12
4
 198NVIDIA GeForce 930M
19.52
162
7.52
52
 200NVIDIA GeForce 830M
23
19
7
5
 203*NVIDIA Quadro M500M
27
21
10
7
 221*NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
22
19
9
 229AMD Radeon R7 M265
25
17
7
 233NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
12
9
 234AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
12
9
6
 235AMD Radeon R8 M365DX
162
142
8
 236*AMD Radeon R7 M460
20
17
9
 239AMD Radeon R7 M360
152
13.52
72
 241*AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
14.52
132
6.52
 244AMD Radeon R8 M445DX
19
17
7
Pos      Model                                     Batman: Arkham Knight
lowmed.highultra4k
 251AMD Radeon R7 M340
193
163
7.52
3
 252NVIDIA GeForce 920M
152
122
7.52
62
 253AMD Radeon R6 M340DX
17
14
6
3
 254Intel HD Graphics 530
133
103
 260AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
9
8
 291Intel HD Graphics 5600
12
9
5
 325AMD Radeon R5 M335
17
14
7
3
 327AMD Radeon R5 M330
17
15
5
2
 328AMD Radeon R5 M255
19
16
7
 330NVIDIA GeForce 910M
13
12
7
4
 333Intel Iris Graphics 6100
15.52
13
7
 334NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
13
10
6
 336AMD Radeon R5 M240
17
9
 345Intel HD Graphics 6000
11
10
 353Intel HD Graphics 4600
11.52
9.52
4
 355Intel HD Graphics 5500
11.52
9.52
5
 429Intel HD Graphics 5300
5
4
 447AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
8
7
 448AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
4
* Smaller values are better. / * Approximate position

 

Legend
5Stutters – This game is very likely to stutter and have poor frame rates. Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, average frame rates are expected to fall below 25fps
May Stutter – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, stutters and poor frame rates are expected.
30Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 25fps
40Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 35fps
May Run Fluently – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, fluent frame rates are expected.
123Uncertain – This graphics card experienced unexpected performance issues during testing for this game. A slower card may be able to achieve better and more consistent frame rates than this particular GPU running the same benchmark scene.
Uncertain – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game and no reliable interpolation can be made based on the performances of surrounding cards of the same class or family.
The value in the fields displays the average frame rate of all values in the database. Move your cursor over the value to see individual results.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Batman: Arkham Knight Notebook Benchmarks
Florian Glaser, 2015-07- 6 (Update: 2015-07- 6)