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
    1280x720 Low / Off AF:Trilinear     1366x768 Normal / Off AF:4x     1920x1080 High / On (Interactive Smoke & Paper Debris Off) AA:SM AF:8x     1920x1080 High / On AA:SM AF:16x     3840x2160 High / On (Interactive Smoke & Paper Debris Off) AA:SM AF:8x
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 3770K
Desktop-PC
104 (min: 66) fps ∼65%
96 (min: 57) fps ∼65%
81 (min: 52) fps ∼74%
59 (min: 38) fps ∼86%
33 (min: 25) fps ∼85%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Desktop PC
114 (min: 73) fps ∼71%
101 (min: 60) fps ∼68%
72 (min: 33) fps ∼66%
25 (min: 14) fps ∼64%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
94 (min: 66) fps ∼59%
88 (min: 56) fps ∼59%
67 (min: 46) fps ∼61%
44 (min: 28) fps ∼64%
22 (min: 15) fps ∼56%
AMD Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
96 (min: 62) fps ∼60%
89 (min: 55) fps ∼60%
58 (min: 42) fps ∼53%
20 (min: 15) fps ∼51%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960, E3-1230 v3
Desktop-PC
97 (min: 71) fps ∼61%
88 (min: 63) fps ∼59%
56 (min: 43) fps ∼51%
37 (min: 23) fps ∼54%
18 (min: 13) fps ∼46%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
86 (min: 62) fps ∼54%
79 (min: 55) fps ∼53%
52 (min: 34) fps ∼48%
33 (min: 22) fps ∼48%
18 (min: 13) fps ∼46%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
81 (min: 58) fps ∼51%
71 (min: 49) fps ∼48%
43 (min: 34) fps ∼39%
30 (min: 19) fps ∼43%
14 (min: 10) fps ∼36%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
71 (min: 55) fps ∼44%
62 (min: 45) fps ∼42%
36 (min: 28) fps ∼33%
25 (min: 14) fps ∼36%
11 (min: 8) fps ∼28%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
66 (min: 53) fps ∼41%
57 (min: 42) fps ∼39%
32 (min: 19) fps ∼29%
21 (min: 13) fps ∼30%
9 (min: 6) fps ∼23%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
51 (min: 40) fps ∼32%
44 (min: 34) fps ∼30%
25 (min: 16) fps ∼23%
17 (min: 9) fps ∼25%
7 (min: 5) fps ∼18%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
52 (min: 42) fps ∼33%
44 (min: 33) fps ∼30%
23 (min: 17) fps ∼21%
15 (min: 8) fps ∼22%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
23 (min: 18) fps ∼14%
19 (min: 13) fps ∼13%
9 (min: 7) fps ∼8%
7 (min: 2) fps ∼10%
AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
20 (min: 13) fps ∼13%
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ
Schenker S413
17 (min: 12) fps ∼11%
15 (min: 3) fps ∼10%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
14 (min: 11) fps ∼9%
12 (min: 9) fps ∼8%
4 (min: 3) fps ∼4%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
13 fps ∼8%
10 fps ∼7%
6 fps ∼6%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
12 (min: 9) fps ∼8%
10 (min: 7) fps ∼7%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, 2637M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
12 (min: 3) fps ∼8%
9 (min: 2) fps ∼6%
Intel HD Graphics 5500, 5010U
Intel NUC Kit NUC5i3RYH
11 (min: 8) fps ∼7%
9 (min: 7) fps ∼6%

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 980 SLI (Notebook)
160
148
96
64
32
 6AMD Radeon R9 Fury
138
131
109
39
 7NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
104
96
81
59
33
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Notebook)
1522
143.52
1013
67.54
343
 10AMD Radeon R9 390X
125
124
93
32
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
119
108
60.52
41.52
18
 16AMD Radeon R9 290X
114
101
72
25
 18NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI
69
40
27
 23NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
1333
118.34
7511
5011
235
 25AMD Radeon R9 280X
96
89
58
20
 26AMD Radeon R9 380
117
112
64
19
 27NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
97
88
56
37
18
 28NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
1004
947
5912
419
16.52
 31NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
88
78
48
26
14
 41AMD Radeon R7 370
82
73
39
35
 43NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
81
71
43
30
14
 44NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
87
77
40
11
 49NVIDIA Quadro K5100M
65
54
33
23
11
 52NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
963
79.54
394
22.54
10
Pos      Model                                     Batman: Arkham Knight
lowmed.highultra4k
 54NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
71
62
36
25
11
 70NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
71.56
6115
3319
2314
9
 71*NVIDIA Quadro M2000M
69
56
31.52
232
 75NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
51
44
25
17
7
 83NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
52.54
466
225
84
4
 84NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
52
44
23
15
 86AMD Radeon R9 M280X
38
32
19
 91NVIDIA GeForce 945M
47
39
18
 103*AMD Radeon R9 M385X
43
40
24
 114NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
37
30
17
12
5
 123NVIDIA Maxwell GPU Surface Book (940M, GDDR5)
23
14
 155NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
23
19
9
7
 157NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
18
15
8
6
 158NVIDIA GeForce 940M
215
18.56
134
84
 159AMD Radeon R9 M375
27
22
 162AMD Radeon R7 M370
313
253
113
 166NVIDIA GeForce 840M
232
19.52
132
72
 171AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
20
 172Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
17
15
 173*AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
14.52
132
6.52
Pos      Model                                     Batman: Arkham Knight
lowmed.highultra4k
 175NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
14
12
4
 176NVIDIA GeForce 930M
19.52
162
7.52
52
 178NVIDIA GeForce 830M
23
19
7
5
 180*NVIDIA Quadro M500M
27
21
10
7
 206AMD Radeon R7 M265
25
17
7
 210NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
12
9
 211AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
12
9
6
 212AMD Radeon R8 M365DX
162
142
8
 216AMD Radeon R7 M360
152
13.52
72
 225AMD Radeon R7 M340
152
122
7
3
 226NVIDIA GeForce 920M
152
122
7.52
62
 227AMD Radeon R6 M340DX
17
14
6
3
 228Intel HD Graphics 530
13.52
10.52
 232AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
9
8
 263Intel HD Graphics 5600
12
9
5
 297AMD Radeon R5 M335
17
14
7
3
 299AMD Radeon R5 M330
17
15
5
2
 304Intel Iris Graphics 6100
15.52
13
7
 305NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
13
10
6
 307AMD Radeon R5 M240
17
9
Pos      Model                                     Batman: Arkham Knight
lowmed.highultra4k
 315Intel HD Graphics 6000
11
10
 323Intel HD Graphics 4600
11.52
9.52
4
 325Intel HD Graphics 5500
11.52
9.52
5
 397Intel HD Graphics 5300
5
4
 412AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
8
7
 413AMD 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)