Titanfall Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 03/21/2014

A little fun on the side. Violent multiplayer battles with parkour interludes and mechs armed to the teeth? That is how the former Call of Duty developers envision the future of the action genre. We took a closer look at the graphics demands; so read on to find out which graphics card you will need.

Titanfall Logo

For the original German article, see here.

Graphics

Passionate gamers waiting for a graphics bomb in the style of Battlefield 4 or Crysis 3 will not find what they are looking for in Titanfall. The source engine has been massively revamped in recent years and embellished with new features, but the graphics technology is still not really modern. For one thing, the texture quality does not meet 2014 standards: Most of the object wallpapers are too sludgy upon closer inspection.

Another shortcoming is the lack of a detailed physics and destruction system. Yes, in some scenes the screen is bursting with effects and explosions, but you will not see any crumbling walls or collapsing houses. Considering this, it is even more surprising to us that Titanfall takes up 50 GB worth of hard drive space. Even Battlefield 4 only occupies about 25 GB at the moment (Crysis 3: ~14 GB).

Titanfall
Titanfall
Titanfall
Titanfall
Titanfall
Titanfall

However, we do want to praise the developers for the easy-to-use, well-designed menus, though some of the graphics settings can only be altered in the main menu, not during a running match. That includes the resolution and texture quality. Speaking of textures: Because the maximum setting, "Insane," screams for a graphics card with at least 3 GB of VRAM, we chose not to use this level in our benchmarks and just stuck with Low, Medium, High and Very High.

Besides texture quality, the video menu offers a number of other options. Be it light, shadow, effect and model details, or bullet holes, or ragdoll physics, they are all there. The brightness, picture mode, aspect ratio and field of vision can be adjusted as well. Thanks to the integrated anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering, far-away objects still appear relatively sharp and without jagged edges. V-Sync, which prevents bothersome screen tearing, was deactivated for our benchmarks.

Unfortunately, the maximum refresh rate aligns with the frequency of the monitor. While 120 Hz panels cannot display more than 120 frames per second, an ordinary 60 Hz monitor, like you find in more devices, will not exceed 60 fps. It may not be the best etiquette, but due to this issue we only tested our graphics cards in each setting if they did not hit this limit. For example, if model xy reached 59 fps on the High setting, we simply recorded 60 fps for Medium and Low.

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

In terms of the feel of the game, Titanfall is quite enjoyable. Despite some deficits in atmosphere due to the antiquated graphics technology, the roaring battles are staged in a way that is stylish and thrilling. The fast game tempo paired with the uncomplicated controls and fresh gameplay ideas make for a very fun experience. At least for a few hours, anyway -- after a while the mechanics will get a little monotonous, whether or not there are new upgrades and improvements.

Whether you will be motivated to keep playing Titanfall for an extended period of time depends very much on your personal preferences. In the end, like with most multiplayer games, you just find yourself fighting your way through masses of opponents. But as an uncompromising action-shooter game to play every now and then, Titanfall is exactly what it should be. The fluid and very comfortable controls and the crisp sounds are huge contributors here.

Titanfall
Titanfall
Titanfall

Benchmark

Multiplayer titles that do not have an offline mode are not particularly suited for benchmark testing. Because the title flows differently each time you play, and other factors influence the game as well (server quality, ping, etc.), there is a lot of unavoidable fluctuation. The task of finding a graphically demanding scene that is as comfortable as possible to benchmark AND offers consistent results is a hard one indeed.

Although the tracking shots at the beginning of the campaign levels are not the perfect solution to our problem, we decided to use the start of "The Refueling Raid" mission (on the IMC side). As long as our character, directly upon exiting the helicopter, is sitting or standing with his gaze overlooking the battlefield (which is true in about two-thirds of our passes), the results do not differ massively. Only if the character is positioned at a wide angle, and the environment is no longer visible, does the performance sometimes increase. In such cases, we moved our head in the direction of the "action."

Since the frame rates often dropped by one-third or more in scenes that were heavy on effects (explosions, smoke, etc.), the average rate should be at least 30-35 fps. If the score is lower, Titanfall jerks too much in some levels/passages.

Results

How hardware-hungry is Titanfall? The game actually proves to be quite frugal. If you want to play the action title at 1920x1080 pixels, very high details and 4x MSAA, you will have to have a high-end GPU installed in your computer, but a GeForce GTX 765M already climbs over the 35 fps line.

For high graphics settings, 1366x768 pixels and 2x anti-aliasing, you will need at least a card from the upper middle class (ex. the GeForce GT 750M). Typical all-round GPUs, like the GeForce GT 740M, can still run the game at normal settings if the AA option is deactivated. Entry-level chips on the level of the Intel HD Graphics 4600, however, can only handle low resolution and details.

The GeForce GTX 860M's relatively bad score (Ultra, see table) can probably be explained by the driver. While the notebooks we have on long-term loan run with the absolute most current driver Nvidia recommends (ForceWare 335.23), the XMG P304 had to make do with the somewhat older version 332.35 in our review. Hence: To keep your card at its maximum performance, be sure to update your driver.

The driver is also important for the Intel HD Graphics 4000, which only functioned properly with the brand new beta version 10.18.10.3496 ("properly," that is, if you overlook the lousy performance). The official but now somewhat antiquated driver, version 10.18.10.3412, produced massive graphics errors.

Considering the fps limits, the huge file size and the large time commitment, Titanfall certainly will not become part of our "standard parkour." Best not expect too many benchmarks to come for this title.

Titanfall
    1024x768 Low/Disabled     1366x768 Medium/Low     1366x768 High AA:2xMS AF:8x     1920x1080 (Very) High AA:4xMS AF:16x

Test Systems

Three of our test devices are courtesy of Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • W503 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 765M, GTX 770M, GTX 780M, Radeon HD 8970M & HD Graphics 4600)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M & HD Graphics 4600)
  • XMG P502 (Core i7-3610QM, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 660M, GTX 670MX, GTX 675MX, GTX 680M, Radeon HD 7970M & HD Graphics 4000)

The 64-bit edition of Windows 7 is installed on each of these devices. A further thank you goes to Micron for the 480 GB Crucial M500.

Another test device is courtesy of Nvidia:

  • HP Envy 15-j011sg (Core i5-4200M, 12 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 740M & HD Graphics 4600)

GPU drivers used: Nvidia 335.23, AMD 14.2 Beta 1.3, Intel 10.18.10.3464 (10.18.10.3496 @ HD 4000)

We have also included benchmarks from other notebooks (perhaps with different drivers).

From left to right: Schenker M503, XMG P502 & W503
From left to right: Schenker M503, XMG P502 & W503
HP Envy 15-j011sg
HP Envy 15-j011sg

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Titanfall
 Titanfall (2014)
low
1024x768
Low/Disabled
med.
1366x768
Medium/Low
high
1366x768
High
8xAF 2xMSAA
ultra
1920x1080
(Very) High
16xAF 4xMSAA
 2NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M SLI
60
60
60
59.9
 9AMD Radeon R9 280X
60
60
60
59.9
 11NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
60
60
60
58.8
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
60
60
60
59.8
 17NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
60
60
60
59.5
 19NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
60
60
60
59.1
 23AMD Radeon R9 M290X
60
60
60
58.9
 24AMD Radeon HD 8970M
60
60
60
59.1
 25NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
60
60
59.952
57.552
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M
60
60
59.8
53.9
 32AMD Radeon HD 7970M
60
60
59.7
58.3
 38NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
60
60
59.3
48.3
 39NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
602
602
59.53
42.43
 47NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX
60
59
52.1
39.7
 49NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
604
59.854
56.75
35.45
 54NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
60
59.7
54.3
35.6
 72NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670MX
60
57.8
48.1
35.3
 93NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
60
49.3
39.4
20.8
 95AMD Radeon HD 8850M
60
49.9
38.7
24.9
Pos      Model                                     Titanfall
lowmed.highultra
 104NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
59.952
47.42
38.052
222
 106NVIDIA GeForce 840M
53.63
38.73
30.23
20.952
 111AMD Radeon R7 in A10-7850K APU (Kaveri)
60
45.1
37.5
23.1
 112Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
57.1
37.1
24.7
14.8
 113AMD Radeon R7 in A10-7700K APU (Kaveri)
59.9
44
31.7
21.4
 115NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
59.2
36.9
27.3
13.4
 119NVIDIA GeForce GT 735M
52.6
25.1
20.7
 121NVIDIA GeForce 825M
35.5
22.8
 133NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
58.6
38
31.9
13.7
 139AMD Radeon R7 M265
52.5
33.22
27.12
10.1
 143NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
53
33
25
9.5
 208AMD Radeon HD 8650G
51
32
16
 218NVIDIA GeForce 820M
45
27.8
 220NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
57
30.8
25.4
 234Intel HD Graphics 4600
432
22.052
13.852
9.1
 239AMD Radeon HD 7660G
51.8
26.7
 242Intel HD Graphics 5000
33.2
20.2
13.2
 258AMD Radeon HD 8550G
52
26
20
 270Intel HD Graphics 4400
30.1
16
10.9
 307Intel HD Graphics 4000
20.4
10.9
6.7
4.9
Pos      Model                                     Titanfall
lowmed.highultra
 310AMD Radeon R5 (Beema)
26.7
13.2
9.1
3.7
 320AMD Radeon HD 8450G
36.32
19.42
 335AMD Radeon HD 8350G
31.9
 361Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
23.1
13.7
 381AMD Radeon HD 8280
21
10.2
* 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 > Titanfall Benchmarked
Author: Florian Glaser, 2014-03-21 (Update: 2014-03-24)