Notebookcheck

Wolfenstein: The New Order Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Markus Doepfert), 06/01/2014

Old school. Wolfenstein: The New Order is not only interesting from a gaming point of view but also from a technical one. Id Software's graphics engine Tech 5, which was introduced in 2011 with the first-person shooter Rage, still struggles with one or two problems. Our review takes a look at the (mobile) hardware demands.

For the original German article, see here.

Graphics

With the Tech 5 engine the computer guru id Software has come up with a relatively extraordinary technology that differs in many respects from the products of the competitors (Crytek, Epic, DICE, etc.). Id Tech 5's biggest advantage is its variety. Due to the huge texture surfaces (also known as MegaTextures) there are barely any repetitions of object wallpapers observable - as opposed to other engines. This makes every single edge appear almost unique and the levels appear as if made from one piece. The moderate hardware demand turns out to be another advantage - except for the video memory.

However, id Tech 5 is not completely flawless. Besides the fact that The New Order takes up more than 40 GB on a hard drive, the texture quality is another drawback since it varies heavily. While some surfaces are quite sharp and score with neat gloss or reflection effects, it gives other objects a very mushy and stale impression. At some spots one might think that The New Order is already five years old. Furthermore it is quite annoying in the beginning that textures are visibly loaded when moving the camera quickly. Id Software ought to have eradicated this shortcoming in the meantime.

Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order

There is also the issue with the title's enormous memory demand. The ultra-settings are only available for graphics cards with at least 3 GB VRAM. On our desktop system, which helped determine the appropriate benchmark sequence, Windows ouputs an error message from time to time saying that the memory is running low - despite a super strong GeForce GTX 660 Ti.

The New Order also shows some issues regarding resolution. The game is guided by the current desktop settings and offers additionally a few more resolutions in the according format. In case of an FHD display these would be 1920x1080, 1600x900 and 1280x720. "Thanks" to a bug the graphics menu intermittently shows a completely abstruse amount of pixels and monitors.

At least there is no automatic adjustment of the graphics options; therefore the game constantly runs at 60 fps (just like Rage). However, Wolfenstein is unable to surpass the 60 fps lock - no matter if the vertical synchronization is activated or not. The developers deserve praise for the fact that the settings can be changed directly in the game (without re-loading). Indeed there are "only" 10 options in the advanced graphics menu; however, due to the presets it is possible to quickly change the overall quality. Nevertheless the optical differences are small (see screenshots).

Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order

The verdict for the game is mostly positive. The Swedish development studio Machine Games, which consists of the former Starbreeze employees, sticks to the dark atmosphere of previous games (first and foremost Chronicles of Riddick). The fear that Wolfenstein: The New Order is a run-of-the-mill shooting game is allayed after the first few hours of the rather long campaign.

Despite the (intentionally) absurd story and the exaggerated characters, which stylistically remind one of Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, The New Order strikes a quite serious and thought-provoking tone. The juggling act of action, fun and contentful narration works out only rarely for computer games, although no one should expect a literary masterpiece. Anyway, The New Order manages to link the partly gross ferocities to context instead of delighting in the own presentation of violence (did somebody say Call of Duty?). Most of the time an ironic or sarcastic undertone is maintained, which is usually missing in the action genre.

Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order
Wolfenstein: The New Order

Another surprise is the implemented sneaking feature, which is admittedly far behind stealth titles like Splinter Cell or Thief in terms of quality (indestructible lamps, no carrying of bodies, poor feedback...) but still offers an alternative strategy. Wolfenstein is in general a very quick and fun game, which is typical for id titles.

In the current "era of automatic healing" it is quite refreshing having to pick up health, armor and ammunition manually. In other words: Wolfenstein feels pleasantly old school. The optional activations that encourage exploring the levels closely give the title at least a slight modern touch. The package is topped off by a thrilling staging, atmospheric cutscenes and good voice-over artists (unfortunately, the sound mixture is not perfect).

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

Benchmark

For our benchmarks we use the sixth campaign mission, which is called London Nautica. As the name indicates, it is the mission located in the British metropolis. Protagonist B. J. Blazkowicz sallies with a fellow of the resistance to the research center of the Nazi regime, which rules most of the world in the 1960s.

Low settings
Low settings
Medium settings
Medium settings
High settings
High settings
Ultra settings
Ultra settings

The car trip to the building takes about one-and-a-half minutes and is due to the uniform sequence ideal for speed measurements and hardware comparisons. Although other parts are more graphically demanding and CPU-intensive, the sequence allows a good impression of the expected performance. Since The New Order suffers at some locations from (not always comprehensible) variations in performance and fps drops, it should reach at least 35-40 fps in the benchmark.

Results

When loading the system with only low or medium details a graphics card of the low- or mid-range is sufficient for Wolfenstein. Nvidia's GeForce GT 740M as well as Intel's HD Graphics 4600 are able to handle the test sequence fluently (720p).

Considerably more graphics power is necessary for the high preset and 1920x1080 pixels. Only a GeForce GTX 850M or a GeForce GTX 765M are able to run this combination at over 40 fps. Ultra-high settings, which as mentioned are only possible with GPUs with sufficient VRAM, require, however, a high-end card at the level of the GeForce GTX 770M or the Radeon HD 8970M. From a subjective point of view Nvidia chips deliver a smoother picture (the beta driver Catalyst 14.6 arrived a little too late for this article).

Wolfenstein: The New Order
    1280x720 Low Preset     1280x720 Medium Preset     1920x1080 High Preset     1920x1080 Ultra Preset
GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
58.7 (min: 45) fps ∼98%
Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
60 (min: 56) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 56) fps ∼100%
59.4 (min: 54) fps ∼99%
57.3 (min: 39) fps ∼96%
GeForce GTX 660 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
57.1 (min: 46) fps ∼95%
GeForce GTX 780M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
60 (min: 58) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 58) fps ∼100%
59.9 (min: 54) fps ∼100%
51.4 (min: 38) fps ∼86%
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
48.7 (min: 38) fps ∼81%
Radeon HD 8970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
57.4 (min: 49) fps ∼96%
46 (min: 36) fps ∼77%
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 58) fps ∼100%
53.2 (min: 39) fps ∼89%
36.7 (min: 27) fps ∼61%
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 58) fps ∼100%
59 (min: 47) fps ∼98%
35.7 (min: 29) fps ∼60%
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 58) fps ∼100%
43.1 (min: 33) fps ∼72%
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
60 (min: 59) fps ∼100%
60 (min: 57) fps ∼100%
40.1 (min: 29) fps ∼67%
GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
59.6 (min: 54) fps ∼99%
58.6 (min: 49) fps ∼98%
25.6 (min: 17) fps ∼43%
Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ, Intel SSD 525 Series SSDMCEAC180B3
Schenker S413
54.5 (min: 42) fps ∼91%
52.4 (min: 40) fps ∼87%
24.6 (min: 20) fps ∼41%
GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
51.2 (min: 43) fps ∼85%
48.2 (min: 39) fps ∼80%
22.2 (min: 16) fps ∼37%
HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
42.3 (min: 34) fps ∼71%
37.2 (min: 31) fps ∼62%
14.1 (min: 12) fps ∼24%

Test Systems

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

  • W504 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 860M, GTX 870M, GTX 880M)
  • W503 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 765M, GTX 770M, GTX 780M, Radeon HD 8970M)
  • M504 (Core i5-4340M, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 850M)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M)

The 64-bit edition of Windows 7 is installed on each of these notebooks. Thanks 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)

GPU drivers used: Nvidia 337.88, AMD 14.4, Intel 15.33.18.64.3496

Additionally there are benchmarks of other notebooks with possibly different drivers.

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Wolfenstein: The New Order
 Wolfenstein: The New Order (2014)
low
1280x720
Low Preset
med.
1280x720
Medium Preset
high
1920x1080
High Preset
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
 2NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
60
60
60
60
 3NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
60
60
60
55.7
 4NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
60
60
60
60
 11AMD Radeon R9 290X
572
56.32
 12NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
60
60
60
60
 13AMD Radeon R9 280X
60
60
59.4
57.3
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
60
60
60
51.7
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M SLI
60
60
49.6
32.2
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
60
60
59.8
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
60
60
60
 22NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
604
604
604
59.54
 23NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti
60
60
60
57.1
 25NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
60
60
59.9
51.4
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
603
603
603
48.73
 31AMD Radeon HD 8970M
60
60
57.4
46
 39NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
60
60
58.4
 45NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
60
60
53.2
36.7
 46NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
605
605
50.55
35.23
 55NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
605
605
40.15
27.63
Pos      Model                                     Wolfenstein: The New Order
lowmed.highultra
 60NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
60
60
43.1
 103*AMD Radeon R9 M265X
58
27.8
 111NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
59.752
59.22
26.852
28.6
 113NVIDIA GeForce 840M
31.94
314
15.34
9.452
 119AMD Radeon R7 in A10-7850K APU (Kaveri)
49.9
48.4
34
 120Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
54.5
52.4
24.6
 121AMD Radeon R7 in A10-7700K APU (Kaveri)
48.6
46.6
18.9
 122NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
51.2
48.2
22.2
 123NVIDIA GeForce 830M
35.1
32.3
14.1
 141NVIDIA GeForce GT 730M
38.1
33.3
14.3
 147AMD Radeon R7 M265
46.3
39.8
18.5
10.1
 152NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
50
46.3
21.1
 177AMD Radeon R6 (Kaveri)
29.6
29.1
 201AMD Radeon HD 8670M
32.6
28.5
10.9
 202AMD Radeon R6 M255DX
23.6
22.4
11.7
 203AMD Radeon HD 7660D
51.8
49.3
20.6
 221AMD Radeon HD 8650G
38.3
35.7
14.9
 226NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
35.8
32.1
12.2
 230*AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
17.4
13.9
 231NVIDIA GeForce 820M
33.6
32
11
Pos      Model                                     Wolfenstein: The New Order
lowmed.highultra
 233NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
39.6
37.2
13.9
 235Intel Iris Graphics 5100
26.952
24.352
11.552
 236AMD Radeon R5 M230
31.2
21.5
10.2
4
 247Intel HD Graphics 4600
39.352
35.42
14.152
 252AMD Radeon HD 7660G
32.1
30.6
13.9
 256*Intel HD Graphics 5300
18.3
11.1
7.6
 273AMD Radeon HD 8550G
33.1
29.8
13.4
 286Intel HD Graphics 4400
24.92
21.72
 324Intel HD Graphics 4000
31
21.9
9.1
 327AMD Radeon R5 (Beema)
19.6
17.3
9.3
4.2
 328*AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
18.7
16.6
7.8
 329Intel HD Graphics 4200
27.2
21.9
 337AMD Radeon HD 8450G
28.7
26.2
11.1
 341AMD Radeon HD 8400
16.2
 352AMD Radeon HD 8350G
24.5
22.9
8.7
 353AMD Radeon HD 8330
13.8
 381Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
19.9
14
 478Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
11.1
9.6
* 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 > Wolfenstein: The New Order Benchmarked
Author: Florian Glaser, 2014-06- 1 (Update: 2014-06- 2)