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Assassin's Creed Syndicate Notebook Benchmarks

Florian Glaser, Tanja Hinum (translated by Andreas Osthoff), 11/28/2015

Improved. After the very buggy Assassin’s Creed Unity, the gaming world is now looking very closely at the successor. Does Syndicate inherit the same performance issues or did Ubisoft put more effort into it this time? We tested it with dozens of laptops.

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Assassin's Creed Syndicate Logo

For the original German article, see here.

Graphics

One thing right away: Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is not a technical catastrophe like its predecessor Unity. For starters, Ubisoft had almost one year to take care of the several bugs and deficits of the AnvilNext engine, but they also slightly reduced the quality at some points to reduce the resource requirements and therefore improve the performance. Compared to Unity, Syndicate offers less people with detailed hair, although this is also caused by the different scenario (19th century London instead of 18th century France).

All in all, we would still call the graphics good. Syndicate cannot compete with the quality of Star Wars Battlefront, for example, but huge cities can hardly be realized without some compromises anyway.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate

The engine still leaves the impression that it could be further optimized. The main problem is still the enormous hardware requirements. While weaker low-end GPUs are completely overextended with Syndicate, even high-end chips can have problems depending on the settings. The gameplay will stutter heavily at the maximum details (4x MSAA) in particular, even when you are playing on expensive gaming notebooks. 

We can quickly find the reason for the poor performance. Syndicate visualizes the VRAM consumption of the graphics card in the settings. A combination of 1920x1080 pixels and the preset "Ultra High" requires 4 GB, just like 3840x2160 pixels in combination with the preset "High". 4K and "Ultra High" even require 6 GB of VRAM. It is therefore not surprising that models with 2-3 GB VRAM have a clear disadvantage compared to chips with 4-8 GB.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate

The open-world game is also pretty demanding in terms of storage. You will have to download more than 40 GB if you buy the digital edition, and the requirements for the CPU are pretty high as well. If you have an Intel notebook with a current dual-core or quad-core CPU, the GPU will often be the limiting factor with "High" details or more (we will add benchmarks for AMD-based systems later). Annoying: Syndicate crashed during the launch on our NUC-PC with a Core i3-5010U and HD Graphics 5500 (we had the same problem with Star Wars Battlefront). The HD Graphics 4600 produces massive graphics errors.

There are also some smaller bugs, for instance, in terms of the resolution. We often had the problem that Syndicate a) switches to the Desktop, b) only runs in a window and/or c) uses a refresh rate that is too low for the display after a change of resolution. The cursor also tends to behave erratically when you do not use the native resolution (wrong position recognition).

Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Contrary to other titles, some setting changes, unfortunately, require a restart, so the intro videos and the loading times can become pretty annoying. Depending on the type of hard drive, the GPU and the settings, Syndicate also needs a lot of time to open a saved game. The graphics menu itself leaves a decent impression. Six options are not overly generous, but the different presets and anti-aliasing modes (FXAA, MSAA, TXAA) still ensure a good scalability.  

If you combine all these aspects, then Syndicate feels much more sophisticated than Unity, which should have been on par with its successor at its launch. Some blurry textures and second-class effects are therefore not a huge deal. The latest Assassin’s Creed is once again a real highlight in respect of the atmospheric world. Despite the gigantic city, you can discover new details at almost every corner.

Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Assassin's Creed Syndicate

Benchmark

Similar to Unity, we use a sequence after the tutorial missions for our benchmarks. As soon as you reach chapter 3 or 3% progress, respectively, you can freely move around in London either with the male or female main character and accept missions. 

You can see our exact path in the video below, which takes – when the performance is sufficient – around 35 seconds (running). Besides the average frame rate, we also note the minimum result. It is a third-person game and the sequence is representative for standard gameplay, so the GPU should manage at least 30 FPS on average.

Results

As we mentioned before, entry-level GPUs and older multimedia chips are just not powerful enough for Syndicate. Neither the HD Graphics 4600 nor the GeForce GT 740M manage more than 20 FPS in the benchmark – even at 1024x768 and the preset "Low". The successful all-rounder GT 750M also tends to stutter. To enjoy Syndicate at medium details (1366x768 pixels, normal details, FXAA), you will need at least a GTX 850M or GTX 860M.

Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings
4K Settings
4K Settings
Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings
4K Settings
4K Settings

1920x1080 pixels and the preset "High" requires at least a luxury GPU like the GeForce GTX 870M. Maximum settings and 4x MSAA will only run smoothly with a GeForce GTX 980 (desktop). Owners of gaming notebooks with a GTX 980M or GTX 970M should stick with the preset "Very High", which keeps a good balance between quality and performance. We would avoid 4K in general, because high details and 3840x2160 pixels will be a real challenge even for high-end desktop systems.

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Assassin's Creed Syndicate
    3840x2160 High Preset AA:FX     1920x1080 Ultra High Preset AA:4x MSAA + FX     1920x1080 High Preset AA:FX     1366x768 Medium Preset AA:FX     1024x768 Low Preset AA:FX
AMD Radeon R9 Fury, 4790K
XFX Radeon R9 Fury Pro
31.5 (min: 29) fps ∼42%
28.3 (min: 23) fps ∼33%
71 (min: 60) fps ∼46%
81 (min: 66) fps ∼56%
82 (min: 69) fps ∼58%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6700K
Desktop PC
27.6 (min: 26) fps ∼37%
33.5 (min: 27) fps ∼39%
80.8 (min: 75) fps ∼52%
113.7 (min: 100) fps ∼79%
123.2 (min: 107) fps ∼87%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
26.2 (min: 23) fps ∼35%
5 (min: 3) fps ∼6%
64 (min: 57) fps ∼41%
75 (min: 60) fps ∼52%
78 (min: 60) fps ∼55%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
20.7 (min: 18) fps ∼28%
24.2 (min: 19) fps ∼28%
57.4 (min: 52) fps ∼37%
69 (min: 59) fps ∼48%
69 (min: 60) fps ∼49%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
16.2 (min: 14) fps ∼22%
18.9 (min: 15) fps ∼22%
48.3 (min: 42) fps ∼31%
63.8 (min: 55) fps ∼44%
70.2 (min: 62) fps ∼50%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
13.4 (min: 11) fps ∼18%
16.6 (min: 13) fps ∼19%
40.8 (min: 34) fps ∼26%
60.3 (min: 52) fps ∼42%
70.7 (min: 62) fps ∼50%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950, 6700K
Desktop PC
11.3 (min: 10) fps ∼15%
4.7 (min: 3) fps ∼5%
41.6 (min: 37) fps ∼27%
70.3 (min: 63) fps ∼49%
89.3 (min: 80) fps ∼63%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
10.5 (min: 9) fps ∼14%
12.8 (min: 10) fps ∼15%
33.7 (min: 29) fps ∼22%
52.7 (min: 48) fps ∼37%
63.9 (min: 57) fps ∼45%
AMD Radeon R7 370, 4790K
MSI Gaming R7 370 2GB
4.1 (min: 2) fps ∼5%
36.5 (min: 32) fps ∼24%
56 (min: 49) fps ∼39%
68 (min: 59) fps ∼48%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
8.5 (min: 7) fps ∼11%
4.6 (min: 4) fps ∼5%
29.8 (min: 27) fps ∼19%
50 (min: 46) fps ∼35%
62.9 (min: 56) fps ∼45%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
6.9 (min: 6) fps ∼9%
8 (min: 6) fps ∼9%
23.6 (min: 20) fps ∼15%
36.8 (min: 30) fps ∼26%
48.4 (min: 40) fps ∼34%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
4.4 (min: 1) fps ∼6%
3.6 (min: 1) fps ∼4%
22.1 (min: 19) fps ∼14%
36.6 (min: 28) fps ∼25%
41.9 (min: 33) fps ∼30%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
12 (min: 10) fps ∼8%
20.1 (min: 17) fps ∼14%
26.3 (min: 23) fps ∼19%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
8.3 (min: 7) fps ∼5%
14.2 (min: 12) fps ∼10%
17.9 (min: 15) fps ∼13%
AMD Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P
Asus N551ZU-CN007H
13 (min: 6) fps ∼9%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
9.7 fps ∼7%
12.3 fps ∼9%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M, 3720QM
Asus N56VM
8.1 (min: 6) fps ∼6%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
4.6 (min: 2) fps ∼3%
7.1 (min: 4) fps ∼5%

Test Systems

Four of our test models are provided by Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • 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)

Three notebooks are provided by Nvidia:

In addition, Intel provided one notebook:

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

The desktop PCs are equipped with CPUs/APUs from Intel and AMD, SSDs from Micron, OCZ, Intel and Samsung, motherboards from Intel and Asus as well as graphics cards from Nvidia, PNY and AMD. We use the monitor Asus PB287Q for our 4K tests.

We used the following GPU drivers: Nvidia 359.00, AMD 15.11.1 Beta, Intel 20.19.15.4300 (Win 10) and Intel 10.18.14.4294 (Win 7), respectively.

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Assassin's Creed Syndicate
 Assassin's Creed Syndicate (2015)
low
1024x768
Low Preset
FXAA
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
FXAA
high
1920x1080
High Preset
FXAA
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra High Preset
4x MSAA + FXAA
4k
3840x2160
High Preset
FXAA
 3NVIDIA Titan X Pascal
125.6
125.3
127
75.7
65.1
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
57
47.3
 10NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
85
52.9
47.2
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
49.9n2
39.5n2
 16NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q
74.4
50.3
40
 17NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
79.5n3
45n3
37n2
 20NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
46.3
37.4
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
78.8
43.6
33.4
 24AMD Radeon R9 Fury
82
81
71
28.3
31.5
 25AMD Radeon R9 Nano
31.3
30.8
 26NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
123.2
113.7
80.8
33.5
27.6
 28NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
96.2n2
95n2
78.4n2
32.3n2
28.4n2
 30AMD Radeon R9 390X
73.9
68.4
61.8
25.6
26.7
 32NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
121
117
83
35.3
27.8
 34AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
75
29.1
25.6
 35NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
69.9
30.8
24.4
 38AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop)
49.7
49.3
46.5
24.4
24.1
 42NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
81.8
75.5
74.9
31.95n2
25.2
 43NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
82.6
65.8
29.4
22.2
Pos      Model                                     Assassin's Creed Syndicate
lowmed.highultra4k
 52AMD Radeon R9 290X
78
75
64
5
26.2
 59NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
75.4n3
71.6n3
57.4n3
24.2n3
20.6n2
 62AMD Radeon R9 280X
72
74
54
4.3
19.4
 63AMD Radeon R9 380
62.7
54.8
41.4
17.4
16.3
 64NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
82.3
70.3
47.3
18.9
16.5
 65NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
47.8
23.5
17.1
 67NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop)
52.6
22.9
 70NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
79.35n4
73.7n4
48.75n4
20n4
16.2
 73NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
93.4
79.6
45.9
5.6
14.1
 83NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop)
44.1
16.5
 88AMD Radeon R7 370
68
56
36.5
4.1
 90NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
70.7
60.3
40.8
16.6
13.4
 91NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
89.3
70.3
41.6
4.7
11.3
 99AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
37.9
14
11.2
 102NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
66.4n3
60.5n3
35.5n3
2.8n3
 106NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
63.9
52.7
33.7
12.8
10.5
 108AMD Radeon HD 8970M
62.9
56.9
38
19.4
 116AMD Radeon R9 M390
52
41.2
29.2
 123NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
59.1n3
47.5n3
29.8n3
4.9n2
8.5
 142NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
48.4
36.8
23.6
8
6.9
Pos      Model                                     Assassin's Creed Syndicate
lowmed.highultra4k
 150NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
38.75n2
32.35n2
19.5n2
 153AMD Radeon R9 M385X
13.3
12.5
 154NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
41.9
36.6
22.1
3.6
4.4
 157AMD Radeon R9 M280X
13
 228NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
26.3
20.1
12
 231NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
24.4n3
20.1n3
13.2n2
5.8
 235NVIDIA GeForce 940M
26
21.4
 244AMD Radeon R7 M370
19.3
15.8
8.9
 256NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
17.9
14.2
8.3
 258NVIDIA GeForce 930M
21.8
17.3
9.6
4.3
 259Intel Iris Graphics 550
7.8
 264NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
18.8
15.9
 265Intel Iris Graphics 540
5.05n2
 298NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
17.3
 299AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
10.7
7.4
 300AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
14.1
 305AMD Radeon R7 M360
13.6n2
10.6n2
6.45n2
 307NVIDIA GeForce 920M
19
 330Intel HD Graphics 620
5.4
 331AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
11.5
9.4
Pos      Model                                     Assassin's Creed Syndicate
lowmed.highultra4k
 393NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
8.1
 399AMD Radeon R5 M255
15.7
11.9
 406NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
12.3
9.7
 427Intel HD Graphics 4600
6.8n2
4.6
 481Intel HD Graphics 4400
4.7
(-) * Smaller values are better. / n123 Number of benchmarks for this median value / * 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 > Archive of our own reviews > Assassin's Creed Syndicate Notebook Benchmarks
Florian Glaser, 2015-11-28 (Update: 2018-05-15)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.