Notebookcheck

Farming Simulator 17 Notebook and Desktop Benchmarks

Florian Glaser (translated by Ed Tittel), 11/17/2016

Let's get cracking! A word to the wise at the big gaming companies, where they routinely spend millions and put casts of thousands to work developing high-end games. Alongside all those big boys -- like Battlefield, FIFA, and Assassin's Creed -- Germans also delight in playing on a farming simulator. Here's a look at what's up with the latest version, as shown in this benchmark report.

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For the original German article, see here.

Gaming Environment

We resisted the impulse for a long, long while, but after dozens of Community e-mails we simply couldn't avoid our responsibilities any more. The Farming Simulator (Landswirtschafts-Simulator in German) has been enthusiastically adopted by a sizable fan base, that includes not just hobby farmers, but also ordinary people in search of a simple, idyllic and engaging gaming experience.

And yes, after your humble author spend a few hours messing around with mowing, manure and feeding the pigs, he truly did begin to understand the undying fascination that dedicated virtual farmers seem to love. We found it particularly clever that the game let us tune into various radio stations to provide a soundtrack for our agricultural pursuits. Thus, for example, you can pick a hip-hop channel, and cruise to the pulsing base of Jay-Z as you drive around in your tractor. It may sound pretty crazy, but it's actually quite amusing.

Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17

Technically speaking, the 17th edition of this game is a little underwhelming. Even at the highest level of detail, graphics look a little fuzzy, whether rendering characters or textures. Only the farming equipment is very sharp, almost lovingly detailed when rendered. Game physics vary between good and curiously bad, as when the Bulldog trailers take to the air behind your tractor (if hauled through a confined space of your own making). But this, too, has its own curious charm and gives the game an occasional dash of slapstick humor.

All in all the overall graphics are workmanlike, though in some situations (such as when rendering tall grass in a sunset scene) you'll see lots of atmospheric effects. That adjective -- atmospheric -- carries over into much of this game. But newbies need not worry too much about jumping late to this game. Although this is the 17th version, they'll find that its tutorials do a half-way decent job of helping them understand and manipulate its many game elements. It's our frank opinion that game navigation and most of the menus could easily be made more user-friendly and attractive. The limitations of a small developer organization clearly make themselves felt in the areas of game controls and infrastructure.

Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17

The options menu offers a wide range of choices to manage. Along with the general settings, you'll find 11 additional features beyond resolution to dig into. Among others, they include such things as HUD scaling, the visual field, brightness, image mode, and vertical synch. The most important of these is the "Hardware Profile" item, which establishes overall graphics quality via settings for Low, Medium, High, and Very High. Those who want to get under the game's hood and mess with its innards will enjoy working with the expanded graphics menus. There, you'll find nearly 20 options to manage the PC runtime environment that supports completely unique tuning and customization.

That sad, we have to take issue with some of the game's restrictions. Settings many only be altered in the main menu, but when you select Very High graphics quality, you can't see all the controls on screen. This includes anisotropic texture filtering, something that hardly impacts modern PC performance nowadays. Edge smoothing is handled using MSAA settings. While this control really helps how other games looks and play, the farming simulator is inclined to flickering when displaying game objects (particularly trees and bushes). Over time, this becomes disturbing. In addition, loading times could be faster -- at least, when reading from a hard disk.

Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17
Farming Simulator 17

By contrast, with about 4 GB to download and a 7 GB disk footprint, the game is delightfully compact. As compared to other modern games, this is far less than the typical 30-plus GB you'll find. The retail version of the game comes on a DVD, but surprisingly does not have to be tied to a specific online account. Its straightforward activation requires only entering the product key over the Internet. Our testing was based on the 35 Euro and presumably identical Steam version.

Benchmark

We measured the frame rate using the FRAPS tool for the game map entry named "Goldcrest Valley." As you can see in the accompanying video we captured, this features a sprint from one of its four walls out to the Case IH 1660 Axial-Flow harvester combine, and a drive with this bright-red mechanical monster around the field. Because of the graphics effects involved (dust, flying straw, and more) this graphic sequence provides an effective "worst case scenario" for putting the game through its paces. If you can get this scene to benchmark at 35 fps or better, your system can handle anything the game might ever throw your way.

Tip: to run the game at 60 fps or faster, you must not only deactivate vertical synchronization, you will also have to monkey around with the game.xml file (usually resides in C:UsersxxxDocumentsmy gamesFarmingSimulator2017). After you open that file in a Windows text editor (like Notepad) you need only change the item therein that reads <controls>false</controls> to <controls>true</controls> instead. After that, if you hit the F3 key during gameplay, it will be locked into 60-fps mode until you restart the game, or until you make another settings change.

Results

Owners of older or weaker notebook PC seldom find reasons for joy when playing state-of-the-art games. It doesn't matter if you're playing Mafia 3, Deus Ex Mankind Divided, Mirror's Edge Catalyst or The Division: low-end graphics cards like an HD Graphics 4600 or the GeForce GT 720M are overwhelmed, even at low detail settings and a modest resolution of only 1280 x 720. Farming Simulator 17 is a different kettle of fish. You can play satisfactorily at medium detail settings and a resolution of 1366 x 768 on an HD Graphics 4600 GPU.

Low
Low
Medium
Medium
High
High
Very High
Very High
Low
Low
Medium
Medium
High
High
Very High
Very High

To achieve a tolerable gaming experience at 1920 x 1080 resolution with Medium presets, your rig should include nothing a real gaming GPU (a GeForce 920M or better). Somewhat more capable models like the GeForce 940M can handle the High preset. But for a combination of Full HD and the Very High preset, you'd want something at least at the level of a GeForce GTX 950M or GTX 860M.

If you want to turn the Farming Simulator at higher 3K - 4K resolutions (3840 x 2160) and the Very High presets, you'll need something like a GeForce GTX 880M or a GTX 965M for fluid gameplay. A close look at the Bechmark Table also makes it clear that the CPU can become a limiting factor on systems with leading-edge/bleeding-edge GPUs.

Farming Simulator 17
    3840x2160 High Preset AA:2xMS AF:2x     1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:4xMS AF:4x     1920x1080 High Preset AA:2xMS AF:2x     1920x1080 Medium Preset     1366x768 Medium Preset     1280x720 Low Preset
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 4790K
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
126 (min: 117) fps ∼59%
233 (min: 224) fps ∼98%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus G752VS
142 (min: 113) fps ∼67%
188 (min: 173) fps ∼79%
198 (min: 181) fps ∼80%
214 (min: 185) fps ∼80%
215 (min: 206) fps ∼80%
249 (min: 238) fps ∼80%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti, 4790K
Asus Strix GTX 980 Ti Desktop PC
117 fps ∼55%
AMD Radeon R9 Fury, 4790K
XFX Radeon R9 Fury Pro
103 (min: 95) fps ∼48%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6700K
Desktop PC
106 (min: 82) fps ∼50%
196 (min: 168) fps ∼82%
246 (min: 232) fps ∼99%
268 (min: 258) fps ∼100%
269 (min: 258) fps ∼100%
311 (min: 290) fps ∼100%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
103 (min: 78) fps ∼48%
199 (min: 172) fps ∼84%
248 (min: 226) fps ∼100%
267 (min: 257) fps ∼100%
268 (min: 257) fps ∼100%
308 (min: 291) fps ∼99%
AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop), 4790K
AMD Radeon RX 480 8 GB Reference
73 (min: 45) fps ∼34%
77 (min: 72) fps ∼32%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, 4790K
MSI Gaming Z GeForce GTX 970 Desktop PC
76 (min: 69) fps ∼36%
AMD Radeon RX 470 (Desktop), 4790K
MSI RX 470 Gaming X 4GB
67.8 (min: 63) fps ∼32%
72 (min: 66) fps ∼30%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
95 (min: 89) fps ∼45%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
73.4 (min: 56) fps ∼34%
113 (min: 78) fps ∼47%
143 (min: 132) fps ∼58%
146 (min: 133) fps ∼54%
163 (min: 147) fps ∼61%
183 (min: 166) fps ∼59%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
55.8 (min: 44) fps ∼26%
89.2 (min: 50) fps ∼37%
121 (min: 78) fps ∼49%
147 (min: 138) fps ∼55%
158 (min: 148) fps ∼59%
186 (min: 178) fps ∼60%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
44 (min: 31) fps ∼21%
81.8 (min: 65) fps ∼34%
118 (min: 105) fps ∼48%
146 (min: 131) fps ∼54%
159 (min: 151) fps ∼59%
185 (min: 167) fps ∼59%
AMD Radeon R7 370, 4790K
MSI Gaming R7 370 2GB
45.1 (min: 42) fps ∼21%
53.5 (min: 49) fps ∼22%
AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop), 4790K
XFX RX-460P4DFG5 Double Dissipation 4 GB
33.2 (min: 30) fps ∼16%
37.6 (min: 34) fps ∼16%
106 (min: 100) fps ∼43%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M, 6700HQ
MSI GE72 965M Ti
36.9 (min: 33) fps ∼17%
82 (min: 75) fps ∼34%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
33.6 (min: 22) fps ∼16%
63.9 (min: 50) fps ∼27%
105 (min: 82) fps ∼42%
139 (min: 123) fps ∼52%
161 (min: 142) fps ∼60%
185 (min: 179) fps ∼59%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
28.3 (min: 13) fps ∼13%
60.1 (min: 45) fps ∼25%
87.2 (min: 72) fps ∼35%
131 (min: 114) fps ∼49%
165 (min: 150) fps ∼61%
191 (min: 175) fps ∼61%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
21.6 (min: 14) fps ∼10%
42 (min: 30) fps ∼18%
72 (min: 56) fps ∼29%
106 (min: 92) fps ∼40%
150 (min: 141) fps ∼56%
185 (min: 170) fps ∼59%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ
MSI PE60 2QD
18 (min: 15) fps ∼8%
42.8 (min: 38) fps ∼18%
65.4 (min: 59) fps ∼26%
155 (min: 147) fps ∼58%
185 (min: 179) fps ∼59%
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 6700HQ
MSI CX72 6QD
22.2 (min: 20) fps ∼9%
33.5 (min: 31) fps ∼14%
86 (min: 81) fps ∼32%
NVIDIA GeForce 940M, 5700HQ
MSI GP62 2QD
21.8 (min: 19) fps ∼9%
34.3 (min: 31) fps ∼14%
80 (min: 76) fps ∼30%
NVIDIA GeForce 920M, 2970M
MSI CX61 2QC 2970M MS-16GD
14.2 (min: 13) fps ∼6%
24.6 (min: 23) fps ∼10%
59.7 (min: 55) fps ∼22%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
10.9 fps ∼5%
18.3 fps ∼7%
46 fps ∼17%
69.9 fps ∼22%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
8 (min: 6) fps ∼3%
11 (min: 9) fps ∼4%
25.1 (min: 20) fps ∼9%
37.9 (min: 30) fps ∼14%
69.3 (min: 58) fps ∼22%

Overview

Show Restrictions
<
Pos      Model                                     Farming Simulator 17
 Farming Simulator 17 (2016)
low
1280x720
Low Preset
med.
1366x768
Medium Preset
high
1920x1080
High Preset
2xAF 2xMSAA
ultra
1920x1080
Very High Preset
4xAF 4xMSAA
4k
3840x2160
High Preset
2xAF 2xMSAA
 1NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
238
189.522
 2NVIDIA Titan X Pascal
220
193
179
162
179
 3NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
140
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
160
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti (Desktop)
80
 12NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
233
126
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
249
215
198
188
142
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
117
 19AMD Radeon R9 Fury
103
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
311
269
246
196
106
 22AMD Radeon RX 580 (Desktop)
184.1
152.1
141.3
90.2
89.6
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
308
268
248
199
103
 32AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
77
73
 34NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
209.3
179.6
1623
1503
 37NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
76
 40AMD Radeon RX 470 (Desktop)
72
67.8
 45AMD Radeon R9 290X
95
 49AMD Radeon HD 8970M Crossfire
189
152
126
56
 52NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
183
163
143
113
73.4
Pos      Model                                     Farming Simulator 17
lowmed.highultra4k
 57NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
169.8
148.5
127.32
116.52
59.7
 58NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop)
113
51.1
 59NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
186
158
121
89.2
55.8
 70NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop)
103
46.3
 71NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
74
37.4
 74AMD Radeon R7 370
53.5
45.1
 76NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
185
159
118
81.8
44
 84AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
106
37.6
33.2
 88NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
82
36.9
 90NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
185
161
105
63.9
33.6
 92AMD Radeon HD 8970M
190
158
124
54
 104AMD Radeon Pro 460
235.5
92.3
34.7
 106NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
191
165
87.2
60.1
28.3
 113NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (Desktop)
234.22
174.452
83.42
56.552
17.852
 114NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030)
193.2
150.9
73.9
51.852
22.7
 119*AMD Radeon Pro 555
70.2
26
22.6
 120*AMD Radeon Pro 455
71.7
25.8
22.8
 123NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
185
150
72
42
21.6
 131*AMD Radeon Pro 450
63.4
24.7
 132NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
185
155
65.4
42.8
18
Pos      Model                                     Farming Simulator 17
lowmed.highultra4k
 209*NVIDIA Quadro M520
183.1
120.6
49.8
32.1
13.7
 211NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
129.13
83.656
35.45
23.95
 214NVIDIA GeForce 940M
80
34.3
21.8
 218AMD Radeon R7 M445
64.2
42.9
16.9
10
 229*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
63.2
47.5
22
 230AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
70
27.3
 235NVIDIA GeForce 930M
121.2
77.2
31.1
 236*Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650
36.8
19.9
 237*Intel Iris Graphics 550
93
34.7
20.8
 243Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
121
91
31.6
17.8
 244Intel Iris Graphics 540
112
76
30.6
19.1
 274NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
83
50.9
22.6
 277*AMD Radeon R7 M460
95.8
62.6
24
10
 280AMD Radeon R7 M360
71.6
58.6
22.7
9.7
 283NVIDIA GeForce 920M
59.7
24.6
14.2
 286AMD Radeon R8 M445DX
63.8
21.6
 287AMD Radeon R7 M440
69.7
59.3
21.1
 294AMD Radeon 520
70.8
47.1
18.3
7.6
 296Intel UHD Graphics 630
93
66
26.52
13.652
 297Intel HD Graphics 630
106
65
23.6
13
Pos      Model                                     Farming Simulator 17
lowmed.highultra4k
 299Intel HD Graphics 530
90
57
20.7
12.1
5.8
 303AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
60.3
38.4
 304AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge)
53.4
36.1
 305*Intel UHD Graphics 620
873
58.93
23.552
12.6
 306*Intel HD Graphics 620
59.854
445
17.24
11.652
 338Intel HD Graphics 5600
45.5
18.1
 364AMD Radeon HD 8650G
68.2
46.4
 369NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
40.3
182
 374AMD Radeon R5 M430
66.1
43
17.3
 375AMD Radeon R5 M255
93.8
59.9
23.4
10
 379Intel HD Graphics 520
68.32
45.952
20.352
12
 380Intel Iris Graphics 6100
63.6
48.8
21
 381NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
69.9
46
18.3
10.9
 392Intel HD Graphics 6000
58.152
32.7
18.9
 400Intel HD Graphics 4600
70.22
42.452
14.952
9.552
 402Intel HD Graphics 5500
60.7
 407*Intel HD Graphics 615
70.2
45.1
 448Intel HD Graphics 515
48
24.1
10.1
 449Intel HD Graphics 4400
49.3
27.1
8.2
 450*Intel HD Graphics 610
66.1
41.1
Pos      Model                                     Farming Simulator 17
lowmed.highultra4k
 451*Intel HD Graphics 510
70.6
41.3
 490Intel HD Graphics 4000
43
25.1
 493AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge)
38
24.8
 498AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
41.5
28.3
 500AMD Radeon R2 (Stoney Ridge)
43.5
26.4
 548Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell)
24.452
21.3
 550Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)
20.9
5.8
 554AMD Radeon HD 7420G
42.4
26.6
 559Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
38.6
21.6
6.3
 579Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
22.6
 598Intel HD Graphics 3000
22.1
13.2