Just Cause 3 Notebook Benchmarks
Adrenaline junkie. Just Cause returns to the PC after five years. The third part follows the tradition of the series and offers an extremely crazy and casual gameplay. However, it looks like the developers forgot the technical optimization with all this fun. Here are our first impressions of the retail version.
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For the original German article, see here.
2015 was not only the year of action-adventures, but also of sloppy PC ports. Besides Call of Duty Black Ops 3, Batman Arkham Knight in particular upset the community. The list includes graphics errors, crashes and framerate drops: Many titles cannot even remotely utilize the potential of the PC platform.
Even though the technology of Just Cause 3 is not the feared catastrophe, there is some criticism for this title as well. It starts with the size of the game: At almost 50 GB, the action title is one of the biggest games in general. Yes, other open-world games occupy even more storage space (GTA V, Shadow of Mordor, ...), but there are also other examples like Fallout 4 and Metal Gear Solid V that stay below 30 GB.
Another problem are the long loading times. It takes forever befor the main menu opens after the launch – even if Just Cause 3 is installed on an SSD. We also experienced regular crashes during the launch ("JustCause3.exe has stopped working") on some devices. Once you reached the main menu, the loading times are reasonable.
The third-person title does not cause a lot of criticism for the graphics settings. The tilte does lack presets to adjust the overall graphics quality, but the graphics menu is very simple to use and – except for the scrolling sensitivity – well-structured. Starting with the gamma value, you can either turn the options on and off or adjust them in four steps. The anisotropic filtering ranges from 2-16x, while the anti-aliasing modes include the post-processing versions FXAA and SMAA. The resolution and the picture mode can obviously changed as well. The options are completed by V-Sync.
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You won't be impressed by the graphics, even when you crank up all the settings. You can, for instance, notice the lack of high-quality anti-aliasing (e. g. MSAA), but the textures still appear blurry on the highest setting. No comparison to GTA V, which is often razor-sharp. Just Cause 3 at least offers an opulent amount of effects. Hardly any game can show explosions that look this good. The viewing distance and the details of the main figures can also keep up with the rivals, and setting changes do not require a restart.
We were still slightly disappointed by the technology. The situation is similar for the hardware requirements, which are significantly higher than our subjective expectation. The developers should also improve the button mapping in the menus (Ctrl instead of Esc for back). The control of the main character itself is a bit "fluffy", which creates positive memories of Saints Row 4. The combination of the parachute and the Grapple-hook creates completely new ways of fast movement.
Just Cause 3 is a part of Nvidia's gaming program TWIMTBP, so it is not surprising that AMD GPUs are sometimes performing significantly worse. The desktop model Radeon R9 Fury, for example, was even slower than the otherwise less powerful GeForce GTX 980 in the tests. We can also notice that the title is – depending on the system – limited by the CPU at moderate settings. From our mid-range notebooks, the 15-inch model Asus N551ZU with Kaveri FX-7600P and Radeon R9 M280X was affected the most, because it could not manage smooth gameplay at all. Entry-level devices cannot handle low details anyway, but there can also be performance fluctuations on fast systems depending on the game situation. This means our results are just an indicator.
Because of the identical sequence, we actually use the start of the game for our performance tests. After the first two intro sequences, the main character Rico jumps on a plane to protect it with a rocket launcher. We record the gameplay (around 30 seconds, until the first ground base – see video – is just 200 meters away) and note the minimum as well as average frame rate.
We already mentioned that Just Cause 3 requires a mainstream GPU. Low-end chips from Intel's HD Graphics lineup (HD 4600, HD 5500, …) and older all-round models like the GeForce GT 740M do not manage more than 30 fps in any setting. Only a GeForce GT 750M can more or less handle 1024 x 768 pixels at the lowest details. We would recommend a GeForce GTX 850M or better for 1366 x 768 pixels and normal settings.
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If you want to play in 1920 x 1080 pixels and high details, you will definitely need a high-end chip like a GeForce GTX 960M or GTX 870M, and we would recommend a top model (GTX 880M+) for the maximum details. 3840 x 2160 pixels are not a good idea for single-GPU notebooks. Even very fast desktop chips like the GeForce GTX 980 or Radeon R9 Fury are struggling in this case (~36 fps @High).
|Just Cause 3|
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6700K|
36.6 (min: 33) fps ∼30%
84.2 (min: 75) fps ∼47%
94.9 (min: 84) fps ∼56%
135.9 (min: 110) fps ∼62%
147.1 (min: 108) fps ∼63%
|AMD Radeon R9 Fury, 4790K|
XFX Radeon R9 Fury Pro
36.3 (min: 33) fps ∼30%
59 (min: 47) fps ∼33%
63 (min: 50) fps ∼37%
77 (min: 58) fps ∼35%
88.6 (min: 66) fps ∼38%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ|
23.6 (min: 20) fps ∼19%
59.7 (min: 50) fps ∼34%
65.3 (min: 49) fps ∼39%
79.3 (min: 58) fps ∼36%
82.9 (min: 54) fps ∼36%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ|
19.9 (min: 16) fps ∼16%
50.7 (min: 46) fps ∼28%
56.5 (min: 46) fps ∼33%
82.6 (min: 63) fps ∼38%
86.1 (min: 58) fps ∼37%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ|
17.6 (min: 14) fps ∼14%
40.1 (min: 36) fps ∼23%
44.8 (min: 40) fps ∼27%
69.5 (min: 59) fps ∼32%
78.4 (min: 56) fps ∼34%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950, 6700K|
16.5 (min: 12) fps ∼13%
47.7 (min: 44) fps ∼27%
53.2 (min: 46) fps ∼31%
97.1 (min: 85) fps ∼45%
119.4 (min: 102) fps ∼51%
|AMD Radeon R7 370, 4790K|
MSI Gaming R7 370 2GB
14.7 (min: 12) fps ∼12%
41.3 (min: 36) fps ∼23%
45.2 (min: 40) fps ∼27%
69 (min: 59) fps ∼32%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ|
14.6 (min: 11) fps ∼12%
34.7 (min: 30) fps ∼19%
41.2 (min: 37) fps ∼24%
63.8 (min: 53) fps ∼29%
70.2 (min: 57) fps ∼30%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ|
Schenker XMG A505
11.7 (min: 8) fps ∼10%
30.9 (min: 29) fps ∼17%
35.9 (min: 31) fps ∼21%
63.4 (min: 55) fps ∼29%
71.8 (min: 51) fps ∼31%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ|
10.7 (min: 5) fps ∼9%
27.5 (min: 24) fps ∼15%
31.7 (min: 26) fps ∼19%
51.9 (min: 44) fps ∼24%
61.7 (min: 52) fps ∼26%
|NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M|
9 (min: 6) fps ∼7%
24.4 (min: 20) fps ∼14%
28.7 (min: 24) fps ∼17%
45.7 (min: 33) fps ∼21%
47.1 (min: 31) fps ∼20%
|AMD Radeon R9 M280X, FX-7600P|
18.7 (min: 14) fps ∼11%
21.9 (min: 15) fps ∼9%
|NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ|
13 (min: 9) fps ∼7%
14.8 (min: 11) fps ∼9%
27 (min: 23) fps ∼12%
34.5 (min: 30) fps ∼15%
|AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K|
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
14.1 (min: 11) fps ∼8%
24.4 (min: 19) fps ∼11%
26.6 (min: 18) fps ∼11%
|Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ|
11.9 (min: 10) fps ∼7%
12.8 (min: 11) fps ∼8%
21.6 (min: 15) fps ∼10%
26.6 (min: 23) fps ∼11%
|NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M|
HP Envy 15-j011sg
10 (min: 7) fps ∼6%
11.4 (min: 9) fps ∼7%
22.3 (min: 19) fps ∼10%
27 (min: 23) fps ∼12%
|NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M|
7.9 fps ∼5%
15.5 fps ∼7%
19.2 fps ∼8%
|Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ|
6.8 (min: 3) fps ∼4%
15.1 (min: 12) fps ∼7%
19.3 (min: 16) fps ∼8%
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:
- HP Envy 15-j011sg (Core i5-4200M, 12 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 740M)
- MSI CX61-i572M281BW7 (Core i5-4200M, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 720M)
- Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3-581TG (Core i7-2637M, 4 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 640M)
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 359.06, AMD 15.11.1 Beta, Intel 18.104.22.16800 (Win 10) and Intel 10.18.14.4294 (Win 7), respectively.