Notebookcheck

Metal Gear Solid V Notebook Benchmarks

Florian Glaser (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 09/08/2015

Box of Curiosities. After a longer hiatus, Metal Gear Series 2014 with Revengeance and Ground Zeroes once again returns to the PC platform. The newest offshoot, called "The Phantom Pain" is - in line with the previous installment - a rather unusual title. We check out the new stealth game and look at how it performs on notebooks.

For the original German article, see here.

Graphics

Those who aren't familiar with the Metal Gear series are going to be stumped at first, as it is extremely difficult to make sense of the characters, the background story and the universe without knowing the previous installment. Despite that - or maybe just because of it - The Phantom Pain captures the imagination right from the start. Although the intro is a bit slow-moving in our opinion, the tension builds up nicely in similar fashion to highly choreographed ego shooters like Call of Duty.

The developers were particularly successful with how they staged the game. Thanks to continuously changing perspectives and thrilling camera movement, Metal Gear Solid V reminds us of a Hollywood production in some ways. That doesn't mean that this is a casual game, however - from a player's point of view, The Phantom Pain is comparable to stealth adventures like Splinter CellThief or Dishonored. Controlling the game using the mouse and the keyboard is - for the most part - a very decent experience (exceptions: the menus don't support mouse control and there are controller overlays in the tutorial).

From a technical standpoint, the game impresses as well, although there are some areas where the title doesn't quite compare to other games released in 2015 like The Witcher 3 or GTA V, among others. In addition to very sharp textures, there are also object surfaces which are much less defined - quite a contrast compared to the carefully designed and credibly animated characters. Another negative aspect is the lack of higher-end anti-aliasing. FXAA, which is activated at higher post-processing levels, doesn't smooth the edges nearly as well as MSAA, for example. For that reason, many of the objects flicker (hair, bushes,...).

Aside from these flaws, we can't really criticize the Fox Engine, which is also used for Pro Evolution Soccer 2014-2016, among others. A plus point is the very good scalability, which helps out less powerful notebooks. We really liked the effects as well: in some action-heavy scenes, gamers get to experience a true explosion of dust, smoke and other particles. Lights and shadows are executed on a very high level as well. The cutscenes are compelling as well and round out the nice experience.

To run Metal Gear Solid V, DirectX 11 is required. The rest of the requirements are, as our benchmarks show, quite modest. The title remains playable even with a dual-core CPU. The fact that The Phantom Pain is part of Nvidia's "the way it's meant to be played"-series isn't noticeable - at least not in the graphics menu (no TXAA or similar). All settings are available for AMD GPUs as well, although the performance isn't quite up to par. With ForceWare 355.82, Nvidia already offers an optimized driver.

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Something to consider: the retail DVD-package does not contain the actual game, but just the Steam Installer, which in turn means that a download of more than 20 GB is required. The start of the game is accompanied by a lot of messages and The Phantom Pain also needs to connect to a server, which many users won't appreciate much - especially considering that it does waste quite a bit of time.

Settings

The adjustment options are pretty extensive with the graphics menu offering 16 options, all of which don't require a restart. Some of the features can only be turned on or off, while others have a low, medium, high and extra high setting.  The system is not uniform in that some settings are missing (it's impossible to play Metal Gear Solid V. completely on medium settings, for example).

Much more annoying, in our opinion, is the 60 fps limitation, which forces displays with 120 or 144 Hz to a lower refresh rate. Even with the vertical synchronization disabled, The Phantom Pain remains restricted to 60 fps. There's an option to restrict the frame rate down further to 30 fps, which doesn't make much sense in our opinion. At least we didn't encounter any crashes or major bugs. The PC platform desperately needed a reasonably well-engineered game after the disastrous launch of Batman: Arkham Knight.

The differences in performance of some of the systems had us scratching our heads. During the first run, the GeForce GTX 950 posted 42 fps with maxed-out details. After a short interlude with the settings on high, we recorded 57 fps with identical settings as before. Even a restart of the game didn't change the result. When we encountered fluctuations like that, we used the average of the two values. We suspect that the settings are not applied correctly at times.

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

Benchmark

The prologue in the hospital is not suited all that well for benchmarking, since there are too many cutscenes and the level-architecture is limited as well. That's why we use the first chapter entitled "Phantom Limbs", which takes place in a desert (Afghanistan). Because of the constant base frame rate - easily recognizable because of the low fps count - even a short sequence is sufficient. As the video below shows, we ride - after the intro - along a path for about 30 seconds until the horse approaches a crossing. Our colleagues from PC Games Hardware use the same exact sequence.

Results

Unlike a lot of current titles, Metal Gear Solid V doesn't need top-level hardware. Those who are happy with minimum details and a resolution of 1024 x 768 can successfully play The Phantom Pain with an HD Graphics 4600 or the HD Graphics 5500 (result for both above 30 fps).

For medium settings and 1366 x 768 pixels, a lower-middle class GeForce GT 740M is sufficient. More powerful midrange CPUS can sometimes handle high details and 1920 x 1080 pixels. An example is the GeForce GTX 850M which we clocked at 40 fps. Even the maximum settings don't have really high requirements as far as the hardware is concerned. From a GeForce GTX 960M on up, all settings can be maxed out. Metal Gear Solid V starts to get really demanding at 4K resolution, however. Only Nvidia'ss top-of-the-line GPU, the GeForce GTX 980M, can handle the settings on high and a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels without stutters.

All things considered, The Phantom Pain leaves us with a positive to very decent impression. The unique style and the atmosphere make up for the few weaknesses.

Note: we'll add the results for AMD GPUs in a few days.

Metal Gear Solid V
    3840x2160 High / On     1920x1080 Extra High / On     1920x1080 High / On     1366x768 Medium / Off     1024x768 Low / Off
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 3770K
Desktop-PC
52 (min: 48) fps ∼85%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
46.8 (min: 44) fps ∼77%
59.5 (min: 48) fps ∼98%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
37.4 (min: 36) fps ∼61%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
28.5 (min: 26) fps ∼47%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
26.2 (min: 25) fps ∼43%
59.1 (min: 56) fps ∼97%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950, 3770K
Desktop-PC
23.6 (min: 22) fps ∼39%
49.7 (min: 47) fps ∼81%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
20.7 (min: 18) fps ∼34%
45.4 (min: 43) fps ∼74%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
15.5 (min: 13) fps ∼25%
36.4 (min: 34) fps ∼60%
54.2 (min: 53) fps ∼87%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
60 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
12.6 (min: 10) fps ∼21%
28.3 (min: 26) fps ∼46%
42.2 (min: 40) fps ∼68%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
10.7 (min: 8) fps ∼18%
27 (min: 26) fps ∼44%
39.2 (min: 37) fps ∼63%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
15.4 (min: 14) fps ∼25%
23.8 (min: 23) fps ∼38%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼98%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
18.1 (min: 16) fps ∼29%
46.4 (min: 42) fps ∼76%
58.7 (min: 56) fps ∼95%
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ
Schenker S413
9.8 (min: 9) fps ∼16%
16.1 (min: 14) fps ∼26%
49.6 (min: 43) fps ∼81%
59.9 (min: 58) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, 2637M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
20.1 (min: 19) fps ∼32%
57.6 (min: 54) fps ∼94%
60 fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
10.1 (min: 7) fps ∼17%
15.3 (min: 14) fps ∼25%
43.4 (min: 41) fps ∼71%
59.9 (min: 59) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
7.9 fps ∼13%
12.2 fps ∼20%
36 fps ∼59%
57.8 fps ∼93%
AMD Radeon HD 8650G, A10-5750M
Pumori Test Platform (A10-5750M)
12 (min: 10) fps ∼19%
31 (min: 29) fps ∼51%
48.6 (min: 46) fps ∼78%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M, 3720QM
Asus N56VM
14.7 (min: 12) fps ∼24%
39.4 (min: 37) fps ∼65%
59.2 (min: 40) fps ∼95%
Intel Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
9 (min: 8) fps ∼15%
24.9 (min: 23) fps ∼41%
37.2 (min: 35) fps ∼60%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
9.9 (min: 8) fps ∼16%
28.2 (min: 25) fps ∼46%
45.1 (min: 40) fps ∼73%
Intel HD Graphics 5500, 5010U
Intel NUC Kit NUC5i3RYH
9.4 (min: 8) fps ∼15%
25.4 (min: 23) fps ∼42%
37.1 (min: 33) fps ∼60%

Test systems

Four of our test systems are from 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 courtesy of Nvidia:

Intel also sent us a notebook:

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

The desktop PCs have CPUs/APUs from Intel and AMD, SSDs from Micron, Intel and Samsung, Mainboards from Intel and Asus, as well as graphic cards from Nvidia, PNY and AMD. Our 4K monitor is an Asus PB287Q.

GPU drivers we used: Nvidia 355.82, AMD 15.8 Beta, Intel 10.18.14.4264 (Win 7) and 10.18.15.4256 (Win 10)

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Metal Gear Solid V
 Metal Gear Solid V (2015)
low
1024x768
Low / Off
med.
1366x768
Medium / Off
high
1920x1080
High / On
ultra
1920x1080
Extra High / On
4k
3840x2160
High / On
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
602
60
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
603
604
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
602
602
602
602
59.952
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
59.9
606
60
 19NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
60
603
59
 22AMD Radeon R9 Fury
60
60
60
60
57
 23AMD Radeon R9 Nano
60
60
60
60
56.4
 24NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
60
60
59.9
59.952
52
 26NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
59.952
59.952
59.93
605
50.83
 28AMD Radeon R9 390X
60
60
60
60
48.8
 32AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
59.9
43.1
 33NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
602
6011
40.8
 40NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
60
60
60
59.9
46
 41NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
60
602
42
 50AMD Radeon R9 290X
60
60
59.9
59.5
46.8
 57NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
59.93
59.93
608
609
365
 58AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH
60
60
60
59
 60AMD Radeon R9 280X
60
60
60
60
35.3
 61AMD Radeon R9 380
60
60
60
59.9
31.8
Pos      Model                                     Metal Gear Solid V
lowmed.highultra4k
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
59.9
59.9
59.9
59.9
28.2
 63NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
60
60
60
60
 67NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
59.93
59.954
59.99
59.99
28.5
 74AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
60
60
60
54
 80NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
602
602
604
53.34
24.8
 84AMD Radeon R7 370
59.96
59.85
59.69
39.88
 86NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
60
59.9
59.9
59.1
26.2
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
59.9
59.9
59.9
49.7
23.6
 95AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
60
60
59.9
44.8
20.2
 98NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
60
602
59.952
48.352
 102NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
60
59.9
59.9
45.4
20.7
 112AMD Radeon R9 M390
60
60
60
39.6
21.6
 119NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
604
59.958
56.214
37.915
14.53
 131NVIDIA GeForce MX150
603
603
37.23
243
 138NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
59.9
59.9
42.2
28.3
12.6
 146NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
59.9
59.93
37.53
26.73
10.4
 149AMD Radeon R9 M385X
57.3
56
41.4
25.2
 150NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
59.9
59.9
39.2
27
10.7
 153AMD Radeon R9 M280X
56.8
51.7
36
21.4
 159NVIDIA GeForce 945M
60
60
35.2
23.7
Pos      Model                                     Metal Gear Solid V
lowmed.highultra4k
 168Intel Iris Pro Graphics 580
59.9
58.6
23
14.9
 192NVIDIA Maxwell GPU Surface Book (940M, GDDR5)
42
35.9
19.7
13.3
 224NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
59.9
59.9
23.8
15.4
 227NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
602
51.652
 230AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
59.92
25.82
182
 231NVIDIA GeForce 940M
60
41.5
16.3
11.9
 239AMD Radeon R7 M370
57.1
43.3
20.2
12.7
 243NVIDIA GeForce 840M
58
39.9
16.1
11.9
 248AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
58.7
46.4
18.1
 249Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
59.9
49.6
16.1
9.8
 251NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
59.9
43.4
15.3
10.1
 253NVIDIA GeForce 930M
60
40.5
16.4
11.7
 254Intel Iris Graphics 550
55.7
18.9
12.3
 256NVIDIA GeForce 830M
60
48.2
16.9
11.5
 259NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
60
43.6
15.4
 260Intel Iris Graphics 540
53.32
36.12
15.32
 288AMD Radeon R7 M265
60
48.7
18.3
11.4
 292*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
45.5
36.4
14.3
 293NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
60
57.6
20.1
 294AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
40.1
29.9
12
8.6
Pos      Model                                     Metal Gear Solid V
lowmed.highultra4k
 295AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
50.2
34.6
14.5
 297*AMD Radeon R7 M460
43.9
30.2
12.4
 300AMD Radeon R7 M360
39.8
27.4
11.2
6.8
 313AMD Radeon R7 M340
50.52
33.12
13.352
6
 318Intel HD Graphics 630
57
37
14.4
 320Intel HD Graphics 530
46.92
30.952
122
8.3
 323AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
46.1
30
 324Intel UHD Graphics 620
48.2
31.3
12.1
8.2
 325Intel HD Graphics 620
43.6
29.7
10.9
 326AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
49.8
32
12.5
8
 357Intel HD Graphics 5600
31.2
20.7
7.2
 383AMD Radeon HD 8650G
48.6
31
12
 388NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
59.2
39.4
14.7
 391AMD Radeon R5 M335
40.2
26.4
9.9
7.1
 392AMD Radeon R5 M330
40.5
26.5
9.8
 393AMD Radeon R5 M430
33.5
22.8
 394AMD Radeon R5 M255
41.1
28.4
11.7
7.2
 396NVIDIA GeForce 910M
40.9
29.3
13.2
8.7
 399Intel HD Graphics 520
43.56
28.27
11.35
9.3
 400Intel Iris Graphics 6100
35.552
25.352
9.92
7.2
Pos      Model                                     Metal Gear Solid V
lowmed.highultra4k
 401NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
57.8
36
12.2
7.9
 402AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge)
34.1
24.9
 404AMD Radeon R5 M240
52.6
30
 414Intel HD Graphics 6000
35
24.8
9.5
 417Intel Iris Graphics 5100
37.2
24.9
9
 422Intel HD Graphics 4600
37.52
23.72
8.152
 424Intel HD Graphics 5500
33.53
21.13
9.052
 432*Intel HD Graphics 615
23.4
20.8
7.6
 438AMD Radeon HD 7660G
46.5
32.2
11.9
 473Intel HD Graphics 515
25.7
15.3
 474Intel HD Graphics 4400
35.2
23.5
 475*Intel HD Graphics 610
38.5
25.2
 476*Intel HD Graphics 510
38.9
25.2
 505Intel HD Graphics 5300
20.6
12.4
 506*Intel UHD Graphics 605
21.6
15.8
 507*Intel HD Graphics 505
20.7
13.8
 516Intel HD Graphics 4000
41
25.2
9.6
 520AMD Radeon R4 (Stoney Ridge)
26
17.9
 524AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
28.1
18.5
 525AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
26.2
17.3
Pos      Model                                     Metal Gear Solid V
lowmed.highultra4k
 527AMD Radeon R2 (Stoney Ridge)
23.6
18.5
 528Intel HD Graphics 4200
30.7
20.5
 554AMD Radeon HD 8350G
27.7
22.8
 557Intel HD Graphics 500
16.4
9.7
 577Intel HD Graphics 405 (Braswell)
18.8
13
 578Intel HD Graphics (Braswell)
13.7
9.5
 583AMD Radeon HD 7420G
23.3
18.3
 609Intel HD Graphics (Cherry Trail)
15.1
9.8
 691Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
10.8
* 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 > Archive of our own reviews > Metal Gear Solid V Notebook Benchmarks
Florian Glaser, 2015-09- 8 (Update: 2015-09- 9)
Bernhard Pechlaner
Bernhard Pechlaner - Review Editor
Ended up in the IT sector in the 90s more or less accidentally and have remained in the industry (as a sysadmin) ever since. Always been interested in laptops - first purchase was - if memory serves correctly - a Toshiba Satellite T2115CS with DX4-75 processor, 4 MB of RAM and 350 MB hard disk drive (and Windows 3.1). To this day, laptops appeal to me - much to the chagrin of my wife, who doesn’t seem understand why we need 5-10 of them at any given time ;-).