Notebookcheck

Metal Gear Solid V Notebook Benchmarks

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.
Florian Glaser, Tanja Hinum (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 🇩🇪
Metal Gear Solid V

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.

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.

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Medium
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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 (48min) fps ∼85%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼98%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼97%
60 (59min) fps ∼98%
60 (59min) fps ∼97%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
46.8 (44min) fps ∼77%
59.5 (48min) fps ∼98%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼97%
60 (59min) fps ∼98%
60 (59min) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
37.4 (36min) fps ∼61%
60 (59min) fps ∼98%
60 (59min) fps ∼97%
60 (59min) fps ∼98%
60 (59min) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
28.5 (26min) fps ∼47%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼98%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼97%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼98%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
26.2 (25min) fps ∼43%
59.1 (56min) fps ∼97%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼97%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼98%
60 (59min) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950, 3770K
Desktop-PC
23.6 (22min) fps ∼39%
49.7 (47min) fps ∼81%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼97%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼98%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
20.7 (18min) fps ∼34%
45.4 (43min) fps ∼74%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼97%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼98%
60 (59min) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
15.5 (13min) fps ∼25%
36.4 (34min) fps ∼60%
54.2 (53min) fps ∼87%
60 (59min) fps ∼98%
60 (59min) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
12.6 (10min) fps ∼21%
28.3 (26min) fps ∼46%
42.2 (40min) fps ∼68%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼98%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
10.7 (8min) fps ∼18%
27 (26min) fps ∼44%
39.2 (37min) fps ∼63%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼98%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
15.4 (14min) fps ∼25%
23.8 (23min) fps ∼38%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼98%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼97%
AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
18.1 (16min) fps ∼29%
46.4 (42min) fps ∼76%
58.7 (56min) fps ∼95%
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ
Schenker S413
9.8 (9min) fps ∼16%
16.1 (14min) fps ∼26%
49.6 (43min) fps ∼81%
59.9 (58min) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, 2637M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
20.1 (19min) fps ∼32%
57.6 (54min) fps ∼94%
60 (0min) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
10.1 (7min) fps ∼17%
15.3 (14min) fps ∼25%
43.4 (41min) fps ∼71%
59.9 (59min) fps ∼97%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
7.9 (0min) fps ∼13%
12.2 (0min) fps ∼20%
36 (0min) fps ∼59%
57.8 (0min) fps ∼93%
AMD Radeon HD 8650G, A10-5750M
Pumori Test Platform (A10-5750M)
12 (10min) fps ∼19%
31 (29min) fps ∼51%
48.6 (46min) fps ∼78%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M, 3720QM
Asus N56VM
14.7 (12min) fps ∼24%
39.4 (37min) fps ∼65%
59.2 (40min) fps ∼95%
Intel Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
9 (8min) fps ∼15%
24.9 (23min) fps ∼41%
37.2 (35min) fps ∼60%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
9.9 (8min) fps ∼16%
28.2 (25min) fps ∼46%
45.1 (40min) fps ∼73%
Intel HD Graphics 5500, 5010U
Intel NUC Kit NUC5i3RYH
9.4 (8min) fps ∼15%
25.4 (23min) fps ∼42%
37.1 (33min) 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

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AMD Radeon Pro WX 4130
AMD Radeon HD 6990M Crossfire
AMD Radeon HD 6990M
AMD Radeon HD 6450M
AMD Radeon HD 6470M
AMD Radeon HD 6350M
AMD Radeon HD 6320
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AMD Radeon HD 6970M
NVIDIA Quadro K510M
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200
AMD Radeon HD 6760G2
AMD Radeon Pro WX 2100
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
AMD Radeon HD 6775G2
AMD Radeon HD 6545G2
AMD Radeon HD 6430M
AMD FirePro W5170M
AMD Radeon HD 7520G
AMD Radeon HD 7490M
AMD Radeon HD 7500G
AMD Radeon HD 7480D
AMD Radeon HD 7450M
NVIDIA GeForce GT 240 GDDR5
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NVIDIA Quadro M1200
NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GTX SLI
NVIDIA GeForce GT 555M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile
NVIDIA GeForce GT 550M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super (Desktop)
NVIDIA GeForce 930M
60
40.5
16.4
11.7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q
NVIDIA Quadro M2000M
NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M
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AMD Radeon HD 6830M
AMD Radeon HD 6520G
AMD Radeon HD 6540G2
AMD Radeon HD 6380G
AMD Radeon HD 6370M
AMD Radeon HD 6290
AMD Radeon HD 6250
AMD FirePro W2100
AMD FirePro W7170M
AMD Radeon 530
AMD Radeon HD 6740G2
AMD Radeon HD 7570M
AMD Radeon HD 6520G + HD 7450M Dual Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
AMD Radeon HD 6330M
AMD FirePro W5130M
AMD Radeon 610
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NVIDIA Quadro FX Go 1400
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 775M
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20
AMD Radeon HD 6630M
AMD Radeon HD 6640G2
AMD Radeon HD 7310
AMD Radeon HD 6620G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 7690M
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AMD Radeon HD 7340
AMD Radeon HD 7690M XT
AMD Radeon HD 6650M
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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti (Desktop)
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Desktop)
AMD Radeon HD 6730M
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AMD Radeon HD 6645G2
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NVIDIA Quadro M620
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AMD Radeon Pro WX 4150
AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL
60
60
60
50
25.1
AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema/Carrizo-L)
AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
26.2
17.3
AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M SLI
AMD Radeon HD 7430M
AMD Radeon HD 7420G
23.3
18.3
AMD Radeon HD 7370M
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AMD Radeon HD 7350M
AMD Radeon HD 7400G
Intel HD Graphics 530
46.9n2
30.95n2
12n2
8.3
AMD Radeon HD 7850M
Intel HD Graphics 4000
41
25.2
9.6
Intel HD Graphics 610
38.5
25.2
Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)
13.3
Intel HD Graphics 6000
35
24.8
9.5
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
60
60n2
42
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
NVIDIA Quadro P4000 Max-Q
60
60
60
60
50
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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Mobile
60
60
60
60
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
60
60
60
60
60
NVIDIA Quadro K1000M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
60
59.9
59.9
45.4
20.7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
59.95n2
59.95n2
59.9n3
60n5
50.8n3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
60
60
59.9
59.95n2
52
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
59.9n3
59.95n4
59.9n9
59.9n9
28.5
NVIDIA Quadro K500M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
60
60
60
59.9
46
AMD Radeon HD 6790
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AMD Radeon HD 6550M
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AMD Radeon R7 250
AMD Radeon HD 6620G
AMD Radeon HD 6530M
AMD Radeon HD 6870
AMD Radeon HD 6550D
AMD Radeon HD 6310
AMD FirePro W4190M
59.9
42.3
18.9
13
AMD FirePro W4100
AMD Radeon HD 6490M
AMD Radeon HD 6480G + HD 7450M Dual Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 6480G
AMD Radeon 630
AMD Radeon 620
AMD Radeon 625
AMD FirePro W4170M
AMD FirePro M6000
AMD FirePro M4100
AMD FirePro M8900
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AMD FirePro M4000
AMD FirePro M5100
AMD Radeon 540X
AMD FirePro M3900
AMD Radeon HD 6970
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AMD Radeon HD 6970M Crossfire
AMD FirePro M6100
AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
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AMD FirePro M5950
NVIDIA Quadro K4000M
AMD Radeon HD 6755G2
AMD Radeon HD 6950M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Mobile
60n3
60n4
Intel HD Graphics 5600
31.2
20.7
7.2
NVIDIA Quadro K5000M
AMD Radeon R2 (Stoney Ridge)
23.6
18.5
NVIDIA Quadro K4100M
AMD Radeon HD 7290
AMD Radeon 520
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AMD Radeon HD 6515G2
AMD Radeon HD 6510G2
AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
58.7
46.4
18.1
AMD Radeon R7 384 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
AMD Radeon HD 7470M
NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
NVIDIA Quadro K2000M
AMD Radeon HD 6720G2
AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
50.2
34.6
14.5
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AMD Radeon Pro 5600M
AMD Radeon R7 370
59.96
59.85
59.69
39.88
AMD Radeon Pro 560
AMD Radeon Pro 555X
AMD Radeon HD 6750M
AMD Radeon Pro 560X
AMD Radeon HD 6690G2
NVIDIA GeForce GT 230M
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(-) * 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
60Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 58fps
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.
?Uncertain – 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)
Florian Glaser
Editor of the original article: Florian Glaser - Managing Editor Gaming
Growing up with MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 in the early 90s, I discovered my interest in computers in my childhood. Especially computer games radiated a great fascination for me even then. From Monkey Island to Lands of Lore to Doom, everything was gambled that you could get your hands on. I have been working for Notebookcheck since 2009 with focus on high-performance gaming notebooks.
Bernhard Pechlaner
Translator: 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 ;-).