Notebookcheck

The Witcher 3 Notebook Benchmarks

Florian Glaser (translated by Vinay Pradhan), 05/27/2015

Heavyweight. The third part of the fantasy saga based on the sorcerer Geralt is now in front of us. The story and graphics of the game promises to eclipse the RPG competition. However, we are more interested in the game performance on notebooks. What system is needed for what settings?

For the original German article, see here.

Engine

Alleged graphics downgrades aside: With maximum details, the PC version of “The Witcher 3” looks great. The draw-distance and textures look great, but the greatest strength lies in the amazing details in this 3rd person RPG. Compared to other RPGs, the objects in “The Witcher 3” come alive with intricate details. The thick vegetation is impressive, but the quality of trees and bushes fluctuates heavily due to the (slightly) exaggerated representation of the weather.

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3

The atmospheric day and night cycle dips the environment in a dynamic light. The Polish studio, CD Project RED, has chosen a suboptimal color scheme (subjective) and we would have preferred lower saturation. However, the engine leaves little room for complaint and runs well, apart from the occasional object popping in and out of vision. According to modern standards, the game is medium-sized (~25 GB) and offers an extensive options menu. CD Project splits the graphics settings into two menus.

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3

While the Post Processing menu contains all the options for effects and graphics improvements, like Motion Blur, Bloom and Anti-Aliasing (apparently only FXAA is used), the Graphics Menu offers options for the resolution, the picture and more detail and quality settings. The vertical synchronization and FPS limit were turned off for the test. The engine deserves praise for its presets. A single click allows the user to adjust the overall game quality in 3 or 4 steps. With the exception of the environment coverage (SSAO instead of HBAO+), all settings are turned on with the maximum preset.

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3

Although the Nvidia HairWorks feature (hair simulation) is available on the AMD and Intel systems, we recommend only Nvidia users to enable this. In the Radeon R9 290X test, the frames dropped at maximum settings by about 40%, from 50 to a poor 29 fps. The Nvidia competitor, GeForce GTX 980, ran just 20% slower with active HairWorks (44 instead 55 fps). In general, AMD GPUs suffer a lot more (Project Cars says hello). As can be witnessed from desktop GPU, the Radeon R9 280X, is positioned below the technically slower GeForce GTX 970M.

The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3
The Witcher 3

Let us go back to the graphics menu: the user does not have to restart “The Witcher 3” as the settings are applied directly applied while fine-tuning. We truly appreciate the ability to skip the cut sequences and the relatively short load times (even on a HDD). We deduct some points for the somewhat cluttered interface for mouse and keyboard use. We used the GOG version with the Day One patch (v1.02) for our test. Steam and Origin also offer this game.

Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings

Benchmark

We picked a benchmark sequence that included dense vegetation outdoors. After Geralt finishes the tutorial and successfully wins a small fight against a few monsters, the player receives a horse. As shown in the video below, we follow our partner Vesemir through an incredible landscape bathed in afternoon light. We head to Ross following a path up a mountain and, on the way, pass the ruins of a burnt village. The benchmark sequence ends after 55 seconds when we reach the wooden bridge.

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Results

The results make it clear that “The Witcher 3” has very high requirements. Even at low settings, the graphics of the game are quite good, which means that the user will require at least a powerful middle-class GPU. In fact, the GeForce GT 750M, which performs well in most games at normal to high settings, could offer a mere 27 fps at a resolution of 1024x768 pixels and the Low preset.

Cheaper models, like the GeForce GT 740M, are overburdened by “The Witcher 3”. The same is true for the Intel IGPs (Integrated Graphics Processors). Neither the HD Graphics 4600 nor the Iris Pro 5200 can run the game fluidly. Stronger GPUs, like the GeForce GTX 850M or the GTX 860M, can manage a resolution of 1366x768 pixels and the Medium preset.

Postprocessing I
Postprocessing I
Postprocessing II
Postprocessing II
Graphics I
Graphics I
Graphics II
Graphics II

High details and a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels are only possible once you have a GeForce GTX 880M or higher. The maximum settings (FHD, HairWorks On) are only somewhat possible with the top Nvidia GPU, the GeForce GTX 980M. At a 4K resolution (3840x2160 pixels), all mobile GPUs are too weak for High or Ultra presets. In fact, expensive desktop GPUs, like the Radeon R9 290X, are hard pushed to deliver a fluid fps.

The Witcher 3” does not seem to have high CPU requirements. In our test, we found the graphics card to be the bottleneck on systems equipped with Intel processors and Hyperthreading technology. Note: CD Project will soon release additional patches to improve the graphics and performance of the game. Future results may not be directly comparable.

The Witcher 3
    3840x2160 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)     1920x1080 Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)     1920x1080 High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)     1366x768 Medium Graphics & Postprocessing     1024x768 Low Graphics & Postprocessing
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 3770K
Desktop-PC
32.1 (min: 27) fps ∼36%
44.4 (min: 36) fps ∼38%
83.8 (min: 70) fps ∼45%
139.8 (min: 120) fps ∼51%
200.1 (min: 167) fps ∼51%
AMD Radeon R9 290X, 4790K
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X Tri-X OC
28.4 (min: 22) fps ∼32%
29 (min: 25) fps ∼25%
75 (min: 64) fps ∼40%
123 (min: 87) fps ∼45%
179 (min: 160) fps ∼46%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
22.8 (min: 19) fps ∼26%
32.6 (min: 25) fps ∼28%
61.4 (min: 43) fps ∼33%
102.2 (min: 79) fps ∼37%
168.4 (min: 143) fps ∼43%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960, E3-1230 v3
MSI GeForce GTX 960 Gaming 4G Desktop-PC
27.7 (min: 21) fps ∼24%
49.8 (min: 40) fps ∼27%
86.6 (min: 74) fps ∼31%
142.8 (min: 121) fps ∼36%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
17.6 (min: 15) fps ∼20%
25.8 (min: 19) fps ∼22%
47.8 (min: 39) fps ∼26%
84.3 (min: 65) fps ∼31%
137.7 (min: 112) fps ∼35%
AMD Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
20.2 (min: 17) fps ∼17%
47.6 (min: 41) fps ∼26%
76.4 (min: 66) fps ∼28%
114.4 (min: 101) fps ∼29%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
18.7 (min: 14) fps ∼16%
34.2 (min: 26) fps ∼18%
58.4 (min: 51) fps ∼21%
94.4 (min: 83) fps ∼24%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
15.4 (min: 12) fps ∼13%
27.7 (min: 23) fps ∼15%
47.4 (min: 41) fps ∼17%
77.7 (min: 70) fps ∼20%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
9.7 (min: 7) fps ∼11%
13.7 (min: 11) fps ∼12%
27.1 (min: 21) fps ∼15%
49 (min: 42) fps ∼18%
80.6 (min: 72) fps ∼21%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
11.7 (min: 9) fps ∼10%
19.9 (min: 15) fps ∼11%
35.9 (min: 29) fps ∼13%
57.3 (min: 50) fps ∼15%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
11.3 (min: 9) fps ∼10%
20.9 (min: 17) fps ∼11%
38.4 (min: 32) fps ∼14%
63.9 (min: 37) fps ∼16%
AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
5.5 (min: 4) fps ∼5%
10.3 (min: 7) fps ∼6%
20.2 (min: 17) fps ∼7%
30.9 (min: 26) fps ∼8%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
5.3 (min: 3) fps ∼5%
9.3 (min: 7) fps ∼5%
16.4 (min: 14) fps ∼6%
27 (min: 23) fps ∼7%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
4 (min: 2) fps ∼3%
6.9 (min: 5) fps ∼4%
12.1 (min: 10) fps ∼4%
20.6 (min: 18) fps ∼5%
Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ
Schenker S413
20.5 (min: 12) fps ∼5%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M, 2637M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
19.8 (min: 16) fps ∼5%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M, 4200M
MSI CX61-i572M
5.1 fps ∼3%
9 fps ∼3%
14.7 fps ∼4%
AMD Radeon HD 8650G, A10-5750M
Pumori Test Platform (A10-5750M)
15.6 (min: 12) fps ∼4%
Intel Iris Graphics 5100, 4258U
Apple MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch 2013-10
14.1 (min: 5) fps ∼4%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
8.4 (min: 4) fps ∼3%
13.1 (min: 10) fps ∼3%
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M, 3720QM
Asus N56VM
12.1 (min: 7) fps ∼3%

Test Systems

Four of our test models originate 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)

We use Windows 7 64-bit on these notebooks (Win 8.1 @XMG A505).

Nvidia provides three of our test models:

Intel provides one test model:

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

The desktop PCs use CPUs/APUs from Intel and AMD, SSDs from Micron, Intel and Samsung, motherboards from Intel and Asus and graphics cards from Nvidia and AMD. The 4K monitor we use is an Asus PB287Q (our review).

GPU drivers: Nvidia 352.86, AMD 15.4 Beta, Intel 10.18.14.4170

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     The Witcher 3
 The Witcher 3 (2015)
low
1024x768
Low Graphics & Postprocessing
med.
1366x768
Medium Graphics & Postprocessing
high
1920x1080
High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Graphics & Postprocessing (HBAO+)
4k
3840x2160
High Graphics & Postprocessing (Nvidia HairWorks Off)
 1NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
278.518
9817
72
 2NVIDIA Titan X Pascal
269.8
225.6
159.7
89.5
68.1
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
73.7
79.24
55.752
 7AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
285.15
210.35
1275
73.35
47.75
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Laptop)
230.42
181.052
14213
74.221
51.39
 9NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti (Desktop)
293
71.8
47.1
 12*AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56
115.7
63.9
41.6
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
123
63.52
444
 14NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q
278.6
201.6
1183
63.554
44.52
 15NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
231.913
176.8514
107.930
59.541
38.79
 18NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti
59.3
44
 19NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Max-Q
232.83
164.83
94.513
50.8514
35.4
 22AMD Radeon R9 Fury
207
146
91
45.5
35.9
 23AMD Radeon R9 Nano
47
35
 24NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
213.552
146.92
84.92
45.62
28.652
 25AMD Radeon RX 580 (Desktop)
215
142.8
79.3
45.6
28.1
 26NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 (Laptop)
221.452
147.42
83.52
44.052
30.12
 28AMD Radeon R9 390X
183.5
130.9
76
40.8
29.1
 30NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
219.72
146.62
75.952
43.72
28.92
Pos      Model                                     The Witcher 3
lowmed.highultra4k
 32AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
78
43.9
27.2
 33NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
182.613
129.5912
68.243
38.954
25.96
 36AMD Radeon RX 580 (Laptop)
174.52
1252
68.152
36.72
23.8
 40NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
146.2
81.2
42.52
29.1
 41NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 Max-Q
180.654
1255
63.29
35.158
23.54
 45AMD Radeon RX 470 (Desktop)
126.9
69.9
40.252
 50AMD Radeon R9 290X
179
123
75
29
28.4
 57NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
172.43
101.84
61.39
33.29
22.052
 58AMD Radeon RX Vega M GH
55
 60AMD Radeon R9 280X
114.4
76.4
47.6
20.2
 61AMD Radeon R9 380
144.3
89.6
51.3
29.9
18.5
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
142.8
86.6
49.8
27.7
 63NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
127.38
86.212
46.5520
2625
16.72
 64*NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q
130.9
87.2
48.2
26
17.1
 65NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop)
49.4
27.5
 67NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
137.75
84.37
45.29
25.89
162
 70NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680
115.32
72.352
41.82
22.452
15.752
 74AMD Radeon RX Vega M GL / 870
78.42
42.32
22.62
13
 76AMD Radeon R9 M295X
94.3
62.5
36.7
17.1
14
 79NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop)
106.352
64.12
37.72
20.252
15.3
Pos      Model                                     The Witcher 3
lowmed.highultra4k
 80NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
114.515
6919
3923
21.927
 81*NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Max-Q
103.2
59.3
34
18.5
12
 84AMD Radeon R7 370
84.96
61.25
35.04
22.36
 86NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
94.4
58.4
34.2
18.7
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950
120.4
71.9
38
20.5
12.7
 91NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
34.7
17.3
 94NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX
72
43.6
26.4
14.2
 95AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
37
23
12
 97AMD Radeon HD 7870
63.5
36.3
20.3
 98NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
104.754
63.34
31.35
17.95
13.1
 100AMD Radeon RX 560 (Laptop)
99.5
64.4
34.652
20.152
 102NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
77.7
47.4
27.7
15.4
 104AMD Radeon HD 8970M
81.9
53.6
30.9
17.7
 109AMD Radeon RX 460 (Laptop)
71.7
29.6
17.2
 112AMD Radeon R9 M390
82
31.1
17.8
11.5
 115AMD Radeon Pro 560X
96
55.1
34
19.7
 117AMD Radeon Pro 460
83.3
28.9
17.4
 119NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
80.67
50.711
2411
14.211
9.52
 121AMD Radeon RX 550 (Laptop)
53.84
34.04
17.34
24
 127AMD Radeon Pro 555
66.7
23.2
13.9
Pos      Model                                     The Witcher 3
lowmed.highultra4k
 128AMD Radeon Pro 455
69.5
24.6
14.2
 129NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (Desktop)
68.852
41.82
21.32
11.92
 131NVIDIA GeForce MX150
57.316
34.2518
19.317
1118
 136*AMD Radeon RX 540
50.8
29.3
13.2
7.8
 137*AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100 Mobile
37.52
22.852
12.052
6.732
 138NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
57.3
35.9
19.9
11.7
 146NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
57.87
36.078
19.27
10.715
 147AMD Radeon Pro 450
40.9
20.3
 149AMD Radeon R9 M385X
53.6
44.4
21.8
 150NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
63.9
38.4
20.9
11.3
 153AMD Radeon R9 M280X
40.1
31.6
16
8.5
 159NVIDIA GeForce 945M
51.9
30.6
17
9.3
 166*AMD Radeon RX Vega 10
9.3
 186AMD Radeon R9 M370X
40.7
25.9
14.9
7.8
 224NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
27
16.4
9.3
5.3
 226NVIDIA GeForce MX130
42.73
25.33
143
7.63
 227NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
35.319
22.419
11.3514
7.18
 230AMD Radeon RX Vega 8
37.33
24
13.252
 231NVIDIA GeForce 940M
31.45
18.85
10.25
5.93
 232NVIDIA GeForce 930MX
30.13
18.53
103
6
Pos      Model                                     The Witcher 3
lowmed.highultra4k
 235AMD Radeon R9 M375
9.8
 236Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655
23.2
5.6
 237AMD Radeon R7 M445
30.8
18.2
9.6
4.7
 239AMD Radeon R7 M370
27.6
18
9.5
5.7
 243NVIDIA GeForce 840M
28.42
17.82
8.752
6.152
 248AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
30.9
20.2
10.3
5.5
 249Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
20.5
 251NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
20.6
12.1
6.9
4
 252Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650
21.4
 253NVIDIA GeForce 930M
26.52
16.7
9
6.9
 254Intel Iris Graphics 550
20.62
14.12
7.8
 255AMD Radeon 530
28.42
19.8
11.1
6.3
 256NVIDIA GeForce 830M
24.5
15
7.3
5.9
 257*NVIDIA GeForce MX110
27.2
16.7
9
5.3
 258Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
19.254
13.4
4
 259NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
22.1
13.6
 260Intel Iris Graphics 540
18.754
123
 288AMD Radeon R7 M265
22.9
15.9
8.8
 292*AMD Radeon R7 (Bristol Ridge)
12.952
8.42
 293NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
19.8
Pos      Model                                     The Witcher 3
lowmed.highultra4k
 294AMD Radeon R7 (Carrizo)
18.1
11.9
6.2
 295AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
23.3
15.9
8.4
 297*AMD Radeon R7 M460
20.7
13.4
6.7
 300AMD Radeon R7 M360
19.32
12.62
6.52
 302NVIDIA GeForce 920M
19.654
11.64
6.53
3.83
 306AMD Radeon R7 M440
21.32
13.652
7.12
 312AMD Radeon R7 M260
18.3
12.8
4
3.2
 313AMD Radeon R7 M340
18.652
13
6.7
3.9
 317Intel UHD Graphics 630
15.2
9.9
 318Intel HD Graphics 630
17
 320Intel HD Graphics 530
12.83
8.9
5.3
3.2
 323AMD Radeon R5 (Bristol Ridge)
20.2
11
5.9
 324Intel UHD Graphics 620
15.214
9.911
5.57
 325Intel HD Graphics 620
13.335
10.111
4.98
 326AMD Radeon R6 (Carrizo)
16.42
10.22
5.32
 334AMD Radeon HD 8670D
21.2
 357Intel HD Graphics 5600
14.7
9.6
5.6
3.1
 383AMD Radeon HD 8650G
15.6
 388NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
12.1
 391AMD Radeon R5 M335
17.2
11.3
6.4
2.9
Pos      Model                                     The Witcher 3
lowmed.highultra4k
 392AMD Radeon R5 M330
15.9
10.7
 393AMD Radeon R5 M430
18
 394AMD Radeon R5 M255
18.5
12.9
4.1
3.4
 398*AMD Radeon RX Vega 3
20.1
9.9
5.2
 399Intel HD Graphics 520
11.8516
6.96
3.8
 400Intel Iris Graphics 6100
15.82
10.252
 401NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
14.7
9
5.1
 402AMD Radeon R5 (Stoney Ridge)
9
 404AMD Radeon R5 M240
18.2
12
 414Intel HD Graphics 6000
13.62
 417Intel Iris Graphics 5100
14.1
 422Intel HD Graphics 4600
11.92
7.52
3.8
 424Intel HD Graphics 5500
12.52
8.6
3.9
1.9
 432*Intel HD Graphics 615
11.9
 438AMD Radeon HD 7660G
15.1
 473Intel HD Graphics 515
7.45
7.1
 474Intel HD Graphics 4400
10.7
6.9
 505Intel HD Graphics 5300
6.2
3.7
 515AMD Radeon HD 7480D
9.5
 524AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
9.4
6.2
Pos      Model                                     The Witcher 3
lowmed.highultra4k
 525AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
8.6
6.1
 528Intel HD Graphics 4200
8.8
5.1
 579Intel HD Graphics 400 (Braswell)
8.5
5.6
 588Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
8.9
5.52
3.1
* 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 > The Witcher 3 Notebook Benchmarks
Florian Glaser, 2015-05-27 (Update: 2015-07-30)