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Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III Notebook and Desktop Benchmarks

Florian Glaser (translated by Martin Jungowski), 06/13/2017

Hail to the emperor. Eight years after the last version, the real-time strategy game Dawn of War is back. Our benchmark test explores the technology behind the game, and how smoothly it performs on various desktop and notebook GPUs.

Technology

Even though the popular Warhammer universe found its way into PC games quite frequently during the last few years – be it as the turn-based strategy game Total War, the first-person shooter Vermintide, or the third-person action game Space Marine – the last full-blow real-time strategy implementation dates back to 2009, the year Dawn of War 2 was published. And now, eight years later, Dawn of War 3 - developed by Relic Entertainment - is finally here.

Too bad the current version doesn’t really look that much different from its predecessor, and only differs in a few minor details. Units and buildings are nicely animated and very detailed, and explosions look much better as well, but overall the textures are not the most satisfying. Scenery and surfaces seem mushy and soft even on maximum details, and the comic-esque appearance not only reminds us of Starcraft 2, but also cleverly whitewashes the otherwise mediocre graphics. All things considered, graphics and details are okay for a strategy game.

Dawn of War 3
Dawn of War 3
Dawn of War 3

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Unfortunately, the game crashed every so often (mostly during startup) on various systems. We also had problems with resolution and display detection – connecting a 4k display did not enable us to select the proper 3840 x 2160 resolution without rebooting, or fiddling with the scaling settings or the GPU driver settings.

The graphics menu turned out to be a mixed bag as well. While hints and explanations are available only a total of 8 settings (including resolution) can be adjusted and tweaked. Two on/off settings and six more or less freely adjustable settings are available.

Dawn of War 3
Dawn of War 3
Dawn of War 3

Automatic settings detection did not work as well as we would have liked to. Graphics details were rather low even with high-performance GPUs, and changing texture details required a restart of the game. Fortunately, the intro videos can be skipped.

Loading times highly depend on the underlying storage medium: the game starts acceptably fast from SSDs but horribly slow from HDDs. The integrated FPS counter is a plus, even though its informative value is questionable, and the size of the game is 29 GB (22 GB download).

Dawn of War 3
Dawn of War 3
Dawn of War 3

As can be seen on the images below, the difference between maximum and high settings is rather insignificant, both in terms of details and performance. The difference between high and normal is more pronounced – besides reduced texture details, the normal setting also features less sophisticated shadows. That said, the game still looks acceptable on normal settings. Going from normal to minimum is immediately obvious – no shadows, mushy and fuzzy textures, and lack of lighting practically single-handedly destroy the entire atmosphere of the game.

Minimum settings
Minimum settings
Medium settings
Medium settings
High settings
High settings
Maximum settings
Maximum settings
Minimum settings
Minimum settings
Medium settings
Medium settings
High settings
High settings
Maximum settings
Maximum settings

Benchmark

The integrated benchmark is a huge plus. In a roughly 40-second long sequence, the game goes through a demanding mass battle. Since evaluation is rather problematic (log written to an external file, evaluation impossible from within the game, and also falsified by recordings that tend to start too early and stop too late) we’ve used Fraps to determine minimum and average frame rates.

Update 5/5/17: upon closer inspection, we found the external evaluation to be as accurate as Fraps. Consequently, from now on we will continue using these values instead of Fraps. The results can be found in your Documents folder under Games Dawn of War III LogFiles.

Across-the-board statements in regards to graphics performance and capabilities are hard to make, because performance varied greatly depending on zoom level, number of units and effects on screen, etc. An average of 30 fps in the integrated benchmark should suffice for a smooth campaign gaming experience. Unlike first-person-perspective games that only seem truly smooth at more than 40 fps, real-time strategy games are less demanding in this regard.

Results

Considering overall graphics quality, hardware requirements are surprisingly high. Intel’s integrated HD Graphics GPUs are too slow even at only 1280 x 720 and minimum details (no AA). Medium details at 1366 x 768 (medium AA) require at least a GeForce GTX 950M or better yet, a GTX 960M, and high details (no AA) at FHD (1920 x 1080) won’t be any fun with anything slower than a GeForce GTX 965M or GTX 970M. High details (AA high) at FHD and maximum details require at least a GeForce GTX 980M/GTX 980 or GeForce GTX 1060, respectively, for an enjoyable gaming experience.

4k gaming on high details with anti-aliasing enabled is all but unplayable even with high-end graphics cards like Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080. As expected, the processor is much less important overall, and it becomes the limiting factor only at low resolutions and on low settings. During the tests, we had upscaling disabled (100 % gameplay resolution).

Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War III
    3840x2160 High / On (100 % Gameplay Resolution) AA:High     1920x1080 Maximum / On (100 % Gameplay Resolution) AA:High     1920x1080 High / On (100 % Gameplay Resolution) AA:High     1920x1080 Medium / On (100 % Gameplay Resolution) AA:Medium     1366x768 Medium / On (100 % Gameplay Resolution) AA:Medium     1280x720 Minimum / Off (100 % Gameplay Resolution)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
25.7 (min: 20) fps ∼32%
73 (min: 60) fps ∼71%
81.4 (min: 64) fps ∼81%
110 (min: 96) fps ∼92%
116 (min: 101) fps ∼100%
176 (min: 139) fps ∼92%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
20.7 (min: 16) fps ∼26%
57 (min: 47) fps ∼55%
63.6 (min: 51) fps ∼64%
91.3 (min: 73) fps ∼76%
114 (min: 101) fps ∼98%
172 (min: 127) fps ∼90%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop), 4790K
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Founders Edition
56.4 (min: 45) fps ∼55%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop), 6820HK
Asus G752VS
18.7 (min: 14) fps ∼23%
49.6 (min: 40) fps ∼48%
55.6 (min: 45) fps ∼56%
79.4 (min: 66) fps ∼66%
92.3 (min: 81) fps ∼80%
147 (min: 118) fps ∼77%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980, 6700K
Desktop PC
14.5 (min: 10) fps ∼18%
41 (min: 33) fps ∼40%
46.6 (min: 37) fps ∼47%
68.2 (min: 56) fps ∼57%
95.1 (min: 78) fps ∼82%
168 (min: 125) fps ∼88%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop), 6700K
Desktop PC
14.1 (min: 10) fps ∼18%
39.5 (min: 32) fps ∼38%
44.8 (min: 36) fps ∼45%
66.2 (min: 54) fps ∼55%
95.9 (min: 75) fps ∼83%
170 (min: 135) fps ∼89%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop), 6820HK
MSI GT62VR
12.3 (min: 9) fps ∼15%
39 (min: 31) fps ∼38%
44.4 (min: 34) fps ∼44%
64 (min: 54) fps ∼53%
84.3 (min: 71) fps ∼73%
131 (min: 105) fps ∼68%
AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop), 4790K
AMD Radeon RX 480 8 GB Reference
15.4 (min: 12) fps ∼19%
44.5 (min: 36) fps ∼43%
50.9 (min: 40) fps ∼51%
77 (min: 63) fps ∼64%
157 (min: 118) fps ∼82%
AMD Radeon RX 470 (Desktop), 4790K
MSI RX 470 Gaming X 4GB
13.6 (min: 11) fps ∼17%
40 (min: 33) fps ∼39%
45.4 (min: 35) fps ∼45%
70 (min: 56) fps ∼58%
160 (min: 116) fps ∼83%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
10.4 (min: 8) fps ∼13%
26.1 (min: 21) fps ∼25%
30 (min: 22) fps ∼30%
43.9 (min: 28) fps ∼37%
54.1 (min: 46) fps ∼47%
117 (min: 83) fps ∼61%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop), 4790K
MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
25.9 (min: 20) fps ∼25%
30 (min: 23) fps ∼30%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook), 7700HQ
MSI GE72 7RE-046
fps ∼0%
25.8 (min: 20) fps ∼25%
29.8 (min: 23) fps ∼30%
46.6 (min: 35) fps ∼39%
112 (min: 62) fps ∼58%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
8.1 (min: 6) fps ∼10%
24.4 (min: 18) fps ∼24%
27.4 (min: 20) fps ∼27%
39.1 (min: 32) fps ∼33%
53.4 (min: 42) fps ∼46%
102 (min: 80) fps ∼53%
AMD Radeon R7 370, 4790K
MSI Gaming R7 370 2GB
20 (min: 15) fps ∼20%
37.8 (min: 29) fps ∼32%
62 (min: 49) fps ∼53%
147 (min: 120) fps ∼77%
AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop), 4790K
XFX RX-460P4DFG5 Double Dissipation 4 GB
22.7 (min: 17) fps ∼23%
36.5 (min: 29) fps ∼30%
58.9 (min: 48) fps ∼51%
133 (min: 112) fps ∼69%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook), 7700HQ
Asus Strix GL753VD-GC045T
18.8 (min: 15) fps ∼18%
22.2 (min: 17) fps ∼22%
33.6 (min: 26) fps ∼28%
106 (min: 81) fps ∼55%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop), 4790K
Zotac GeForce GTX 1050 2GB
26.5 (min: 20) fps ∼27%
41.5 (min: 32) fps ∼35%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 4720HQ
Schenker XMG A505
2.5 (min: 2) fps ∼3%
14 (min: 10) fps ∼14%
16.2 (min: 12) fps ∼16%
25.3 (min: 20) fps ∼21%
41.2 (min: 33) fps ∼36%
92.8 (min: 77) fps ∼48%
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M, 6700HQ
MSI PE60 2QD
22.8 (min: 17) fps ∼19%
85.4 (min: 62) fps ∼44%
NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 6700HQ
MSI CX72 6QD
10.9 (min: 8) fps ∼9%
17.6 (min: 6) fps ∼15%
42.9 (min: 28) fps ∼22%
Intel HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
10.8 (min: 8) fps ∼9%
15.2 (min: 12) fps ∼8%

Overview

Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War III
 Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War III (2017)
low
1280x720
Minimum / Off (100 % Gameplay Resolution)
med.
1920x1080
Medium / On (100 % Gameplay Resolution)
MediumAA
high
1920x1080
High / On (100 % Gameplay Resolution)
HighAA
ultra
1920x1080
Maximum / On (100 % Gameplay Resolution)
HighAA
4k
3840x2160
High / On (100 % Gameplay Resolution)
HighAA
 1NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
192
120
98
89
33.8
 2NVIDIA Titan X Pascal
137
80
78
76
33
 3NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI (Laptop)
100
100.22
75.42
 6NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
176
110
81.4
73
25.7
 9*NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q
88
86
41.9
 12NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Desktop)
172
91.3
63.6
56.72
20.7
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
149.152
84.452
614
53.254
18.452
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
168
68.2
46.6
41
14.5
 25*NVIDIA Quadro P4000
70.34
61.61
58.84
53.98
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Desktop)
170
66.2
44.8
39.5
14.1
 30*NVIDIA Quadro P3000
84
41.2
28.7
25.4
9.6
 32AMD Radeon RX 480 (Desktop)
157
77
50.9
44.5
15.4
 34NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (Laptop)
131
64
58.852
53.652
12.3
 40AMD Radeon RX 470 (Desktop)
160
70
45.4
40
13.6
 52NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
117
43.9
30
26.1
10.4
 57NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Notebook)
102.42
46.22
29.652
25.652
 58NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop)
30
25.9
 59NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
102
39.1
27.4
24.4
8.1
 70NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Desktop)
41.5
26.5
Pos      Model                                     Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War III
lowmed.highultra4k
 71NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Notebook)
93.52
35.052
22.72
19.52
 74AMD Radeon R7 370
147
37.8
20
 84AMD Radeon RX 460 (Desktop)
133
36.5
22.7
 106NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
92.8
25.3
16.2
14
2.5
 113NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 (Desktop)
49.9
22.1
14.4
11.7
 114NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (Laptop GT 1030)
58.72
23.952
18.42
11.9
 119*AMD Radeon Pro 555
31.2
 132NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
85.4
22.8
 137*NVIDIA Quadro M620
70.3
18.7
 211NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
42.93
10.93
11.72
14.4
 235NVIDIA GeForce 930M
37
 243Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
33.8
 296Intel UHD Graphics 630
43.7
 299Intel HD Graphics 530
30.1
 306*Intel HD Graphics 620
24.4
 364AMD Radeon HD 8650G
17.6
 375AMD Radeon R5 M255
30.4
7.5
 381NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
22.2
5.5
 400Intel HD Graphics 4600
14.752
 407*Intel HD Graphics 615
11.6
4
Pos      Model                                     Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War III
lowmed.highultra4k
 449Intel HD Graphics 4400
13.4
* 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.

Test Systems

Desktop-PCs Plattform I Plattform II
Motherboard Asus Z170-A Asus Z97-Deluxe
Processor Intel Core i7-6700K (Skylake) Intel Core i7-4790K (Haswell)
Graphics Card MSI GeForce GTX 1080 (8 GB GDDR5X)
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 (8 GB GDDR5)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB GDDR5)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 (4 GB GDDR5)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 (8 GB GDDR5X)
Asus GeForce GTX 980 Ti (6 GB GDDR5)
XFX Radeon R9 Fury (4 GB HBM)
Sapphire Radeon R9 290X (4 GB GDDR5)
Sapphire Radeon R9 280X (3 GB GDDR5)
MSI Radeon R7 370 (2 GB GDDR5)
RAM 2x 8 GB DDR4-2133 2x 4 GB DDR3-1600
Storage Crucial MX100 SSD (256 GB)
Crucial M500 SSD (480 GB)
OCZ Trion 100 SSD (480 GB)
OCZ Trion 150 SSD (960 GB)
Intel SSD 530 (240 GB)
OCZ Trion 100 SSD (480 GB)
Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
Schenker Notebooks Schenker W504 Schenker XMG A505 Schenker S413
Processor Intel Core i7-4700MQ (Haswell) Intel Core i7-4720HQ (Haswell) Intel Core i7-4750HQ (Haswell)
Graphics Card Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M (8 GB GDDR5)
GTX 970M (6 GB GDDR5)
GTX 880M (8 GB GDDR5)
GTX 870M (6 GB GDDR5)
GTX 860M Kepler (4 GB GDDR5)
Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M (2 GB GDDR5) Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
RAM 2x 4 GB DDR3-1600 2x 4 GB DDR3-1600 2x 8 GB DDR3-1600
Storage Samsung SSD 840 EVO (250 GB) Micron M600 SSD (128 GB)
HGST Travelstar 7K1000 HDD (1.000 GB)
Intel SSD
Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit Windows 10 Home 64 Bit Windows 10 Home 64 Bit
MSI Notebooks MSI GT62VR MSI GE72 MSI PE60 MSI GP62 MSI CX61 MSI CX61 MSI GE 72 7RE-046 MSI GL62 7RD
Processor Intel Core i7-6820HK (Skylake) Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Skylake) Intel Core i7-6700HQ (Skylake) Intel Core i7-5700HQ (Broadwell) Intel Celeron 2970M (Haswell) Intel Core i5-4200M (Haswell) Intel Core i7-7700HQ (Kaby Lake) Intel Core i7-7700HQ (Kaby Lake)
Graphics Card Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6 GB GDDR5) Nvidia GeForce GTX 965M 2016 (2 GB GDDR5) Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M (2 GB GDDR5) Nvidia GeForce 940M (2 GB DDR3) Nvidia GeForce 920M (2 GB DDR3) Nvidia GeForce GT 720M (2 GB DDR3) Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
RAM 4x 8 GB DDR4-2133 1x 8 GB DDR4-2133 2x 4 GB DDR4-2133 1x 8 GB DDR3-1600 1x 8 GB DDR3-1600 1x 8 GB DDR3-1600 2x 4 GB DDR4 2x 4 GB DDR4
Storage Samsung NVMe MZVPV128 SSD (128 GB) Toshiba THNSNJ128G8NU SSD (128 GB)
WDC WD10JPVX HDD (1.000 GB)
OCZ Trion 100 SSD (480 GB)
Toshiba MQ01ABF050 HDD (500 GB) WDC Scorpio Blue HDD (1.000 GB) Samsung SSD, Toshiba Trion 150 SSD Samsung SSD, Toshiba Trion 150 SSD
Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit Windows 10 Home 64 Bit Windows 10 Windows 10 Windows 10 Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit Windows 10 64 Bit Windows 10 64 Bit
Asus Notebooks Asus G752VS Asus N551ZU Asus ROG Strix GL753VD
Processor Intel Core i7-6820HK (Skylake) AMD FX-7600P (Kaveri) Intel Core i7-7700HQ
Graphics Card Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 (8 GB GDDR5) AMD Radeon R9 M280X (4 GB GDDR5) Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050
RAM 4x 16 GB DDR4-2400 2x 4 GB DDR3-1600 2x 8 GB DDR4
Storage Toshiba NVMe THNSN5512GPU7 SSD (512 GB) Samsung SSD 830 (256 GB) Micron SSD 1100 (256 GB)
Operating System Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit Windows 10 64 Bit Windows 10 64 Bit
4K Monitor Nvidia driver AMD driver Intel driver
2x Asus PB287Q ForceWare 381.89 Crimson 17.4.4 15.40.34.4624
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III Notebook and Desktop Benchmarks
Florian Glaser, 2017-06-13 (Update: 2017-06-13)