Guardians of the Galaxy with patch 2983462 in the performance test
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Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy (GotG) has received a patch that improves the LOD and thus the popping of objects. This costs performance on all graphics cards, as the test shows. Benchmarks in Full HD, WQHD and Ultra HD show how many FPS are lost.
Patch addresses aggressive LOD
Guardians of the Galaxy (technical test) is currently one of the most visually impressive games ever. The general graphics quality, the raytracing reflections and much more ensure a really impressive look that gives an absolutely round picture. For perfection, better anti-aliasing and a less aggressive LOD, also called “Level of Detail”, are missing. The LOD is now addressed by the current patch.
Roughly speaking, the LOD is responsible for ensuring that objects that are further away show less detail than at close range in order to increase performance. Almost all modern games use a LOD system. But as criticized in the technology test, Guardians of the Galaxy has worked very aggressively to date. As a result, even objects that are only a few meters in front of the player visibly change the level of detail and sometimes even appear out of nowhere. Worse still, the LOD is amazingly resolution sensitive. In Full HD, the mechanism works much more aggressively than in WQHD and the LOD is already annoying in Ultra HD.
Apparently, the developer Eidos Montreal not only recognized the problem, but also almost completely eliminated it with the latest patch “2983462”. No, the LOD still doesn’t work perfectly, but the new implementation is much better than the previous one and now also on par with other games. In fact, it’s actually a pretty solid implementation now, because the LOD doesn’t work that well on many other titles.
Although a few objects still visibly change the level of detail when moving, this is not only significantly less, it is also much less noticeable. In addition, objects no longer appear out of nowhere just in front of the player. And on top of that, the resolution sensitivity has been reduced. Even in Full HD, the new LOD is significantly better than the old LOD in Ultra HD. That’s how it should be from day one.
But the better graphics don’t come for free
There’s a but, though, because the old LOD wasn’t there for a reason: it was good for performance. Objects that either don’t need to be rendered at all or need to be rendered with little detail naturally increase the frame rate. Accordingly, the new LOD is much nicer, but Guardians of the Galaxy also runs slower. Now the question is how big is the impact of the new LOD system on performance. ComputerBase will clarify that in this article.
AMD FSR is now also on board
Before we start with the benchmarks, however, it should also be mentioned that the new patch also adds AMD’s upscaling technology FidelityFX Super Resolution. Previously, the game only supported Nvidia’s DLSS.
Impact on performance in detail
Even if the performance has gotten a bit worse with the update (more details on this below), for 60 FPS in Full HD with maximum details without ray tracing you need a reasonably fast, but by no means high-end graphics card. The goal is achieved with a GeForce GTX 1080, GeForce RTX 2060, GeForce RTX 3060, Radeon RX 5600 XT or Radeon RX 6600. The old mid-range models, Radeon GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 580, on the other hand, do not achieve playable rates, so graphics details have to be reduced. It was a bit better before the patch, but it wasn’t ideal with the old version either.
60 FPS in 2,560 × 1,440 are also relatively tame – good playability is given from a GeForce RTX 2070 Super, GeForce RTX 3060, Radeon RX 5700 XT and Radeon RX 6600 XT. For 3,840 × 2,160, however, you need a faster model, although it doesn’t have to be the flagship. With so many pixels, the FPS target is reached from a GeForce RTX 3080 or Radeon RX 6800, although the GeForce RTX 3070 in particular also still achieves decent values.
New is slower than old
AMD and Nvidia graphics cards don’t respond exactly the same to the prettier LOD. Nvidia GPUs like it a little better in low resolutions, although the differences are small to minimal. But the GeForce RTX 3080 runs 7 percent slower after the patch in Full HD, while the Radeon RX 6800 XT runs 10 percent higher. In WQHD, the ratio is only 8 to 7 percent and in Ultra HD 6 to 4 percent. Radeon RX 5700 XT and GeForce RTX 2070 Super perform absolutely equally, while the Radeon RX 580 loses the most with a 13 percent lower frame rate. With the GeForce GTX 1060, the performance drops by only 8 percent. This means that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy loses between 5 and 10 percent of frames per second on most graphics cards as a result of the patch, depending on the resolution.
AMD’s percentile FPS get significantly better
But there is also good news in terms of performance, because the developers have apparently been able to improve the frame times of the AMD GPUs a good deal with the update. This has been a weakness of the Radeons in the superhero game so far, having been competitive in average FPS but lagging behind in percentile FPS. This is still the case, albeit significantly less than before.
The GeForce RTX 3080 loses 8 percent speed in percentile FPS with the update in Full HD, and 3 percent in Ultra HD. The Radeon RX 6800 XT, on the other hand, is 4 percent faster in 1,920 × 1,080, and the performance does not change in 3,840 × 2,160. The AMD GPU thus shrinks the gap to the GeForce RTX 3080 from 30 or 13 percent to 20 or 11 percent.
Ray tracing behaves the same
If ray tracing is switched on, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy behaves very similarly as with the rays switched off. Both AMD and Nvidia GPUs slow down at average FPS. For GeForces, this also applies to percentile FPS, while the Radeons remain stable there. On the other hand, it is different that AMD and Nvidia GPUs act in parallel even in low resolutions. There is no longer a difference in performance here.
The requirements for high ray tracing details are still frugal in GotG. 60 average FPS are already achieved in Full HD with a GeForce RTX 2070, GeForce RTX 3060 or Radeon RX 6700 XT. In 2,560 × 1,440 the requirements increase a bit, then it should be at least a GeForce 2080 Super, GeForce RTX 3060 Ti or Radeon RX 6800. Meanwhile, the GPU cannot be fast enough for 3,840 × 2,160, only the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti and the GeForce RTX 3090 still reach the goal. But even with a Radeon RX 6800 XT or GeForce RTX 3070, playable frame rates can still be achieved if around 10 percent resolution is foregone. Visually, this does not quite come close to Ultra HD, but the loss of quality is limited.
Even if Guardians of the Galaxy lost up to 10 percent speed with the last patch, the update did the game a lot of good visually. Because no matter how good it looked in the original version: The details that popped up didn’t fit into the rest of the picture. This blemish has now all but disappeared with the update, allowing GotG to further consolidate its role as possibly the current graphics flagship.
Even if all graphics cards in the action game now run a little slower, GotG is still quite frugal in terms of requirements. Only in Ultra HD should a really fast GPU be in the computer and even with activated ray tracing the performance is still good as long as you don’t overdo it with the RT modes. It is also worth mentioning that the developers have improved the image output on Radeons with the patch. GeForce GPUs still show better percentile FPS, but the difference has narrowed.
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