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The Vanishing of Ethan Carter - PC performance graphics benchmarks of Graphics Cards


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Year of construction: 2014
Genre: Adventure, weird fiction horror
developer: The Astronauts
Publisher: Nordic Games Publishing


The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a mystical adventure game inspired by the creepy pulp novels of the early 20th century. The development is led by The Astronauts studio, consisting of former People Can Fly employees who once gave us such masterpieces as Bulletstorm and Painkiller. Well, who knows, these people know a lot about exciting plot presentation. However, to be completely immersed in the atmosphere, you should play The Vanishing of Ethan Carter alone, wearing headphones and sitting in pitch darkness.

You play the role of a detective who can visualize murder scenes thanks to his psychic abilities. This time he will have to investigate the case of a kidnapped boy, hoping to save him before it is too late. The search led our hero to a picturesque mountainous area, in the vastness of which he happened to discover the mutilated body of one of the kidnappers. Using your skills, as well as a set of modern gadgets, you will find out why the local region is littered with corpses, what kind of ancient force prevails here and what the fate of the kidnapped boy is.


This subsection of our review highlights the main graphical aspects of this game. Particular attention is paid to the version of the graphics engine used, the version of the API used, graphic settings and the quality of development of the main visual aspects.

Supported OS and graphics API

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is supported by the major Windows operating systems, which include Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Other operating systems are not currently supported by the developers and will not receive support. 


The primary and primary graphics API for The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is DirectX 9

Game engine 

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is based on the Unreal Engine 3 game engine. The first version of the Unreal Engine 3 engine was released in 2006. This cross-platform engine was designed with next-generation consoles PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and personal computers using modern rendering systems DirectX 9, OpenGL 2 and OpenGL 3 in mind. Support for DirectX 10 version was quickly added with the release of Windows Vista and shaders version 4.0. Due to the widespread use of multiprocessor systems, the engine uses two parallel main threads - the main thread, which is primarily responsible for the gameplay, and the rendering thread. In addition to the two main threads, secondary threads can be called, which perform one-time tasks. There is now support for multi-threaded dynamic data loading, such as loading a “location” directly while moving around it in order to save resources. 

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The updated graphics engine supports most modern technologies, including HDR, per-pixel lighting, dynamic shadows, shaders version 4.0, geometry shaders. The graphics pipeline itself was transferred to the control of shaders. The Karma physics subsystem was abandoned in favor of another called PhysX from AGEIA. Later, AGEIA released a set of additional libraries for the game, allowing you to use all the capabilities of your physical system.


The FaceFX mechanism is responsible for the animation of the characters' faces. The EAX system has been updated to version 5. Added SpeedTree support for tree generation. The emphasis was placed on additive geometry, but support for subtractive geometry was not abandoned. The disadvantage of subtractive geometry is primarily the much longer lighting calculation. A new UnrealEd editor has been introduced, rewritten using wxWidgets. In this version there has been another evolution of the graphic component. So, among other things, an Ambient occlusion post-processing filter was added, which improves shadows and lighting. The number of processed characters in the frame has been increased. Dynamic water surface technology has been reworked to a new level, soft body physics and destructible environments have also been significantly improved. 

 range 3

In March 2010, an announcement of new engine features was published, which were presented at the Game Developers Conference 2010. One of the main innovations is the new Unreal Lightmass lighting calculation system, which uses global illumination without losing functions that were implemented in older lighting systems. Improved work with multiprocessor systems - distribution of tasks between multiprocessor systems using Unreal Swarm, as well as faster compilation of C++ code and processing of Unreal Script due to Unreal Build Tool. 

 range 4

Added our own means of distributing user content - Unreal Content Browser, Unreal Master appeared Control Program is a new master server for updating clients and maintaining global statistics, which is already used in Gears of War 2. In connection with the innovations, Epic Games China planned to demonstrate the use of the engine for massively multiplayer online games.

samaritan epic games1

In 2011, Epic Games showed a video about the latest updates made to the engine - Samaritan. The press and players began calling it "Unreal Engine 3.9". In the next update, the third generation engine received support for DirectX 11, as well as a huge number of related technologies. Was only used in Unreal Championship 2. 

Advanced Game Settings

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter has a wide range of graphic settings. You can also change the settings for four main sub-items - low medium and high. Basic and additional settings are located in two different sub-sections of the menu and launcher.

AstronautsGame launcher        

Below we have provided screenshots of the game at various graphics settings, where our readers can see the difference between the minimum, medium and maximum graphics quality settings. 

Various quality modes
niz 1 sr 1 max 1
niz 2 sr 2 max 2

The difference between graphics settings is visible in the quality of detail and drawing distance.

Comparison of FullHD and 4K
hd 1 4k1
hd 2 4k2

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter looks good in 4K if you have the appropriate device.

Comparison of anti-aliasing modes

aa off fxaa
msaa csaa

Activating various types of full-screen anti-aliasing does not completely eliminate surface unevenness, leaving visible jaggies. The MSAA mode looks the best quality.

General visual design and game physics

 The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a very beautiful game, despite the fact that the game is based on outdated DirectX 9. The surrounding area looks simply amazing, and it’s hard to believe that this is possible Unreal Engine 3.

range 1 

In fact, apart from the magnificent landscapes, there is practically nothing significant in the game, because this is a genre for amateurs, and not for avid gamers.

range 2 

Next, we will move directly to gaming tests and determine what impact this game has on modern computer hardware. 


Test configuration

test stands


Test bench No. 1 based on the Intel Socket 2011 platform

Test bench No. 3 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

Test bench No. 6 based on the AMD Soket AM3 platform

Test bench No. 7 based on the AMD Soket AM3+ platform

Test bench No. 8 based on the Intel Socket 1150 platform


Multimedia equipment

Dell U3010 Monitor 

Monitor ASUS PQ321QE

Software configuration

Operating system

Microsoft Windows 8.1

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 344.11

AMD Catalyst 14,8

Monitoring program

MSI Afterburner v4 


GPU test

All video cards were tested at maximum graphics quality using MSI Afterburner. The purpose of the test is to determine how video cards from different manufacturers behave under the same conditions. The average and minimum FPS were taken as performance indicators. Below is a video of the test segment:   

 Our video cards were tested at different screen sizes of 1920x1080, 2560x1600 and 3840x2160 with the maximum graphics quality settings allowed by The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. SLI does not work in the game, and AMD CrossFireX has sufficient support, showing excellent scalability. 

Testing at 1920x1080 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 

AstronautsGame- 1920  

With these settings an acceptable FPS indicator was shown by video cards of the Radeon HD 6870 or GeForce GTX 560 level. The optimal solution would be video cards level Radeon HD 6870 or GeForce GTX 580.

Testing at 2560x1600 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600

AstronautsGame- 2560 

With these settings An acceptable FPS indicator was shown by video cards of the Radeon HD 6950 or GeForce GTX 680 level. The optimal solution would be video cards level Radeon HD 6970 or GeForce GTX 680.

Testing at 3840x2160 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2560

AstronautsGame- 3840 

With these settings an acceptable FPS indicator was shown by video cards of the Radeon R9 280X or GeForce GTX 780 Ti level. The optimal solution would be level video cards Radeon R9 280X and higher.


memory GPU

Testing of video memory consumed by the game was carried out by the program MSI Afterburner. The indicator was based on results on top video cards from AMD and NVIDIA with separate screen sizes 1920x1080 and 2560x1600 with different anti-aliasing settings.

Testing at maximum memory GPU quality settings


The recommended amount of video memory usage for a resolution of 1920x1080 will be 1024 MB of video memory, for a resolution of 2560x1600 - 1280 MB of video memory and for a resolution of 3840x2160 about 2048 MB of video memory. 

CPU test

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We tested processor dependence on 15 models of basic configurations that are relevant today. The test was carried out in those places where the value of video cards for the game is minimal and its load was less than 99%, this time at a resolution of 1920x1080 with maximum graphics quality settings. 

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 


CPU performance in the game is quite adequate.

Loading of processor coresat maximum quality settings 1920x1080 Intel% 

AstronautsGame- intel 

Loading of processor cores at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 AMD% 

 AstronautsGame- amd

The game is capable of supporting up to 8 computing threads, but is not able to normally use more than 4 cores.

RAM test

The test was carried out on the basic configuration of Core i 7 3970X@4.9 GHz with 16GB DDR3 2400 MGz pre-installed memory. The entire used operational memory was taken as an indicator. The RAM test on the entire system was carried out on various test benches without launching third-party applications (browsers, etc.).

Testing the game's RAM consumption at various quality settings 


As we can see, with various quality settings, the amount of RAM consumed in The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is at the level of 2000-2500 megabytes.  

Testing system RAM consumption  


On a 4GB system, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter consumes about 3.2GB of RAM. In the presence of a system with 8 gigabytes, the RAM consumption of all RAM was 3.9 gigabytes. With a 16 GB system, the total memory consumption was almost 4.7 gigabytes.   



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Rate our test  1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 91% [102 vote(s)]

Rate the graphics  1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 94% [113 vote(s)]

Evaluate optimization  1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 68% [106 vote(s)]


People participating in this conversation

Comments (54)

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

mfuZI’m going my own way, it’s unlikely that anyone here will go the same way. I can only say one thing: I’m using AMD video cards with 5870 and I’m happy with everything. what they write on the internet and especially on the over is that the talker is lying. A pack of jambs from AMD will not be noticed by me, I’ll continue to sit. It’s even more accurate to say that it’s not that they are not there, they are no more and no less than the competitor’s. I don’t know what’s going on with the middle segment of vids and I don’t want to. I will launch any game anyway.

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

vector0rWhere ? the only thing I've seen lately are messages about someone using non-players like WM

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

mfuZYes, I'm already tired of explaining in all the topics. no one needs it here. What's the point of pushing air?

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

vector0rlisten, maybe you can explain it to me... Why do the game itself and the video (for example, which you post here) have different smoothness/fps? I open the video via MPC. On yours everything is much smoother, although in some games I get 60 fps. is it because the video playback is different from the actual rendering or something else? and then I remember where they said that on AMD 60 fps feels like 35-40... in the same new Wolf at the beginning of the second level it shows no less than 50, but it feels like 30 fps: sad: (tested riva tuner ss)

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

loony01MSI just updated. It's loading, but that's normal, you need to load the level. It loads at boot time. everything seems normal. In theory, this is how it should load in all games (and not just at the beginning) and then you can forget about it. The FPS generally shows nonsense, Monique is on takeoff. :lol: [url]http://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-rmQ06wHRmEA/VCczm6LDjaI/AAAAAAAACng/lIMiqumxTco/w1916-h1078-no/AstronautsGame-Win64-Shipping_2014_09_28_01_59_38_798.bmp[/url] I’ll explain it more simply: try running some kind of H.264 encoder so that it downloads the entire percentage for you. At the same time, try to do something in Windows - like open a window, drag it, open some folder with a video. you'll see what happens. when you are in the game and it loads the entire percentage (at the same time many services and background programs are running) or all the resources, they are divided - Windows begins to take away from the game, the game from Windows. At this moment, brakes, crashes, glitches, freezes and other crap occur. The brakes are very difficult to distinguish at a glance, they could be from anything. There may be another option: Windows simply stupidly won’t let you load everything and then automatically minus the game. In 8, they got rid of aero because it also shared video resources. Now there is practically nothing hanging on the video card, it is completely free for games. Well, a window after exiting some game with the inscription: you don’t have enough resources, let’s close/disable something, I think we’ve seen all more than once. like that.

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