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The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone - PC performance graphics benchmarks of Graphics Cards

BASIC GAME INFORMATION

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Year of construction: 2015.
Genre: RPG / 3D / 3rd Person
developer: CD Projekt RED and CD Projekt RED Krakó
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games

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The long-awaited addition Hearts of Stone to the legendary game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. In Hearts of Stone, Geralt will revisit Velen and Oxenfurt. “Having received an order from Mr. Mirror, Geralt must meet with Olgierd von Everec, a ruthless bandit leader who has received the gift of immortality,” say the authors from CD Projekt RED.

New quests, artifacts, adventures, monsters and characters await us, including Oxenfurt Academy graduate Shani. The passage, designed for witchers level 30 and above, will take about 10 hours.

THE GRAFICAL PART

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 Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is supported by the main Windows operating systems, which include Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8. Other operating systems are not currently supported by the developers and will not receive support. 

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Priority and main graphics API for The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone is DirectX 11 

Game engine 

CD Projekt RED

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was developed on the REDengine 3 game engine, which was aimed at current generation consoles and PCs. The first part of The Witcher was based on Aurora Engine technology, a game engine developed by the Canadian company BioWare and first used in the computer role-playing game Neverwinter Nights, which was released on June 18, 2002. 

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Of course, even by the standards of 2007, the Aurora Engine was an outdated graphics technology and it is clear that the new part of the series The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings needed an updated graphics engine. And it became RED Engine. This engine focuses not only on graphics and physics, but also on building a non-linear quest system, allowing you to make the gameplay even closer to real life. RED Engine supports dynamic shadows, normal mapping and parallax. 

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The first version of the RED Engine in The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings only supports DirectX 9, which somewhat constrained the game in terms of technology, although it made it inaccessible to previous generation consoles. The new version of the REDengine 2 engine made it possible to earn The Witcher 2: The Assassins of Kings on Xbox 360, albeit with a lower level of detail and quality. This game was never released on PS3; apparently the developers were unable to adapt to the architecture of the Sony console.

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In February 2013, CD Projekt RED officially introduced its new engine - REDengine 3, on which their two new games were created - Cyberpunk 2077 and the then-unannounced Witcher 3. REDengine 3 is a technology that was specifically designed to create non-linear story-driven RPGs with a system that allows large-scale open worlds to be streamlined. The advanced technology of REDengine 3 allows RPGs to be compared with top shooters, both in terms of the presentation of the world and the huge events in which the player participates. 

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The engine was natively compatible with current generation consoles, allowing it to blur the line between pre-rendered CGI movies and real-time graphics, giving us the most believable worlds ever created in a video game. A living ecosystem filled with objects that are like works of art, allowing the player to become part of the environment. New facial and body animation systems implemented in REDengine 3 provide realistic conveyance of emotions, cinematic scenes and character interactions.

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The technology uses HDR rendering with 64-bit depth, which produces the highest image quality with more realistic and accurate lighting without losing detail. Flexible rendering, ready for delayed or advanced rendering, features a wide range of cinematic post-effects, including depth of field bokeh, color gradation, and light source flares. High quality terrain allows for multiple words of seamlessly merging materials and uses tasseling to achieve maximum detail. The technology also includes seamless linking of animation and physics and a number of other features.

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REDengine 3 uses a new version of the REDkit editor with tools designed specifically for creating RPG games. The editor allows you to create complex, branching quests and distribute them across the open world with a simplicity not found in any other editor.

Advanced Game Settings

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has both basic and advanced graphics settings. Any user will be able to customize the game at their own discretion, based on the performance of the existing system.

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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
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The difference in graphics is visible in the quality of textures, vegetation and terrain rendering distance.

Comparison of FullHD and 4K
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hd 2 4k2

In 4K The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt looks incredible!

Comparison of anti-aliasing modes

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Anti-aliasing in the game works well, eliminating almost all “surface unevenness”.

General visual design and game physics

The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stonet remains the most technologically advanced and open world RPG to date. The graphics, as well as the gameplay itself, are simply magnificent!

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Despite the dissatisfaction of many users that the graphics of the PC version are not much different from the current generation consoles, the latter still has some advantages over its counterparts. Firstly, these are improved anti-aliasing modes and support for higher resolutions - up to 4K. The game also supports proprietary NVIDIA technologies, such as NVIDIA HairWorks, NVIDIA HBAO+, physics of destruction and clothing, as well as water simulation.

Witcher 3 configuration

NVIDIA PhysX - unadjustable setting in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, but its implementation is great as it adds dynamic fabrics and destruction effects on all platforms. On a computer where the processors are much more powerful, these effects are more realistic, containing additional particles that persist for a longer period of time in the environment.

NVIDIA PhysX destruction NVIDIA PhysX tissues

NVIDIA HairWorks technology combines the power of NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPUs with DirectX 11 tessellation technology to add hundreds of thousands of dynamic, lifelike hairs to characters, creatures, and game worlds. Using DirectX 11 technology, NVIDIA developed NVIDIA HairWorks, a polygonal hair and fur simulation technique that allows you to add dynamic volume to static cells within detailed textures.

NVIDIA HairWorks enabled NVIDIA HairWorks disabled

When you activate the graphic settings in high and ultra modes, water simulation is activated, which allows you to observe the realistic rocking of the boat, and this setting also creates ripples while Geralt is swimming.

Water simulation enabled Water simulation disabled

HBAO+ is a further development of HBAO, which allows graphics cards of the GeForce GTX level to calculate lighting and shadows in full resolution. Compared to previous Ambient Occlusion modes, not only has the performance been improved, but also the quality of the samples.

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

TEST PART

Test configuration

test stands

Test bench No. 1 based on the Intel Socket 2011 platform v3

Test bench No. 2 based on the Intel Socket 2011 platform

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

Test bench No. 4 based on the AMD Soket AM3+ platform

Test bench No. 5 based on the Intel Socket 1150 platform

Multimedia equipment

Dell U3010 Monitor 

Monitor ASUS PQ321QE 

Software configuration

Operating system

Windows10 Pro

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 358.50

AMD Catalyst 15.9.1

Monitoring program

MSI Afterburner v4.1

FRAPS

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 The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone. Tests were carried out with and without maximum Hairworks.

Testing at 1920x1080 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 

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With these settings, video cards of the Radeon R9 280X or GeForce GTX 680 level showed an acceptable FPS. The optimal solutions would be Radeon HD 7990 or GeForce GTX 950.

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Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 Hairworks

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With these settings, video cards of the Radeon R9 290 or GeForce GTX 960 level showed an acceptable FPS. The optimal solutions would be Radeon R9 290 or GeForce GTX 780.

Testing at 2560x1600 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600

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With these settings, video cards of the Radeon HD 7990 or GeForce GTX 780 level showed an acceptable FPS. The optimal solutions would be the Radeon R9 290 or GeForce GTX 780.

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Testing at maximum quality settings 2560x1600 Hairworks

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With these settings, video cards of the Radeon Hd 7990 or GeForce GTX 780 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS. The optimal solutions would be Radeon R9 Nano or GeForce GTX 970.

Testing at 3840x2160 resolution

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Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2160

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With these settings, video cards of the Radeon R9 Fury X or GeForce GTX 780 SLI level showed an acceptable FPS indicator. The optimal solutions will be Radeon R9 Fury X or GeForce GTX 970 SLI.

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Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2160 Hairworks

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With these settings, an acceptable FPS indicator was shown by video cards of the level GeForce GTX 980 TiThe optimal solutions will be GeForce GTX 980 SLI and higher.

 

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

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The recommended amount of video memory usage for a resolution of 1920x1080 will be 2048 MB of video memory, for a resolution of 2560x1600 - 2048 MB of video memory, and for a resolution of 3840x2160 about 3076 MB of video memory. 

CPU test

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We tested processor dependence on 16 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 the given graphics quality settings. Below is a video of the test segment: 

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 50%

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The CPU performance in the game is sufficient for all models.

Loading of processor coresat maximum quality settings 1920x1080 Intel% 

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

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The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone uses up to 8 computing threads.

RAM test

The test was carried out on the basic configuration of Core i 7 5960X@4.6 GHz with 16GB DDR4 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 

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As we can see, with different quality settings, the amount of consumed RAM is The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone is within 2200 megabytes.

Testing system RAM consumption  

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If you have a system with 6 gigabytes The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone consumes about 5.3 gigabytes of RAM. In the presence of a system with 8 gigabytes, the RAM consumption of all RAM was 5.9 gigabytes. With a 16 GB system, the total memory consumption was almost 6.5 GB. And with 32 gigabytes of RAM, the system consumes 7.5 gigabyte of RAM.  

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Rate our test  1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 86% [94 vote(s)]


Rate the graphics  1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 78% [102 vote(s)]


Evaluate optimization  1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 55% [112 vote(s)]

 

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Comments (25)

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

archemagFuck you.

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

SVL please test the game Black Desert. This is a new revolutionary MmoRPG, in the best traditions of L2, with excellent graphics, which are even better than in The Witcher.

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

Hello, please explain to me: In the test of this game there are two tables that indicate the RAM consumption of this game and in both tables there are completely different data. Table No. 1 "Testing the game's RAM consumption at various quality settings" This table says that the game consumes 3300 megabytes of RAM. Table No. 2 “Testing system RAM consumption” This table says that the game consumes from 5,3 GB to 7,5 GB. My question is: which table to believe: the first - where it says that the game consumes all 3,3 gigabytes of RAM or the second - where much larger numbers are written: from 5,3 to 7,5 gigabytes of RAM. Thanks in advance for your answer. Best regards, doc11111.

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

korn87Well, you can express your opinion, no one forbids it. But for me, the Witcher series is the best game that you can play slowly. I spent the third 190 hours on maximum difficulty without an interface, tips, fast travel and subtitles. And it’s a thrill. You just play and enjoy it and don’t want the game to end. Like reading a book. And yet, in between, I enjoyed shooting crayfish in battle. Well, as they say, if you don’t like it, move on.

This comment was made by the moderator on the site

Posted by korn87:

Moderator, sergtrav is swearing here! And on the topic, for the sake of the plot, it was interesting to go through Soma, Cholate, Fahrenheit, Volkin Grandfather, etc. interactive cinema. And then in an hour and a half... not a single event happened. Had a dream, did the training, killed the gargoyles, got to the village, a lot of stupid chatter, “solved” the riddle with the wagon train and killed the liar, killed the ghost from the well. Dumb mechanics, slow mechanics of a walking meat grinder. There is no plot. No one or anything motivates the player to move. Chasing a girl? Why then is the Witcher not averse to being stuck doing all sorts of side stuff? If the story is revealed after 10 hours of play, then it's not worth it.
You just didn’t feel the allen)) and this “stupid chatter” you call may come back to haunt you in the plot in a few hours :lol:

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