Total War: Shogun 2 DirectX 11 The Update
A little more than a month ago you might remember that we took a very close look at Sega's newest game title, Total War: Shogun 2. At the time of our article the game was only able to run on DirectX 9 with the promise that there would soon be a patch that would allow all of us to play the game in all the graphics splendor of DirectX 11. Well my friends, that time has come. Earlier this month a patch was released that not only added the ability to use DirectX 11, but it also added several benchmarks that are built right into the Steam interface for the game. All you have to do is right click on the Shogun 2 game link in you Steam library and the benchmarks are listed in the drop down menu. But we can talk more about that later.
Above you can see a screen shot of the updated settings screen. One of the other items that was mentioned as being included in the patch was the ability to adjust the AA settings in the game. A quick look at the screen above clearly shows its addition. One of the additions that I found rather cool was the ability to choose between DirectX 9 and Direct X 11 in the settings menu. So I guess you are probably asking yourself, "What the hell is the point of all of this?" Well, much like we did in the first article, we have taken the new found DirectX capability and benchmarked it to see how it would perform in-game with these more intense settings.
This time we used the Asus Radeon HD 6870 Video Card; as you will remember, last time we used a Sapphire Radeon 6850 Toxic Edition Video Card for our tests. We ran all of the exact same tests as we did in the previous article, but I also went one step further and ran all of the in-game benchmarks as well to see how those would run and to see if they would be a good candidate for future video card reviews. All right, enough about all of this stuff you aren't going to read anyway. Let's get to the benchmarks.
Total War: Shogun 2 DirectX 11 The Difference
All tests were performed on a freshly formatted system using the latest Catalyst 11.5b drivers from AMD. All system drivers and the BIOS were all up to date. The memory was run in dual channel with 8-8-8-24 1T timings and nothing was overclocked; everything was running at stock speeds.
The Test System
- Processor: AMD Phenom 2 965 3.4 GHz
- Motherboard: MSI 790FX GD-70
- Memory: 4 GB Kingston Hyper-X DDR3 1600 Dual Channel
- Video Card: Asus Radeon HD 6870 Video Card (EAH6870 DC/2DI2S/1GD5)
- Hard Drive: Western Digital SiliconEdge Blue 128 GB SSD
- Cooling: Corsair H50
- Power Supply: Corsair HX750W
- Chassis: White NZXT Phantom
- Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
As I mentioned on the first page as part of the new patch Sega has added a handful of in-game benchmarks so that all of us can get a better idea of how our cards will run in Total War: Shogun 2. The benchmarks are as follows:
DX11 Graphics High 1080p
DX11 Graphics Balanced 720p
DX9 Graphics Balanced 720p
and DX9 CPU
Down below are the results of the newly added in-game benchmarks that were a big part of the new patch. As you can see, the game runs really well and puts up very playable numbers as long as you don't run the game solely on your CPU. Even running in DirectX 11 mode in 1080p resolution the game was able to pump out a little over 41 frames per second. Not too shabby, if you ask me.
Just like in our previous article we also ran all of the in-game graphics presets that are included in Total War: Shogun 2. And once again, the game did not fail to impress. Even running in DirectX 11 the game was easily playable at all of the preset settings, and even did really well when I pumped up the AA to 8x and the AF was pumped up to 16x with Depth of Fielded enabled. Although 25 FPS isn't ideal it is still very playable and looked to be very smooth while I was running the benchmarks
Since we decided to use a higher end card for the DirectX 11 round of the Total War: Shogun 2 benchmarks we only thought it would be fair if we ran all of the tests in DirectX 9 mode like in the first article. As you can see, the biggest differences come in at the top and the bottom of the spectrum. At the Very High setting with depth of field enabled and our settings changed to x16 AF and MFAA we can see that compared to the DirectX 11 results we have almost doubled our FPS in DirectX 9. And at the absolute lowest setting we can see that there is a fairly substantial difference as well. Everything in the middle is all within a short distance of each other.
All in all I have to admit that the game looks beautiful no matter which Direct X version you choose to use, but with DirectX 11 enabled the game just looks supreme. Although opting for the finer looking graphics will cost you quite a few frames per second, I think the main thing that has been proven here today is that if you run a budget video card or if you run a high end enthusiast card you come out a winner either way because you can get very nice graphics and some very playable frame rates in just about any video card price point.