For those of you that are not aware of the Gaming Evolved campaign that was started by AMD, it is all about getting gamers, game developers, and hardware manufacturers on the same page. AMD wants all of these entities to develop and nurture an open and creative gaming industry that helps games evolve to the fullest and to give the gamer the best experience possible on all fronts. One of the games that is currently a big part of this campaign is the newest game in the very popular strategy game series Total War, called Total War: Shogun 2. As we all know AMD is of course one of the leading CPU makers in the world and since their purchase of ATI a few years ago they have also become one of the biggest GPU makers in the world. From the Radeon HD line to their embedded OEM chips, AMD has pretty much the entire PC covered when it comes to top notch high performance core components. So it only seems natural that they use their influence to try and bring the entire gaming community together to benefit all of us
Using their Gaming Evolved campaign to showcase Total War: Shogun 2 is a smart choice because not only is the game optimized to run on the AMD platform, it is also a graphically beautiful game that can really showcase what the AMD Radeon HD video cards can do. Although the game is not DX 11 compliant yet, it is still quite a site to see in DX 10. Now don’t get discouraged because I have read several reports that tell us all that DX 11 compatibility will be available via a patch very early in May of this year. I don’t know about you but I am kind of excited to see what the differences will be once the game gets it’s DX 11 makeover. For those of you that have never played the Total War series such as myself, it is a historically based war strategy game that while you can play single player campaigns, seems to be most popular for multi-player games.
Not only can you play a completely random single player or multi-player campaign, you can also replay famous historical battles, or you can even create custom battles that are tailored to you gaming preferences. So not only are we going to be talking about AMD and the Gaming Evolved push for a common standard in the gaming industry, but we are also going to take a look at what some of AMD’s new Radeon technology can do in Total War: Shogun 2. To be more specific we here at the Legit reviews labs are going to use the Radeon HD 6850 to run a series of benchmarks to see how it performs in a game like Total War: Shogun 2. The Radeon 6850 is the perfect card for this test because it is a mid line card that most people can afford, and even though it has a lower price tag than the higher end high performance cards such as the 6970 or the 6990 you will still get exceptional performance.
For all of the benchmarking we used a Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 Toxic video card and we used all of the in game preset performance levels and their default settings levels with the exception of running the “Very High” settings twice, once with the Anistropic filter at X16 instead of the default Trilinear filter and once with all of the settings at default. All of the tests were run multiple times and the average of those runs were used in the chart below.
Here you can see a screen shot that was taken at the “Very High” settings level with the X16 AF filter on. As you can see this is quite a nice looking game with the settings up this high. Now mind you it still looks decent even at the lowest settings. For the benchmarking we chose to use one of the single player “Historical Battles” that takes place on the ocean. The ocean battle was chosen because the rendering of water tends to put a lot of stress on video cards, so it seemed like a perfect choice.