While performance testing is usually done under a controlled environment, with The Crew being an always online persistent environment things will change that are out of our control. The number of players in the area, time, and the AI controlled items. Getting a 100% identical performance test without a built-in benchmark will be difficult. We have chosen a long road in Detroit to drive from one end to the other down the middle of the road, and will do that at the top speed of the vehicle without crashing.
The Crew 3840×2160 (4K Ultra HD) Gaming Performance:
If we tried to run The Crew on a GTX 970 at 3840×2160 with 8x MSAA, it was unplayable. We were able make it playable with a simple change to the Anti-Aliasing, setting it to 4x TXAA, which is one step below 8x MSAA. There is some graphic differences, and the FPS were still a little low, we could have changed it to 4x MSAA, and received 30FPS, but that doesn’t show much for performance, if both tests are set to 30FPS. So we opted to increase the graphics quality a little and stick with the lower FPS to show what MFAA can do for performance. With a simple switch in the NVIDIA control panel, MFAA provided 14% boost in FPS. Which is hard to beat with a simple driver update.
The Crew 1920×1080 (1080P) Gaming Performance
Running the game at 1920 x 1080, if we allowed the game to choose the optimal settings, it would run at 60FPS without any issues. We maxed the graphics quality and was still able to get close to 60FPS with MFAA enabled. Without MFAA, we received 42.7FPS, which makes it a very playable game.
While a couple of Ubisoft’s latest games have had issues with graphics and CPU utilization, The Crew ran without issues in our limited game time. Even when trying to push the game to it’s maximum at 4K, all graphics rendered without any issues, it just had poor frameate. As for CPU utilization, it was below 50% across all four cores on the Intel i5-4690K running with Ultra graphics at the 4K resolution, and 4x TXAA.
One additional note on gaming performance, originally we were going to test The Crew at 2560 x 1440 as well, however any graphics setting we chose, it continued to run at 30FPS even though the FPS Limit was set to 60FPS.
1920 x 1080p Graphics Quality
During our time testing The Crew, we took several screenshots to take a look at the quality. Here is one of t he screenshots taken at 1920 x 1080, at Ultra quality with 4x MSAA.
We took the same screen shot after activating MFAA within the NVIDIA drivers, and ther is some differences. Not only do we get the performance difference that we can see below, but there is a slight difference in the quality of graphics. If you take a look at the stop light pole, that is the best place to see the difference in AA methods.
With The Crew being released on December 2nd, 2014, we immediately began some testing. During our time doing performance testing, we did not encounter any graphic issues, regardless of the graphic settings; during primetime gaming it did take a few minutes to log into the game (which Ubisoft is working to resolve). The Crew is a beautiful looking game, with some of the best looking cars made today. If the size of Detroit is any indication, there are hundreds of hours of game time included in The Crew. Using the latest drivers, GeForce 344.75 WHQL, NVIDIA’s MFAA shows an improvement of 14% in 4K resolution in the FPS, however you have to have a Maxwell based video card to take advantage of that.