Assassin’s Creed 4 : Black Flag Benchmark – CPU and GPU


AC4: Black Flag is the sixth sequel in the Assassins Creed franchise that started six years ago and takes place in the Middle East during the Crusades. Since then we have been In Italy during the Renaissance, Turkey and finally in Assassin’s Creed 3 in America during the 18th century in its fight and independence from the British Crown. What differs AC 4 from its predecessors is that it was made for current and next gen consoles as well.

As we all know (at least we who played Assassin’s Creed games on PC ), porting and optimization for PC was next to nothing. Games were all capped at 63 fps and only the users with a higher refresh rate monitors, were in position to use the maximum out of their hardware. It’s not that you would ever notice the difference between 60 and 120 fps on a 60Hz monitor, but such poor optimization was more offensive than it had anything to do with the performance. Speaking of performance issues, yes they were all over the place. You would get strange dips in fps although you were running the best PC money could buy and all of that because some one didn’t find fit ( or cost effective ) to optimize the game for multicore CPU systems.

Anvil Engine has been improved in many ways since the first iteration of Assassin’s Creed but it has never been programmed to use all of the CPU power that it had at its disposal. One of the most frustrating things when it comes to optimization is AI NPCs and objects that would appear and disappear out of nowhere, which always kind of killed  it for PC users to experience the game in the way they rightly deserve. Its not that the game didn’t bring enough to the table on the contrary, but looking back at the past 5 sequels, invisible AI and structures are first that come to mind. As we said Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag was developed for next gen consoles which feature 8 core CPU’s, so we all hoped that the new and improved Anvil Engine would finally see better days in terms of performance.

AC4 In Game Screenshot on Roof  Assassins Creed 4 : Black Flag Benchmark   CPU and GPU

Stick around to see whether our hopes come to life. One more thing, (although regular readers are very much accustomed to this) we are late again with the benchmark since we waited for AMD to release a new driver that would fix the in game performance which was, well bad. Which isn’t something to be amazed about, since this is a game that was sponsored by Nvidia.

On the same day when AMD released the new Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.4 , Ubisoft has also released a patch update for the game it self, and when we ran the game with AMD cards the performance improvements were quite noticeable. We cannot say for sure which factor enabled the game to run smoothly with AMD cards, since AMD did not mention anything about a performance boost in AC 4 in their release notes. Whatever the case may be ,if you are running an AMD card  make sure your game is updated and that you have the newest version of Catalyst. We have also added something new, the ingame image quality comparison slider.


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  • slartibartfast

    I’m not really sure what the point of the Frametime section was. Considering frametime = 1000/fps, It doesn’t seem like you were giving any new information than was already presented on the FPS pages. Also, your claim that a 10 ms frametime is the “norm” doesn’t seem so realistic to me, since that corresponds to 100 frames per second, which you don’t really see too often with modern graphically intensive games on any of the GPUs you tested. Not only that, but I think your disappointment regarding Nvidia’s frametime performance is a bit unfounded. If the framerate is indeed limited at 63 fps, then the absolute minimum frametime that you could have is slightly under 17 ms, which is right about where your top two cards (in this test) were performing.

  • Ryan

    I have a 4670k and a 7870 and I think I’m just gonna ignore this game until it gets a significant Steam sale. I have other reasons to skip of course other than performance but I am pretty disappointed. I’d really like to be at 60fps 95% of the time, what I’ve seen so far doesn’t give me confidence that I can do that with reasonably high settings.

  • Axa

    i got a 7870 and this game is smooth… My framerate never drops below 45 and is usually at 60.. also im playing it in 1080p ..

  • light767

    Amazing, I have an AMD 8320 at 4.3 ghz and an asus R9 280X and at the start of the game can get only 18-21 fps ( 1080p and everything at maximum )…who has written this game?? This is surely no worst hardware than the one that it’s on the PS4 which has 60 fps and the 4 features more added on the PC from ubisoft can’t destroy fluidity in this was as they are nothing special…

    P.S. patch 1.01 and latest catalyst at the time of writing.

  • Superjoint

    complete bullsh*t test. I have a FX8350 + GTX 760 and I never had a minimum of 35fps

    • http://www.hardwarepal.com/ Nikolas Nikolaou

      Results should vary as we tested when AC4 was first released. Optimised drivers aswell as patches for the game have come out.