There’s been a slight delay for our Far Cry 4 benchmark article and with good reason. Ubisoft, like always, has come out with a few patches early after release and I wanted to wait a week or two before jumping to conclusions about the game’s optimization.

Far Cry 4 is an open world first person shooter adventure-action game developed and published by Ubisoft that has been created on the Dunia Engine 2 (a heavily modified version of the original Cry Engine). It resembles the previous games in the Far Cry series very closely with a larger open world plus a few additions in regards to weapons and wildlife interaction.

Bugs and Fixes

Similar to Far Cry 3, we have the dreaded mouse acceleration issue giving a sub-optimal gaming experience. There’s a way to fix the bug but it isn’t perfect.

Find Gamerprofile.xml, edit in notepad and change the 1’s in “Smoothness=”1” and “Smoothness_Ironsight=”1” to 0’s.

Something that also caught my attention and hopefully will be fixed in the next big patch is the stutter that is caused due to one of the CPU core-threads hitting 100% usage. It’s replicated when running into new terrains or driving a vehicle. There’s mention of a quick fix on various forums but that doesn’t fully remedy the problem and also lowers texture quality.

Find Gamerprofile.xml, edit in notepad and change both the 0’s in DisableLoadingMip0 = “0” and GPUMaxBufferedFrames=”0″ to 1’s.

After the quick overview above let’s get into the raw frame rate and frame time data from the benchmarks. As usual I will be running single, SLI and Crossfire setups but, for now at least, only Nvidia have released an official multi-GPU supported driver. AMD have Crossfire disabled in their FC4 compatible driver and are working with Ubisoft to iron out the bugs. I will update accordingly on release.

 

Far Cry 4 NPC Models

NPC Models 
 

Benchmark Components

Far Cry 4 Benchmark System

CPU i7 3930K
Motherboard Asus P9X79 Deluxe
RAM Kingston Hyper-X 16GB 1600mhz
HDD/SSD Crucial M550 256GB
GPU 2XGalax GTX970 EXOC 4GB , 2XMSI R9-290 Gaming 4S
Monitor Asus PB287Q 28″ 4K 60Hz 1MS
PSU Corsair AX1200W
OS Windows 8.1
Drivers Nvidia: 344.75 WHQL, AMD: Catalyst 14.11.2 BETA

 

Testing Methodology

As usual before running the benchmark I would set the resolution and preset before rebooting the system.

Far Cry 4 hasn’t got a built in benchmark tool so I had to create a demanding scenario to test performance. I mixed gunfights, grenade explosions and running in addition to driving so the results are representative of the actual game performance in different scenarios.

 

Far Cry 4 Graphics Quality Settings

Far Cry 4 Video Options

 

The benchmark run is 60 seconds using Fraps to record FPS and frame times, and FRAFS benchviewer is used to illustrate frame time graphs. You can view the exact benchmark run I used below in the video.

For the 1920×1080 and 2560×1440 resolutions the Ultra preset was used while for 3840×2160 (4K) Very High was used.

 

 Far Cry 4 1920×1080 Ultra Benchmark

 

Far Cry 4 Benchmark 1920x1080 GTX970 vs R9-290

 

At 1080p we see the R9-290 ahead in max frame rates while losing to the GTX970 in min and avg FPS. Both, of course, over the 70fps mark on average frame rates and above 57fps on the minimums. The Sli GTX970s system is over the 100fps mark but hits lower mins than its single counterpart.

 

Far Cry 4 1920×1080 Ultra  Frame times

 

Far Cry 4 GTX970 Frametimes 1920x1080 Ultra preset

 

Far Cry 4 R9-290 Frametimes 1920x1080 Ultra preset

 

Far Cry 4 SLI GTX970 Frametimes 1920x1080 Ultra preset

 

Looking at the frame times we see some spikes that are mainly due to the CPU bug. You can’t rely on the data to be accurate unless it’s patched so I will be leaving out frame times for the next resolutions. Until and unless this is fixed you should take results with a grain of salt and, of course, your mileage might vary.

 

Far Cry 4 1920x1080 Screenshot

Far Cry 4 1920×1080 Screenshot
 
 

FC4 2560×1440 Ultra Benchmark

 

FC4 Benchmark 2560x1440 GTX970 vs R9-290

 

Both the R9-290 and GTX970 hold their own even at 1440 on Ultra with averages around 50fps. We see the GTX970 in a slight lead once again. The SLI GTX970s are in a league of their own, at least until we see what the R9-290s have to offer in Crossfire. For those wanting to get better performance and hit that 60fps mark with one of our test cards, dropping AA should give a good boost.

 

FC4 2560x1440 Screenshot

 Far Cry 4 2560×1440 Screenshot
 
 

Far Cry 4 Benchmark 4K Very High Preset

 

Far Cry 4 Benchmark 4K GTX970 vs R9-290

 

I decided to drop the preset on the 4K resolution from the Ultra to Very High as it’s too taxing for a single GPU, mainly due to anti-aliasing. This time around we see the R9-290 in the lead mainly due to its higher memory bus, something that you can see on multiple occasions in previous benchmarks. SLI GTX970s seem to be a must at 4K for 50fps averages.

 

Far Cry 4 4K Screenshot

Far Cry 4 3840×2160 Screenshot

 

Far Cry 4 CPU Usage

 

Far Cry 4 CPU Usage

 

I have already mentioned the problem with one of the core-threads on my hexacore CPU spiking to 100% usage. This happens in all resolutions and presets on both the R9-290 and GTX970. This has to do with bad port optimization from Ubisoft and hopefully will be fixed in the new patch release. Similarly to Far Cry 3, we see usage of 8-threads meaning the game will scale well on anything up to a 4-core processor with hyperthreading.

 

FC4 Total System Memory Usage

In total system usage we see the 1920×1080 resolution using roughly 3.31GB while at 4K on the Ultra preset a peak of 5.35GB. One module of 4GB ram should be enough to run the game as stated in the minimum system requirements while 6-8GB is ideal.

 

Far Cry 4 VRAM Usage

 

Far Cry 4 Vram Usage

 

Testing VRAM usage on the 4GB VRAM of the GTX970 is not enough for the Nvidia Preset on the 4K resolution, causing terrible stutter due to bottleneck. As I used the Very High preset for the benchmark at 3840×2160 we see usage hitting roughly 3.5GB so people with 3GB VRAM will hit a limitation at this resolution. At 1080p and 1440p Ultra preset we see usage of 2.3GB and 2.8GB respectively. For those hitting any video ram wall, lowering AA will drop usage enough to get the game playable on most of the resolutions. .

 

Conclusion

I started my initial gameplay on SLI Nvidia GPUs. Its obvious how branded the game is and as a GameWorks “The Way It’s Meant To Be Played” title, with additions of a unique preset and settings for its users.

The Nvidia preset adds HBAO+, TXAA4 as well as soft shadows on top of the already maxed out settings. AMD users will not find Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TXAA) in their settings as it’s an Nvidia only technology.

As a multiplatform release (“old gen” consoles included) the terrain textures in Far Cry 4 aren’t jaw dropping impressive, even on the highest of settings, but it has a unique mix of colors, with fur textures and lighting effects (god rays) plus foliage and environmental physics that give it a good enough feel. LOD this time around is a lot better than what we saw in Assassins Creed Unity.

I personally would have enjoyed the game if it weren’t for those stutters so you might want to wait it out until Ubisoft patches the game before purchasing, if you haven’t bought it already.

Update: The 1.4.0 patch has been released that fixes black and grey screens on load, but the stutter issues haven’t been resolved.

Update: The 1.5.0 Patch reduces mouse acceleration aswell as eliminates the stutter in most cases.

Update: The 1.6.0 Patch has been released with various fixes, there seems to be no improvement over the 1.5.0 patch for stuttering. 

 
See Pricing
 

If you have any questions about the benchmark please ask in the comment section below and I will be glad to answer.

About The Author

"Overclock and benchmark freak"