I’ll be starting this year off with a benchmark on the recently released Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. I would like to apologize for the delay, as all of us need a little rest to start the year as fresh as possible.

MGS: V Ground Zeroes is an action-adventure stealth game similar to it’s predecessors, developed by Kojima Productions and published by Konami on the multi-platform Fox Engine. The game is a small taste (2-3 hours of gameplay) of what the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has to offer.

Personally being a fan of the series from early back as the original release, I was anxiously awaiting to see how Hideo Kojima and his team would bring the game back to life on PC, and how it would fair against the multitude of game releases these past few months.

From the get go you can clearly see that the game was originally released as a console version. There’s a few annoying moments on PC when you can’t use your mouse and you’ve got to strangely navigate with your keyboard to apply settings or save your game. All in all though it’s something that’s bearable. Moving on towards how the game performs we will dive into the benchmarks to get a clearer view.

 

FPS Unlock, FOV and DOF Mods

Note: The game is capped at 60 FPS but is unlockable with mods. There’s also a fix for FOV and DOF aswell as some weapon and character mods that can all be found here, with detail on how to enable them.

 

Benchmark Components

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes 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: 347.09 WHQL Beta, AMD: Catalyst Omega 14.12

 

Graphic Options

The Kojima Productions team doesn’t seem to offer that much in terms of graphical options. We are limited to just a few in the graphics detail menu with Windowed Mode, Vertical Sync , Frame Rate and Model Detail, Textures, Texture Filtering, Shadows, Lighting, Screen Filtering, Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) and Effects that range from Low-Medium-High and Extra High.

 

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes Graphics Menu

Testing Methodology

As usual we will be testing single and multi-gpu setups. I prompted to not use the FPS unlock as it caused strange issues with the game crashing to desktop.

I would like to note that AMD graphic cards in both single and Crossfire seem to have issues related to the newest Omega drivers and the game doesn’t provide the performance you would be waiting for. Newer drivers should fix the strange FPS issues aswell as low GPU usage for CFX setups, but for now those with AMD cards are going to have to be patient. Nvidia GPUs seem to be fine in both single and SLI with the latest 347.09 WHQL Beta drivers.

Our benchmark run is a custom 90 second run starting from the first scene that can be seen below in the video.


 

Ground Zeroes 1920×1080 Benchmark

MGS V Ground Zeroes Benchmark 1920x1080
The game runs smoothly on both single and SLI GTX970s with frame rate averages close to 60 FPS. There’s disruptencies in the AMD graphic card frame rates mainly due to low GPU usage (30-40% in Crossfire and 60-70% on a single R9-290).

 

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes HD ScreenshotGround Zeroes HD Screenshot

 

MGS V 2560×1440 Benchmark

MGS V Ground Zeroes Benchmark 2560x1440

 

At 1440p we see the average frame rate of the GTX970 slighlty drop to 55 FPS with minimums not dropping below 45 FPS. The SLI GTX970 seems to be running the game with no variations from the HD resolution at a steady 60 FPS. The AMD cards again suffer from low GPU usage (due to driver issues).

 

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes 2560x1440 ScreenshotGround Zeroes 2560×1440 Screenshot

 

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes 4K Benchmark

MGS V Ground Zeroes Benchmark 4K

 

At 4K we see the GTX970 not being able to keep up due to the amount of pixels being rendered. The SLI GTX970s seem to be able to provide a smooth gameplay experience with an average of 50 FPS and minimums not dropping below 43 FPS.

The R9-290 and R9-290 CFX systems should be able to provide similar results (if not slightly better at 1440p and 4K) to their Nvidia contenders with a driver update, for now we will have to wait and see.

 

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes 4K ScreenshotGround Zeroes 4K Screenshot

 

CPU Usage

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes CPU Usage
Running the game at Extra High on the 1024×768 resolution to test CPU usage, we can see that the game uses all 12 threads of the 6-Core 3930K. Utilizations varies from 30%-50% on the first four threads and 15-25% on the other eight. As mentioned in the minimum CPU requirements a Core i5-4460 (3.20GHz) *Quad-Core or better will be needed to enjoy a lag free experience.

 

VRAM Usage

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes VRAM usage
VRAM usage across the HD, 1440p and 4K resolutions vary from 2.2-2.9GB. This is all on the Extra High preset, your milage may vary, so if you encounter any strange single digit FPS drops be sure to lower the SSAO setting first then drop the other settings accordingly until you find a sweet spot.

 

Total System RAM Usage

Metal Gear Solid V Ground Zeroes Total System RAM usage
Across all the benchmark resolutions 3-3.3GB should be enough but for a safety guard 4GB is as stated the minimum to be able to run the game with no issues.

 

Conclusion

The game runs exceptionally well for a console port. The graphics are “next-gen” impressive but, depth of field seems to blur the character textures in real-time, damping down the quality on mouse movement. Lowering screen filtering reduces the effect but not enough to eliminate it altogether.

The DOF setting gives gains to performance and a steady frame rate but goes slightly overboard in some parts of the character movement. LOD seems to be well implemented without any strange terrain pop-ins and lighting effects are outstanding especially at night.

Ground Zeroes seems to be a great tech demo and for those wanting to get their feet wet before throwing cash at The Phantom Pain.
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"

  • nashathedog

    I got this in the Steam sales but haven’t tried it yet, Which is just as well seeing as I’m running AMD. Hopefully they’ll sort the drivers soon.

    • Nikolas Nikolaou

      I’ve relayed the info to someone at AMD so I guess a optimized driver will be out soon enough. Older AMD graphic cards seem to have better usage, so you might be fine with the Omega driver.