Wrapping up this year’s Ubisoft releases , we’re going to take a look at The Crew in our PC benchmark performance analysis. The Crew is an open-world multiplayer racing game developed by Ivory Tower, with help from Ubisoft Reflections and published by Ubisoft.

The game uses a modified version of the Babel Engine with proprietary tools from Ivory Tower, the former members behind the Test Drive Unlimited series.

Covering a huge map of the United States, there’s quite a few things to do in the game. It mixes the best of singleplayer in a multiplayer world with car tuning upgrade kits (Full Stock, Performance , Street , Dirt , Raid , Circuit ) as well as cosmetic customizations. The Crew tries to reflect a co-op MMO in the arcade-racing genre. How exactly this will turn out is a different story altogether.

 

The-Crew-Open-World-Map

 

When it comes to Ubisoft people are always wary about various issues that might occur (see AC Black Flag, AC Unity and Far Cry 4) deeming most of their games unplayable. Like most, I also have a slightly negative stance due to the issues being mainly performance based.

Starting the game up for the first time and playing without seeing any game breaking bugs, was a surprise. This of course has a lot to do with the development work done after the Open Betas that were run across all platforms.

 

Framerate Capped at 60FPS

Before jumping into the benchmarks I would like to point out that those who would like to run the game at 120 FPS or 144 FPS on their 120Hz and 144Hz monitors are going to have a hard time. The Crew is hard locked at 30FPS or 60FPS (menu option), even with hacks on the PCScalability config file.

 

Benchmark Components

The Crew 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

There’s no built in benchmark tool so I opted to create my own 60 second run in the streets of Detroit, in a vastly traffic populated area. (Video below)

There’s a few options that you can change, Contact Hardening Soft Shadows is the highest shadow setting, Textures ,Environment Mapping , Depth of Field as well as Anti-Aliasing options like FXAA,TXAA and MSAA. There’s no option for HBAO, with SSAO+ being the highest Ambient Occlusion available.

The pre-sets consist of Low,Medium,High and Ultra. I opted to go with the Ultra pre-set for 1080p and 1440p while opting for High with 4K. The benchmark was tested on single as well as SLI and Crossfire GPUs.

 

The Crew 1920×1080 Ultra Benchmark

The-Crew-1920x1080-Ultra-Benchmark

 

The Crew isn’t a demanding gaming and doesn’t remind us of “next-gen” at all. We see both the R9-290 and GTX970 in single and as well as SLI/CFX holding a steady 60 FPS average across the board at 1080p.

 

The-Crew-1920x1080-Screenshot

The Crew 1920×1080 Screenshots

The-Crew-1920x1080-Cockpit-Screenshot

 

2560×1440 Ultra Benchmark

The-Crew-2560x1440-Ultra-Benchmark

 

Moving up to 2560x1440p we see the single cards taking a slight hit in performance, while the SLI GTX970s and the Crossfired R9-290s performing roughly the same with a margin of error for some results. The game at both the 1080p and 1440p resolutions felt smooth with no stutter or strange frame drops.

 

The-Crew-2560x1440-Screenshot

The Crew 2560×1440 Screenshots

The-Crew-2560x1440-Cockpit-Screenshot

 

The Crew 3840×2160 4K High Benchmark

The-Crew-4K-High-Benchmark

 

I used the High pre-set on the 3840x2160p resolution, due to the single cards not having enough horsepower to push over 30FPS. At 4K the results look good for all the cards. There was a slight difference in performance with the R9-290 outperforming the GTX970 especially on the minimum frame-rate, but with no noticeable differences. The game is playable with no major frame drops but adding a second card does help. With further optimizations and dedicated drivers from both Nvidia and AMD we should see improvements.

 

The-Crew-4K-Screenshot

The Crew 4K Screenshots

The-Crew-4K-Cockpit-Screenshot

 

CPU Usage

The-Crew-CPU-usage

 

Testing out CPU usage with the lowest resolution and pre-set possible (1172×768 Low) you can see that the game isn’t CPU intensive. A highly clocked dual core with a low to mid-tier graphics card should be able to do the job.

 

The Crew VRAM Usage

The-Crew-VRAM-Usage

 

Older graphics cards that are VRAM limited (2GB) should be able to play the game even at the highest resolution (4K) with AA turned off. I used the GTX970 to test out the VRAM usage which shows to be under 2.4GB up and until 4K on the high pre-set. Pushing to Ultra due to the 4XMSAA, we see the VRAM utilization climb up to the 3.5GB range.

 

Total System Memory Usage

The-Crew-System-Memory-Usage

 

The minimum RAM specs of 4GB seem to reflect the usage in-game very accurately. The highest system memory usage peak is just under 4GB.

 

Conclusion

A lot of people will be glad to hear that the game can run on just about any hardware, it might not be the most visual appealing game, but it has a huge open world with lots of places to explore and mini challenges to complete. A better experience than what I had with F1 2014 and its rehashed sequel.

The Crew reminds me a lot of the arcade racing of the Need For Speed series and the free roaming aspects of Test Drive Unlimited (I was a diehard fan tbh).

I only encountered two problems. The first is the traffic pop in that occurs from time to time. The second is a weird one and I’m not really sure why, but Ubisoft employs AI users into the multiplayer world making distinction between real humans and bots very hard if not messing around with them.

Watching the video above should give you an idea of what I mean, I recorded this during my gameplay prior to benchmarking. The first two cars don’t seem to follow the actions of a real person while the third reacts “normally”. It doesn’t bother me that much, but I think it’s a silly move and something that might destroy the MMO base of a pretty fun game.

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

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"Overclock and benchmark freak"