Today we benchmark the fourth iteration of Thief from Eidos Montreal. Although the fourth title, today’s Thief does not have a 4 in its name, presumably because Eidos Montreal decided to create a new Thief, the Thief that will set standards as its predecessors did before.

Months ago it was announced by Eidos Montreal and MAD, that the new Thief will support Mantle, AMD’s new API. However Eidos Montreal decided to drop Mantle for the time being and given that we already know how Mantle performs (those who have seen our Bf4 DX11 Vs Mantle Benchmark or own a R9 series AMD graphics card) we didn’t see it as much of a surprise, since Mantle is highly unstable at the moment.

This game is a rare one which has five graphic preset settings, and given that we test it on 2 resolutions, prepare yourself to be overwhelmed, once more, by our graphs. This site does not do game reviews, but we must note that we have encountered a few bugs that obstructed us from delivering this benchmark on time. We encountered a glitch (only 3 times till now) which resets your progress and puts you back at the beginning of the game deleting all of your saved files, this created a nightmare for us when we try to always test hardware at the same conditions, which meant that we needed to play the game over and over again from the beginning. We really don’t know how this passed quality control at Eidos Montreal.


Thief Benchmark Components


CPU i7 4770Ki5 4670Ki3 4340
FX 8350FX6300FX4300
Motherboard Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5Asus Gryphon Z87
RAM 2x 8GB@ 2133 Mhz Kingston HyperX Beast : KHX21C11T3K2/16X
HDD/SSD 2 x Intel 520 Series 240 GB
GPU GTX770 4GB , GTX6607970GHZ Edition, 7870 GHZ Edition
Monitor Shimian QH270-IPSMS 2560x1440p 27″
PSU Thermaltake ToughPower XT 775W
OS Windows 8.1
Drivers AMD Catalyst 14.2, ForceWare 334.89


Thief GPU Benchmark, 2560×1440, Very High


2560x1440, Very High, Thief GPU Benhcmark


Thief is not exactly playable at the highest video settings. All of the cards struggle to provide playable performance. The game appears to be very demanding , which is very surprising as it doesn’t look like a next gen title at all, given the fact that the whole game is very dark and you can’t quite see any details.. This game  is made using the Unreal 3 Engine , just like Dishonored, although the engine has been through some heavy upgrades. The cards from both teams do reasonably well, but we must notice that AMD’s 7970 Ghz Edition does extremely well compared to Nvidias GTX 770 4Gb. The 7870 compared with the GTX 660 is also on par . We recon that with the GTX 780Ti or R9 290X you could get playable framerates at these settings, but we must wonder is it all worth it since image quality is barely noticeable. We also note that at these settings as well as at the 1080p resolution, the game swallows 2800 MB of video RAM and again we really dont see the reason why.



2560x1440, Very High, Thief Frametimes



The GTX 660 provides the worst frametimes out of all of the GPUs we have tested, but the 7870 isnt doing that good either. We must simply advice users who have these cards, or maybe even the slower ones, to ignore this setting since it’s not really worth the trouble and lower fps.



Thief GPU Benchmark, 2560×1440, High



2560x1440, High, Thief GPU Benhcmark


Things get a little bit better as we step down on the settings. The GTX 770 4 GB and AMD 7970 GHz do give somewhat playable performance at the almost exact framerate. The GTX 660 and 7870 still struggle, though. We honestly dont know why this game is so demanding since its not an open world game, and again as we said, the dark tint that is all over the place simply makes AA or any other advanced filter settings pointless. The game looks the same no matter what you do, with a few exceptions here and there.



2560x1440, High, Thief Frametimes



Average frametimes tell the same story as  the frames per second benchmark from above, stronger GPUs give better and more stable frametimes, while the slower ones are still trailing. It is noticeable that the GTX 660 performs slower than AMD’s 7870 and this pattern will prolong throughout the whole benchmark.



Thief GPU Benchmark, 2560×1440, Normal


2560x1440, Normal,Thief GPU Benhcmark


If you refer to the previous page you will see that lower settings will not necessary bring you a lot more frames, 4-5 fps in average is what all of the GPU’s receiv. The 7970Ghz Edition beats Nvidia’s GTX 770 by a frames and the same goes with the 7870 and GTX 660. The game is sponsored by AMD, so is expected for it to be optimized for AMD cards. We didn’t get Mantle, but as we said earlier there is a good reason for it and its probably good they didn’t go that route. We are not sure whether AMD has been late with its driver support or whether Eidos Montreal had problems implementing it, but after the Battlefield 4 Mantle fiasco it is wise from AMD and from Eidos Montreal to take more time in implementation.


2560x1440, Normal,Thief Frametimes



Thief GPU Benchmark, 2560×1440, Low


2560x1440, Low, Thief GPU Benhcmark


At Low settings (this is actually not the lowest of them all, there is also Very Low) the GTX 770 and AMD 7970 GHz perform almost exactly the same, the 7870 outperforms the GTX 660 by 10%. No big surprises here.


2560x1440, Low, Thief Frametimes



Thief GPU Benchmark, 2560×1440, Very Low


2560x1440, Very Low, Thief GPU Benhcmark


Now this is an interesting part since we get the exact same framerate as with Low settings. Cards from the both teams are suffering low gpu usage and we can’t but think that this is completely the developers fault since its very hard to imagine that both companies screw drivers at the same settings. This will continue with the 1080p resolution.


2560x1440, Very Low, Thief Frametimes


Thief GPU Benchmark, 1920×1080, Very High



1920x1080, Very High, Thief GPU Benhcmark


As we arrive at the 1080p resolution we see performance increments, compared to the same settings at 1440p. The performance ratio between the GPUs tested is pretty much the same and will remain that way throughout the whole benchmark.



1920x1080, Very High, Thief Frametimes



Thief GPU Benchmark, 1920×1080, High


1920x1080, High, Thief GPU Benhcmark





1920x1080, High, Thief Frametimes



Thief GPU Benchmark, 1920×1080, Normal



1920x1080, Normal, Thief GPU Benhcmark




1920x1080, Normal, Thief Frametimes

Thief GPU Benchmark, 1920×1080, Low


1920x1080, Low, Thief GPU Benhcmark



1920x1080, Low, Thief Frametimes


Thief GPU Benchmark, 1920×1080, Very Low


1920x1080, Very Low, Thief GPU Benhcmark


As we mentioned earlier notice how we get the exact same performance on Low and Very Low settings as we did at 2560×1440. The game is clearly not optimized at its current state in DirectX 11 and only the developers and AMD know how good optimization for Mantle would be since they decided not to release it. Low GPU usage is present again and this is one of the rare cases in modern cases where you will be able to see identical performance of a certain GPU on different settings.


1920x1080, Very Low, Thief Frametimes

Thief CPU Benchmark

1920x1080, Very Low, Thief CPU Benchmark


We actually did not consider making a CPU benchmark for this game simply because we really see no reason, this is not an open world game and the number of AI is very limited. Also since this is a Eidos Montreal and Square Enix game, we didn’t expect it to be CPU dependent, and boy were we wrong. The game is a CPU hog but more in a sense of bad optimization than anything else.

Although this a game that was sponsored by AMD, and the GPUs are working very good, CPU performance of AMD’s processors is pretty awful to say the least. This is obviously an oversight by the developers since there is absolutely no reason why an average quad core CPU such as the FX 4300 wouldn’t run this game at a playable framerate. We find it absolutely absurd that Eidos hasn’t optimized this game for AMD’s CPUs in the first place since they are the ones who are sponsoring.We do understand that Eidos had their hands full with Mantle, but not optimizing the game in plain DirectX 11 for FX processors is simply something that is unforgivable. It is truly outrageous to see that the i3 4340 beats the FX 8350 (as well as the other FX processors) by 80-100%…


1920x1080, Very Low, Thief CPU Frametimes



Thief is a next gen game that is made with a previous gen engine. It is also one of the most demanding and unoptimized PC games on the market at the moment, let alone the bugs. Since Thief was made simultaneously for the Xbox One PS4 and PC and adding Mantle support, people had every reason to believe that this game will run better on slower processors. But as we see that only goes for Intel. AMD CPUs although contained in the PS4 and XboX One didn’t get the same treatment as Intel did and this is something very worrying if you are one of those people who hoped that Mantle will save the day. It is hard to understand why optimization is lacking for AMD’s CPUs  with the DirectX 11 API when this is the first thing Eidos should have done.

The game also uses 2800 MB of Video ram at the highest settings at both resolutions, 1440p and 1080p, so it is obvious that memory leakage is all over the place just as we saw in our Call Of Duty: Ghosts benchmark.

Although Eidos Montreal has announced that they will patch the game with Mantle soon, we implore them to first optimize it for DirectX 11. Some serious damage control should take place anytime soon if Eidos wants to stop the bad press spreading across the internet.

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

"I love the smell of fresh hardware in the morning..."