Performance Analysis System Specs
- Intel Core i7-6700K
- Gigabyte Z170X Gaming 7
- 32GB Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR4 2666
- 512GB Samsung 950 Pro
- SanDisk Extreme Pro 960GB
- Enermax Platimax 1350
- Windows 10 64-bit
- NVIDIA Drivers: 376.09
- AMD Drivers 16.11.4
Watch Dogs 2 has some GameWorks specific settings that do have an effect on performance, so we’ve tested with all GameWorks settings off, and then with them all turned on. We’ll show you the difference, and it’s fairly startling, that it has on performance.
Similar to the first iteration, Watch Dogs 2 does not play very well. The game also doesn’t seem to look sophisticated enough to justify such poor performance. Though there is the interconnectedness of the world, meaning a very large amount of computing power needs to adapt everything around you as you play. That could be at fault. It is an immersive game, but so are plenty others. Is this technology worth the perceived performance hit we encounter? Probably not. But nonetheless, Watch Dogs 2 is not an ugly game.
The inclusion of GameWorks is always a point of contention with gamers. It’s been lauded as a very poor choice of mechanisms for enhancement, sometimes even breaking a game and rendering it nearly unplayable. AMD, too, has voiced concern over the use of proprietary technologies that should be far more open to the public so that everyone can enjoy a good looking game without explicitly needing one particular brand of GPU. NVIDIA does perform some neat tricks, sometimes using asynchronous compute by way of CUDA running along the compute pipeline and rendering other effects at the same time in DX11, though it doesn’t always pan out to being a worthwhile inclusion. And that holds true here. It doesn’t have a major, positive effect on the visual quality or level of immersion. But it does have a major impact on performance. One that, again, doesn’t always warrant using those settings unless you have a new Pascal Titan X. And even then it’s an iffy choice.
For 1080P we recommend at least an AMD RX 480 or an NVIDIA GTX 980 for the best experience at maximum quality. With GameWorks on you’ll need at least a GTX 1070. Anything less provides a less than acceptable experience.
For 1440P we recommend using at least an NVIDIA GTX 980 Ti for maximum overhead at maximum settings. An R9 Fury X might be doable, though less fun. With GameWorks you’ll need a GTX 1080 to have it be playable in the least.
For 2160P it’s tough to recommend anything lower than a Pascal Titan X, though even then it doesn’t exactly shine with GameWorks on. To play at 4K you’ll have to compromise settings. It seems the Titan X has met its match.