Wolfenstein: Youngblood in Test: High FPS, Smooth Frametimes and Community Benchmarks

Wolfenstein: Youngblood im Test: Hohe FPS, glatte Frametimes und Community-Benchmarks

tl; dr: With the API Vulkan and the Engine id Tech 6 Wolfenstein delivers: Youngblood again fiery action with high FPS and fantastic frametimes. Pascal, however, has again lost out to Turing. Interested readers can contribute their own benchmarks in the community test and thus add to the article.

With Wolfenstein: Youngblood is the popular first-person shooter series on PC and console game for the first time in a team playable. As B.J. Blazkowicz's twin daughters Jessica and Sophia are on their way to Paris with either the AI ​​or a human player to search for the missing father. Of course, in the German version, the ladies are confronted with tons of regime soldiers, tank dogs and other opponents. Wolfenstein: Youngblood offers just as much brute force action as Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus (Test) less than two years ago.

The developer MachineGames relies again on the id-Tech-6 engine, while Doom Eternal, which will also be released this year, will be using the successor id Tech 7 for the first time. Wolfenstein: Youngblood looks good, because especially in high resolutions, the numerous particle effects are pleasing and there is a decent firework on the monitor. With optical heavyweights like Battlefield V or The Division 2 Wolfenstein: Youngblood can not keep up anymore.

Without raytracing, but at least with adaptive shading

Wolfenstein: Youngblood relies exclusively on the PC Vulkan on the PC. MachineGames worked closely with Nvidia during development. The game will include ray tracing on GeForce RTX graphics cards, but the feature is not ready yet, as the developers announced days before it was released. And as recently observed several times, it should now take some time until RTX moves into the title.

The situation is different with Adaptive Shading or Variable Rate Shading (VRS). The technology, which specifically exchanges graphics quality for more power, is available from day one.

Wolfenstein Youngblood offers on the PC a huge graphic menu with numerous options. These include multiple settings for colorblind, a FPS limiter (24 to 1,000 FPS), Async Compute, upsampling (no more than half resolution, but downsampling is missing), a performance overlay with lots of performance information, and more. However, this wealth of possibilities is not visually well implemented. The options menu is simple a long list, there are no sample screenshots or reasonable explanations.

The graphic presets have little effect

Wolfenstein Youngblood offers six different graphic presets to quickly and easily adapt the look to the performance of your own PC. “Low”, “Medium”, “High”, “Ultra”, “Extreme” and “My Life” are available to choose from, with “My Life” almost the maximum graphic details. Only the texture streaming can be set even higher, although in the test only consumed more graphics card memory, optically or in terms of performance but no differences were observed.

Six presets indicate a high bandwidth in performance and graphics quality, but far from it. After all, differences between the highest levels of My Life and Extreme can be discerned in the Shadows: they are more detailed in My Life and also apply to objects that have not previously been captured. While my life makes perfect sense, there are virtually no differences between extreme, ultra and high.

Ultra draws the shadows only very soft, meanwhile looks absolutely identical. And that applies not only in the shown but also in other scenes. Only with the middle preset does the graphics deteriorate visibly again. Then again fewer objects will be detected by the shadows. With low, it is then again primarily the shadow on the collar. Although there are many other options, the interesting thing is that the presets almost exclusively have an optical effect on the shadows. The rest remains almost identical. And that also affects the performance, the tuning potential of Wolfenstein: Youngblood on the presets is low.

Graphic Presets in Wolfenstein: Youngblood

    • Low-Preset

    • Central Preset

    • High-Preset

    • Ultra-Preset

    • Extreme Preset

    • My Life Preset

    • Low-Preset

    • Central Preset

    • High-Preset

    • Ultra-Preset

    • Extreme Preset

    • My Life Preset

The visually worse extreme preset compared to My Life brings on the GeForce RTX 2070 and the Radeon RX 5700 XT just a performance increase of one percent. Ultra and high run almost equally fast, only with the middle attitude there is a plus of ten percent – and that only on the Nvidia graphics card, at AMD it is two percent. The low setting adds another 12 percent to Nvidia and 18 percent to AMD. The performance of the Radeon RX 5700 XT can only be increased by 24 percent, while the GeForce RTX 2070 has a 25 percent increase. Other games offer quite a difference of well over 100 percent.

The antialiasing TSSAA (8TX) is very good

There are six different anti-aliasing options available in the game. But instead of trying them out, you should immediately select the highest level TSSAA (8TX). Because this not only provides a good geometry smoothing, but also a good temporal component, which effectively prevents the flickering of surfaces. This works well even in low resolutions like Full HD, whereby the game optically benefits from higher resolutions. Higher resolutions also have the advantage that anti-aliasing does not create any visible blur over the image, which is still the case in Full HD. TSSAA (8TX) costs about eight percent FPS regardless of the graphics card.

Async Compute, GPU Culling and Deferred Rendering

Wolfenstein Youngblood's options menu offers three interesting options: Async Compute, GPU Culling, and Deferred Rendering. The former can improve the utilization of the graphics card and thus the performance with a low-level API. This is in Wolfenstein: Youngblood but hardly the case. The GeForce GTX 1080 works – as usual from Pascal – with the feature even three percent slower, GeForce RTX 2070 and Radeon RX Vega 64 after all, in the field of measurement inaccuracy faster. With Navi it ​​is two percent advantage.

Async Compute – 3,840 × 2,160

    • RX 5700 XT with Async Compute

    • RX 5700 XT without Async Compute

    • RTX 2070 with Async Compute

    • RTX 2070 without Async Compute

    • RX Vega 64 with Async Compute

    • RX Vega 64 without Async Compute

    • GTX 1080 without Async Compute

    • GTX 1080 with Async Compute

GPU culling is an important setting on a Radeon

If the Options GPU Culling is active, the GPU does not discard the invisible geometry in the rendering process, but the game itself. This can be an advantage if the hardware has problems with it. MachineGames recommends in the options menu to enable the option on AMD graphics cards, but to disable them on Nvidia counterparts. And so the options are also set when you first start the game.

GPU Culling – 3,840 × 2,160

    • RX 5700 XT without GPU Culling

    • RTX 2070 without GPU Culling

    • RTX 2070 with GPU Culling

    • RX 5700 XT with GPU Culling

    • RX Vega 64 without GPU Culling

    • RX Vega 64 with GPU Culling

    • GTX 1080 without GPU culling

    • GTX 1080 with GPU Culling

However, the benchmarks show that it is at least currently advantageous, regardless of the graphics card, to disable the GPU Culling option. For example, the Radeon RX Vega 64 gets five percent slower if you let the game drop the geometry. The Radeon RX 5700 XT loses as much as twelve percent in FPS.

Assuming the game does not make any mistakes with the option, this would mean that AMD's hardware can throw away much more irrelevant triangles than Nvidia, especially the new RDNA architecture. However, this contradicts all previous experience and even the statements of the developers at MachineGames, which is why it is more likely that the culling option does not work properly in the game.

Deferred rendering

What exactly Deferred rendering in Youngblood does is unknown. Deferred rendering usually describes how or in which order the game renders objects. For example, a deferred renderer usually has advantages in displaying many shadows and is used in most games today. What is the Wolfenstein option now affecting?

If deferred rendering is active, the shadows in Wolfenstein Youngblood are drawn consistently harder. The effect is small, but easy to see. What looks better is a matter of taste. Since the option is off by default, it stays off in the tests as well. There is no serious impact on performance. For example, when the option is powered on, GeForce accelerators are one to three percent faster, while AMD products are two to five percent slower.

Deferred Rendering – 3,840 × 2,160

    • RX 5700 XT without deferred rendering

    • RX 5700 XT with deferred rendering

    • RTX 2070 with deferred rendering

    • RTX 2070 without deferred rendering

    • RX Vega 64 without deferred rendering

    • RX Vega 64 with deferred rendering

    • GTX 1080 with deferred rendering

    • GTX 1080 without deferred rendering

The textures are mostly good, but sometimes bad

Wolfenstein: Youngblood mostly offers beautiful textures that can be easily approached in high resolutions. Occasionally, however, you will find surfaces that are low to pretty ugly.

Bad textures
Bad textures

Bad textures
Bad textures

Good textures
Good textures

If your graphics card has a 6 GB memory, Wolfenstein: Youngblood can easily use the my-life preset and the image streaming level used in high resolutions. If your video card has 4 GB or less, the setting should be turned back one level or more. As a result, some textures may be loaded into the graphics card memory later. But the game is still running smoothly.

On the next page: GPU Benchmarks, Nvidia Adaptive Shading and Conclusion

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