Resident Evil 2 Benchmarked – Catrachadas

It's time for another mega benchmark, and the subject of today's GPU onslaught is Resident Evil 2. A classic survival horror game developed and published by Capcom and also a remake of the original Resident Evil 2, released in 1998 released for the PlayStation.

The game is based on Capcom's RE Engine, which was originally developed for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, but has also been used for Devil May Cry 5 since then. Entertaining fact: The "RE" stands for the first two letters of the full name of the engine "Reach for the moon". I told you it was fun.

Before the RE engine, Resident Evil titles used the MT Framework engine. This includes Resident Evil 6 from 2012. The RE Engine has been significantly improved and offers a variety of new graphic methods such as dynamic shadows, shadow caches, scattering under the surface and FXAA + TAA. Updated rendering techniques include HDR, VR-specific mode, and the ability to output 4K resolution.

Let's get started with these technical details. We won't review the actual gameplay here, but here's a handy summary of the gameplay. What we're going to show you here is the performance of a variety of graphics cards in this title, so you know what you need for playable performance at 1080p, 1440p and 4K with the preset maximum graphics quality. We'll also be running additional tests with a midrange preset at 1080p to see what you can get away with.

Resident Evil 2 supports both DirectX 11 and DirectX 11, but we used the older DX11 API for all testing, as DX12, as usual, is a complete and utter mess, plagued by low frame rates and constant stuttering. GeForce RTX cards and AMD's Vega models were both over 30% faster when using DX11.

For the test, we record a 60-second round in the police station. From the first checkpoint we go up the left stairs, the back down the opposite side and under the roller shutter the test ends during a cutscene. For most of the tests, the default "Max" was used, which recommends 14 GB VRAM, which is pretty crazy and seems a bit exaggerated, since the RTX 2080 Ti only had an allocation peak of 8 GB when playing with 4K. This is still very high compared to other titles, but does not meet the proposed requirements.

When using the "balanced" profile, we re-tested some of the newer graphics cards together with much older GPUs. This default suggests that VRAM usage reaches 2.4 GB, which is much easier to handle for lower-end cards. The drivers were tested with the Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.1.2 driver from AMD and the GeForce Game Ready 417.71 driver from Nvidia …


From 1080p we have all current and previous generation GPUs here. Technically, we now have 3 generations of Nvidia, but the point is that we have a lot of bruised blue bars. Let's expand this and discuss the results as we scroll down to the dreaded unplayable zone.

Even with the preset maximum quality enabled, the RTX 2080 Ti did this test with an incredible 217 fps on average, with a 1% low of 181 fps and a 0.1% low of 133 fps. The Pascal Titan X, the GTX 1080 Ti and the RTX 2080 all gave very similar results, of course they made it extremely playable.

Then we see a pretty big step down to the RTX 2070 and Vega 64, at least when you look at the average frame rate. It should be noted that Vega 56 performs incredibly well and not only beats the GTX 1080, but also the new RTX 2060. It slipped slightly back at 0.1%, but was just ahead of them at the low and average frame rate of 1%.

From this point on, AMD is doing very well … The RX 590 could keep up with the GTX 1070 and was therefore on a par with the GTX 980 Ti. Then we see how the RX 580 smashes the GTX 1060 6GB with a convincing lead of 26% and assigns it to another category in this title.

The previous generation of AMD's Fury series did not do as well, and this is due to the limited 4 GB VRAM buffer, which makes them unplayable. However, it was interesting to see that the 4 GB versions of the RX 580 and 570 fairing are much better. We attribute this to memory optimizations for the 4th generation GCN architecture.

If we go further down, we see that the GTX 980, GTX 1060 6 GB and Radeon R9 390 all achieve similar performance at around 70 fps. To our surprise, the 3 GB 1060 was able to offer playable performance due to its limited VRAM buffer size and especially the results of the 4 GB AMD cards. I was expecting a PowerPoint presentation here, but it was playable. The low performance of 0.1% certainly suffered, but the experience was not overly restless. A similar experience was seen with the GTX 970 and when we fell under it the experience really started to suffer.

If you increase the resolution to 1440p, some GPU models fall below the 60 fps limit. Many of the entry-level GPUs were too slow to get here, so they were dropped from the table.

As expected, the RTX 2080 Ti at 1440p has no problems and the same applies to the non-Ti model together with the GTX 1080 Ti and Titan X. It is also interesting to note that the slightly larger VRAM buffer of the GTX 1080 Ti is not worked This is an advantage over the RTX 2080, although the game reserves around 7 to 7.5 GB / s memory at 1440p and basically places the 2080 right on the edge here.

While the game often allocated more than 6 GB of video memory, the RTX 2060 had no problems keeping up and, like at 1080p, was only 11% slower than the RTX 2070 at 1440p.

The Vega GPUs from AMD are doing very well again. Vega 64 stayed with the RTX 2070, while Vega 56 outperformed the GTX 1080 and RTX 2060 at least in terms of the average frame rate. Frame time performance declined slightly, but not too alarmingly.

The RX 590 again kept pace with the GTX 1070, while the RX 580 was 26% faster than the GTX 1060 6GB. Older Fury GPUs still had problems due to their limited 4 GB VRAM buffer, although 4th generation GCN models performed better with only 4 GB of memory.

The GTX 1060 6GB was just right in terms of playable performance, while older Maxwell GPUs, the GTX 980 and 970 couldn't deliver playable performance at 1440p with maximum visual adjustment.

With 4K resolution, we have fewer survivors. The RTX 2080 Ti was able to deliver smooth playable performance. What we got from RTX 2080, GTX 1080 Ti and Titan X was also very nice. The RTX 2070 and Vega 64 weren't fast enough, although you could probably reduce some settings and bring them to an acceptable level of performance. In addition, it is better to play at 1440p.

Go one step lower

At the end of the tests we got a couple of mid-range graphics cards and some older bangers. The so-called "Balanced" preset was loaded to 1080p and some other tests were carried out. This increased the performance of the Radeon RX 570 by almost 30%.

The really huge gains were made on the 2GB and 3GB cards. The GTX 1050, for example, achieved a performance increase of over 80% with the balanced preset.

The balanced default suggests that 2.4 GB VRAM should be used, although this appears to be an aggressive estimate since the 2 GB models worked fine.

Something like the Radeon HD 7950 is enough for an average of 60 fps. For Nvidia you need a GTX 780 Ti or GTX 970, so the requirements for older GeForce cards are higher. Older models such as the R9 270X or the GTX 960 enabled a playable experience at 1080p with this default setting, so actually not a bad deal.

We found problems with GeForce 600 and 700 series cards, basically all models based on the Kepler architecture. We expressly say Kepler because the GTX 750 Ti worked without any problems and this is one of the few models in the GeForce 700 series that do not use this architecture, but a Maxwell GPU. While the game was loaded with a Kepler-based GPU, the game was very dark and unplayable, which would suggest that it was a driver-related problem with the game's lighting. We are certain that if GeForce 600/700 owners make enough noise, Nvidia will fix the bug.

Wrap up

For those of you looking for all-frills 1080p gameplay, a graphics card with at least 4GB of memory is required. Ideally, however, 6 GB + is the way to go. Of the newer GPUs you need at least a 6 GB GTX 1060 or GTX 980 from Nvidia or an RX 570 / R9 390 from AMD.

As is so often the case, the RX 570 4GB was an exceptional figure, but for the maximum default, make sure you get an 8GB version. And while you're there, you might only get an 8 GB RX 580. The 8 GB RX 580 was the pound for pound champion at 1080p.

For those who play at 1440p, there are some good options. Vega 56 is certainly one of them, as is the new RTX 2060. However, if you have a Pascal GTX 1070, 1070 Ti or 1080, you will have no problem playing Resident Evil 2 at 1440p.

As for 4K, there are no surprises here. Ideally, you want an RTX 2080 Ti, but if you don't drown in coins, the GTX 1080 Ti or RTX 2080 will do the job. Of course, you can always adjust the quality settings to get better performance. Tomorrow Tom will do just that for a HUB video, so it's worth watching.

Resident Evil 2 looks good. Tell yourself the truth, it looks pretty amazing. If you like survival horror games, you will definitely enjoy it. The user reviews of Steam are mostly positive. So it looks like we have one of those rare titles that delivers. We're going to add this game to our full-time list of games we're benchmarking with, and it even looks like it's a decent CPU benchmark, though we need to play it more to see where that is challenging sections. If you liked this function, please let us know and tell us which future game versions we should use as a benchmark.

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