Final Fantasy XV benchmark GameWorks Hairworks effects seem to be bugged

A few days ago, Square Enix released the official PC benchmark for Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition. And while this benchmark uses some NVIDIA GameWorks effects, it appears that the GameWorks Hairworks effects are currently bugged, resulting in a noticeable performance hit even when there aren’t on-screen any characters that benefit from them.

But let’s take things from the beginning. The Final Fantasy XV benchmark currently offers three presets: Lite, Standard and High. On High settings, the following GameWorks effects are enabled by default: NVIDIA Turf Effects, NVIDIA HairWorks and NVIDIA Flow. Square Enix and NVIDIA also plan to implement VXAO and ShadowWorks effects, though these are not currently supported in the benchmark.

Resetera’s member ‘Kvik’ has shared a tool that was created DrDaxxy by that allows you to completely disable these GameWorks effects (or adjust other settings). Using these tweaks – that originated from Reddit – GamersNexus has run some tests and discovered – via Ansel – that the NVIDIA GameWorks HairWorks effects are active even when there aren’t any characters that benefit from these effects on screen.

As a result of this, the benchmark runs noticeably slower on both NVIDIA and AMD hardware. GamersNexus claimed that it contacted the green team who is currently looking into this.

Our guess is that someone forgot to enable proper LODs/culling for the HairWorks effects. Understand that such mistakes can happen as a simple line of code can result in disastrous performance issues. And… well… could this be done intentionally in order to make the AMD GPUs feel inferior? Well, that’s up to you to decide.

Let’s hope that in the full game Square Enix and NVIDIA will provide options to disable the GameWorks effects and that they will further optimize them for all graphics cards.

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John Papadopoulos

John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities. Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved - and still does - the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the "The Evolution of PC graphics cards." Contact: Email