Back in January, Ubisoft’s Technical Director Calle Lejdfors claimed that The Division 2 will be running faster in DX12 than in DX11. And since the French company has provided us with a review code for this new looter shooter, we’ve decided to test our NVIDIA RTX2080Ti and see whether those claims were true or not.
For this benchmark test between DirectX 11 and DirectX 12, we used our Intel i7 4930K (overclocked at 4.2Ghz) with 16GB of DDR3 RAM at 2133Mhz, NVIDIA’s RTX 2080Ti, Windows 10 64-bit and the GeForce 419.35 driver.
The Division 2 comes with a built-in benchmark that tests four areas/regions. Some of these areas are GPU-bound, while others will stress more your RAM and CPU. In our opinion, this benchmark tool is also representative of the in-game performance.
At first glance, the performance difference between DX11 and DX12 is not that big. In DX11 we had an average of 87fps on Ultra settings at 2560×1440. Our GPU was used at 91% and our CPU was used at 64% (so no, we were not CPU limited as some would have guessed). In DX12, we had an average of 94fps and our GPU and CPU were used at 93% and 65%, respectively.
However, and while the performance difference between the average framerate is not that big, there is a huge difference between the minimum framerates. Towards the end of the benchmark there is a big firefight in which DX11 reaches its limit.
In that particular scene, our system was able to deliver 59fps in DX11 and… wait for it… 80fps in DX12. Yeap, we are talking about a 20fps performance difference between these two APIs.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; DX11 has been limiting a lot of PC configurations, especially due to its increased driver overhead. Moreover, this driver overhead is even higher on AMD’s hardware so we strongly suggest AMD owners using DX12 instead of DX11.
As we’ve said numerous times, owners of newer PC systems can overcome these DX11 driver overhead issues by using RAM modules that are clocked at higher frequencies. Yes, you can use more powerful hardware in order to brute force these DX11 API issues but this shouldn’t be the case when newer and more efficient APIs – like DX12 and Vulkan – can run the games faster on the very same hardware.
So kudos to Massive for proving us right and for offering a DX12 mode that runs faster than DX11 in its latest title. And now imagine how much faster games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey could actually run in DX12 (especially if they weren’t also plagued by all their DRMs like VMProtect and Denuvo).