THQ Nordic has just released the latest RPG from Piranha Bytes, ELEX II. Powered by the Genome Engine, it’s time now to benchmark it and see how it performs on the PC platform.
For this PC Performance Analysis, we used an Intel i9 9900K with 16GB of DDR4 at 3800Mhz, AMD’s Radeon RX580, RX Vega 64, RX 6900XT, NVIDIA’s GTX980Ti, RTX 2080Ti and RTX 3080. We also used Windows 10 64-bit, the GeForce 511.79 and the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 22.2.3 drivers.
Piranha Bytes has added a few graphics settings to tweak. PC gamers can adjust the quality of Textures, Ambient Occlusion, Shadows, Vegetation, Shader, Render Range and Fog. There are also settings for Depth of Field, Anti-Aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering.
ELEX II does not feature any built-in benchmark tool. As such, and for both our CPU and GPU tests, we’ve benchmarked the game’s starting areas.
In order to find out how the game scales on multiple CPU threads, we simulated a dual-core, a quad-core and a hexa-core CPU. Without Hyper-Threading, our simulated dual-core system was unable to offer an acceptable performance due to severe stutters. When we enabled Hyper-Threading, we got an average of 88fps and a minimum of 79fps at 720p/Ultra settings. And even though there were some stutters, the game was perfectly playable.
Although ELEX II does not require a high-end CPU, it certainly demands a high-end GPU. The only GPUs that were able to run the game smoothly at 1080p/Ultra were our top three GPUs. It’s also worth noting that the game has major graphical issues on AMD’s Vega graphics cards.
Below you can find a screenshot showing the graphical glitches of the game on our Vega 64. For those wondering, our GPU is not dying as it works fine in other games. And while the AMD RX580 and the AMD RX 6900XT had no such graphical glitches, the game performed horribly on the AMD RX 6900XT.
At 1440p/Ultra, the RTX2080Ti, RTX3080 and RX 6900XT were able to offer a constant 60fps experience. As for 4K/Ultra, there wasn’t any GPU that could come close to a 60fps experience.
What’s also disappointing here is that the game’s graphics settings are bugged. Even when we ran the game on Low settings, our RTX3080 was unable to come close to 60fps in 4K. Seriously, the GPU was used at 98% and we only got a 5fps improvement when we dropped our settings from Ultra to Low. What the hell? There is something really weird going on here that Piranha Bytes will have to address via post-launch updates.
Graphics-wise, ELEX II does not justify its huge GPU requirements. To its credit, Piranha Bytes has used a lot of high-quality textures, and its characters have a large number of polygons. However, the skin shaders look really dated, and the lighting system is nowhere close to what other triple-A games offer. Lip-syncing is also serviceable, and you can’t interact/bend the grass/vegetation. Generally speaking, ELEX II does not look bad. However, the game should be running way, way, WAY better for the quality of visuals it displays on screen.
All in all, ELEX II does not require a high-end CPU. We also did not notice any major stuttering issues on our Intel i9 9900K. However, and as we’ve repeatedly said, the game’s graphics do not justify its huge GPU requirements. The game also has major issues on AMD’s hardware. Not only that, but it does not support DLSS or FSR (two techs that could significantly improve its performance). Let’s hope that Piranha Bytes will further optimize it via post-launch patches!