Final Fantasy XV: Performance Analysis With 10 GPUs

Developed and published by Square Enix, Final Fantasy XV was first available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles back in 2016. It only recently became an option for Windows gamers in March 2018. Was the wait worthwhile?

For Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition, the developer used an updated version of its multi-platform Luminous Studio engine. While it remains DirectX 11-compatible, a number of Nvidia-specific features are now part of the package, including Voxel Ambient Occlusion, HairWorks, ShadowWorks, Turf Effects, and Nvidia Flow.

This is incidentally one of the game's paradoxes. While it was conceived for eighth-gen consoles based on AMD graphics architectures, Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition seems to be optimized for Nvidia GPUs. How does that affect performance comparisons in the real world? Our benchmark data should paint a pretty clear picture.

Benchmark Sequence

Earlier in the year, Square Enix released a benchmark for Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition on its website. Our initial tests, however, showed that it was unusable, exhibiting multiple display bugs, large stutters that were both isolated and random, and its overall scores were much too variable to be conclusive. The publisher quickly confirmed that its benchmark was not reflective of the final game's performance.

So, we started from scratch and created our own test, opting for a multi-stage sequence between Hammerhead and Crown City Checkpoint. The first leg takes place in a vehicle (and is therefore automated), followed by a pass on foot through the vegetation and terrain, and finally a sprint through some enemies raining down a hail of bullets.

Additionally, the first half takes place in sunlight, while rain appears in the second. Basically, we try to incorporate everything that might play into how AMD and Nvidia GPUs behave with respect to each other under various in-game conditions. The exact test sequence is visible below:

Final Fantasy XV Benchmark

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements

The game's Steam page conveys the minimum and recommended configurations for a good experience in Final Fantasy XV. The publisher's objective is to assure a minimum frame rate of 30 at 720p with its lowest-end configuration, while the recommended setup should be able to attain 30 FPS at 1080p. In order to play at 3840x2160 and still see 30 FPS (or 60 FPS at 1440p), you need a high-end card like Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Intel Core i5-2500
AMD FX-6100
Intel Core i7-3770
AMD FX-8350
Intel Core i7-7700
AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
GeForce GTX 760 / GTX 1050
Radeon R9 280
GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
Radeon RX 480
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
Operating System
Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit)
Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit)Windows 7, 8.1, 10 (64-bit)
Disk Space

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