Shadow Warrior 2 NVIDIA Multi-Res Shading Performance At 4k

Keith May
Posted Oct 15, 2016
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Shadow Warrior 2 has been released with much acclaim from many gamers, myself included.  It’s a fun and fast paced raunchy shooter/slasher where every ounce of FPS you can squeeze out of it the better.  Not that it is a particularly difficult game to run but is rather beautiful and when you start cranking the settings and resolution the performance can take a bit of a hit.  But this is where NVIDIA’s Multi-Res Shading comes into play.

 

Shadow Warrior 2 is the first game outside of VR that is supporting this technology.  Basically what Multi-Res Shading does is it allows for multiple viewports on a single display, and each of those allowed to run at a different resolution.  For example; When you’re playing a First Person Shooter (like Shadow Warrior 2) your focus is on the center of the screen. This means your eyes aren’t focused on the edges and that’s an area that could see lower resolutions and not be a negative impact on your experience.  They key here is that by lowering the resolution of the edges, but keeping the center area native, you are rendering less overall.  By doing this you can increase performance by decreasing workloads in non critical areas without taking too much of a hit on visuals.

 

 

 

We wanted to test out the claims of the performance increase for Multi-Res Shading and now was the perfect time, our GTX 1080FE just showed up and this game launch was fresh.  So I picked up the game and got to downloading.  After being swept away for over an hour having a blast I finally came to a place that seemed like a decently heavy load on the game and a good representation of the performance you can expect.  After clearing out the enemies I made a 30 second path and completed it 3 times with each setting; No Multi-Res Shading, Conservative (60% Boarder Resolution), and Aggressive (40% Boarder Resolution).  The in game settings maintained 3840×2160 resolution and the Ultra Preset.

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X99 Test System

X99 Test System

CPUIntel Core i7 6800k (4.1GHz)
Memory 32GB CORSAIR Vengeance LPX DDR4 2666MHz
MotherboardASUS X99A-II
StorageCrucial MX100 512GB SSD
Seagate 2TB SSHD
PSUCooler Master V1200 Platinum

GTX 1080FE using GeForce 373.06 drivers

 

Settings Used

These were the settings used in the game, showing the Multi-Resolution Shading options

 

 

Native

 

Conservative Multi-Res

 

Aggressive Multi-Res

 

 

Conclusion

 

Well, does it work? Yup.  Maybe not as much as we were hoping for, but let’s be honest going from 52 to 59FPS at 4k Ultra with a simple switch that allowed us to retain most all of the detail quality.  Albeit lighting took a noticeable hit around the edges, this is definitely proof that the technology can be applied to a non-VR game in a very successful way.  After some playing around with settings I found a mix of mostly High with a little Ultra and an Aggressive Multi-Res Shading option resulted in over 70FPS average with lows dipping into the upper 50s and that’s at 4k, which is no small task (see video below).  This should help other cards like the GTX 1060 pull off higher resolutions like 1440p with ease, perhaps a mix of DSR + MRS on a 1080p monitor could result in quite the picture for GTX 1060 owners.  On second thought, that might be a great way to go for GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 owners if they’re on a 1440p monitor.  just food for thought.

 

-4k High Preset + Aggressive Multi-Res Shading-

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