Nvidia & AMD Benchmarked In Far Cry Primal, Radeons Lead The Pack

Far Cry Primal has been a hotly anticipated title for gamers since its announcement last year. On March 1st it launched on the PC and the web has since been abuzz with talk about its performance on Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. In this article we're going to take a look at how well, or otherwise, this ambitious open world game set in the stone age performs on PC hardware that's very much the antithesis of the stone age.

However, before we dive into the numbers let's quickly revisit the game's system requirements.

PC System Requirements


  • OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • Processor: Intel Core i3-550 | AMD Phenom II X4 955 or equivalent
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 (1GB VRAM) | AMD Radeon HD 5770 (1GB VRAM) or equivalent
  • Hard Disk Space: 20 GB


  • OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only)
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K | AMD FX-8350 or equivalent
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 | AMD Radeon R9 280X or equivalent
  • Hard Disk Space: 20 GB

Both the minimum and the recommended CPU and GPU requirements are reasonable. Although worthy of note is that the GTX 780 is much closer to the R9 290X and the R9 290. It was positioned in the market as a $500 graphics card for the majority of its lifespan, compared to the R9 280X which sold for $300 and even less for most of its.

Nvidia GeForce And AMD Radeon Graphics Cards Tested In Far Cry Primal - Radeons Lead The Pack


Let's start off with the most common display resolution PC gamers are using today.


Image Credit : pcgameshardware.de and computerbase.de

At 1920x1080 you will want at least an R9 390, a GTX 980 or something with even more oomph for a 50+ frames per second experience at the ultra graphics settings preset.  For a 60+ FPS experience you may need to drop a couple of graphics settings to high or go up to an R9 Fury graphics card or better. Depending on the specific area you're playing in you can achieve 60+ FPS with an R9 390 or a GTX 980. In other areas these cards will struggle to go over the low 50s range and will also occasionally dip to the 40s.

The GTX 780 and the R9 280X both achieve 37.5 and 35.8 FPS respectively but do not dip below 29 FPS. Making them the minimum requirement for the ultra preset even at 1920x1080. We reckon you can get a much more fluid and enjoyable experience by lowering a few graphical settings and that's the option that we'd op for.


Now let's move on to 2560x1440.


Image Credit : pcgameshardware.de and computerbase.de

At 2560x1440 with the Ultra preset no single GPU solution achieves a 60 FPS average. For a ~40 FPS average you will want at least an R9 390 or a GTX 980. For a ~50 FPS average you will have to go up to at least a GTX 980 Ti or an R9 Fury X. Dropping the preset down to high changes things dramatically. At the same resolution you will gain ~10FPS. The GTX 980 Ti and the R9 Fury X will now happily cruise along at 60 FPS. The R9 390 and the GTX 980 will also gain 10 FPS and provide a ~50 FPS average.


Moving on to 4K, just like 2560x1440 with the ultra preset no GPU here manages to deliver a 60FPS average. In fact, even at the high preset nothing comes even close. It's evidently clear that we haven't reached a point just yet where running triple A titles at 60FPS 4K is feasible. For a ~40 FPS average or better you will want to go to at least an R9 Fury or a GTX 980 Ti. You will also want to lower more than a few settings to get a more fluid and enjoyable experience.


Image Credit : pcgameshardware.de and computerbase.de

Wrapping things up, we've noticed several trends across all three resolutions and both results from pcgameshardware.de and computerbase.de. The R9 380 was consistently ahead of the GTX 960 at all resolutions, presets and in both benchmarks. In fact even the older R9 270X consistently outperformed the GTX 960. The R9 390 was also consistently ahead of the GTX 970 and much closer to the GTX 980 throughout. In fact the results from computerbase.de show the R9 390 consistently outperforming the GTX 980 at all three resolutions.

The R9 Fury also matched the reference GTX 980 Ti at 2560x1440, was behind at 1080p and ahead at 4K. The R9 Fury X was consistently ahead of the reference GTX 980 Ti at all three resolutions. However, factory overclocked GTX 980 Ti still ruled the roost, except at 4K where the EVGA superclocked 980 Ti was ahead once and the Gigabyte GTX 980 Ti G1 Gaming was behind the R9 Fury X at 4K.

Nvidia GeForce 700 Series Still Not Getting Much Love

Disappointingly, the Kepler based Nvidia GeForce 700 series were consistently behind their AMD Radeon 200 series equivalent graphics cards throughout and in most cases by a significant margin. The GTX 780 Ti for example, a card that sold for $700 throughout its lifespan, was slower than the R9 290 at all three resolutions, a card that sold for $400 in the same period.

We've witnessed this occur in so many games to date and it's rather disappointing to see this trend continue. Owners of 700 series GeForce graphics cards are being deprived from the performance they expected and had paid for. At this point one can't be faulted for questioning whether their GeForce GTX 970 or 980 TI video card will be bound to a similar fate once the new generation based on Pascal comes to market. It's unquestionable at this point that Nvidia needs to step in and rebuild confidence with its 700 series users.

Far Cry Primal
Far Cry Primal

That issue aside, Far Cry Primal is still a beautiful game with a vast open world to explore full of unique and differentiated sceneries. The Dunia 2 engine has proven to be one of the most robust and versatile in the industry. It enabled the game creators to craft expansive beautiful worlds that have consistently struck excellent balance between performance and visual quality. Far Cry Primal is a continuation of that technical success.



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