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The Evil Within 2 PC Performance Report
By Jon Sutton on October 16th, 2017 at 12:29pm - original article from game-debate

The Evil Within 2 is with us, riding in on a tidal wave of concern regarding poor performance and whispers of a dodgy console port. We've been busy getting to grips with it for our Evil Within 2 PC performance reporting, detailing the graphics settings, benchmarking performance, system requirements analysis and low vs ultra graphics comparison screens. Read on, if you dare.

The Evil Within 2 Graphics Settings

TEW2 Graphics Settings

The Evil Within 2 Graphics Settings

  • Display Mode - Fullscreen / Borderless / Windowed
  • Monitor
  • Resolution
  • Vsync - Disabled / Display-based / Display-based (half) / 60fps / 30fps
  • Gamma Adjustment
  • Field of View - 45 > 90
  • Film Grain - 0 > 100
  • Chromatic Aberration - Disabled / Enabled
  • Performance Metrics - Disabled / Enabled
  • Overall Quality - Low / Medium / High / Ultra
  • LOD - Disabled / Enabled
  • Bloom - Disabled / Enabled
  • Object Motion Blur - Disabled / Enabled
  • Camera Motion Blur - Disabled / Enabled
  • Motion Blur Quality - Low / Medium / High
  • DoF Quality - Disabled / Low / Medium / High / Ultra
  • SSAO Quality - Disabled / Low / Medium /High / Ultra
  • SSR Quality - Disabled / Low / Medium / High
  • Volumetric Light Quality - Disabled / Low / Medium / High
  • Shadow Quality - Low / Medium / High / Ultra
  • Anti-aliasing - Disabled / FXAA / TAA / TAA + FXAA

Quite a hefty set of graphics options to tweak in The Evil Within 2, although they don't necessarily have a huge impact on both visual quality nor performance. While it doesn't really have a huge bearing on performance, it's definitely worth messing around with the Field of View (FoV) in the system settings. By default the camera in The Evil Within 2 is very close to the player character, and increasing the FoV can really open up your view of the world.

The Evil Within 2 Low vs Ultra Graphics Comparison

(Slide mouse cursor over to compare)

 The Evil Within 2 Ultra 1 The Evil Within 2 Low 1 

 

The Evil Within 2 UItra Lighting Quality

The Evil Within 2 Low Shadow Quality

 

The Evil Within 2 Ultra Character Models

The Evil Within 2 Low Character Models

It's not often we have to absolutely squint to tell the difference between Low and Ultra, but The Evil Within 2 certainly stopped us in our tracks. There are differences of course, but during gameplay, it was tricky to blind test which graphics preset was which. On Ultra you can see there are superior shadows on Ultra. They're most distinct, while on Low they're just fuzzy dark blobs.

The other major difference is the aliasing. It helps to click on these images to open them up larger in a new tab, and if you look at the tree for example in the second set of images, the edges of the leaves are softened thanks to a combination of FXAA and TXAA antialiasing.

Other than that, Ultra isn't really worth the extra frames per second cost in The Evil Within 2.

The Evil Within 2 System Requirements

The Evil Within 2 Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 64-bit 
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2400 3.1 GHz or AMD FX-8320 3.5 GHz
  • RAM: 8GB System Memory
  • GPU RAM: 2GB Video Memory
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB or AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB
  • DX: DirectX 11
  • HDD: 40GB Available Hard Drive Space

The Evil Within 2 Recommended System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB System Memory
  • GPU RAM: 6 GB Video Memory
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB
  • DX: DirectX 11
  • HDD: 40GB Available Hard Drive Space

 

Evil Within 2 Benchmarks

 

The Evil Within 2 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on Radeon R7 370 2GB | Intel i7-5820K | 16GB DDR4

We found a suitable spot towards the end of the second chapter of The Evil Within 2 for benchmarking. The level design opens up into a pseudo open-world, lowering the fps significantly compared to the linear sections. This particularly demanding area makes it perfect benchmark fodder.

For this Evil Within 2 benchmark, we used an AMD Radeon R7 370 equipped with 2GB video memory. It’s backed up by 16GB DDR4 memory and an Intel Core i7-5820K CPU.

The Evil Within 2 Radeon R7 270 720p, 1080p and 1440p Benchmarks

(Click to expand) The Evil Within 2 Radeon R7 270 720p, 1080p and 1440p Benchmarks

  720p 1080p 1440p
Low 55 35 22
Medium 48 31 21
High 43 26 19
Ultra 35 23 17

There's no doubting the Radeon R7 370 2GB struggles to run The Evil Within 2. It runs into trouble at 1080p resolution beyond, often with noticeable dips and performance hiccups. We would not recommend playing The Evil Within 2 at 1080p with 2GB VRAM. On 720p the R7 370 runs TEW2 fine though, the sweet spot being 720p/High. The grimy nature of The Evil Within 2 means you're not missing out on a great deal at 720p though, and I still found it genuinely scary creeping about at what is now a sub-par resolution. Not ideal then, but The Evil Within 2 is perfectly playable for those with mid to low-end GPUs.

The Evil Within 2 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on GeForce GTX 1060 6GB | Intel i7-5820K | 16GB DDR4

For this Evil Within 2 benchmark, we used a GeForce GTX 1060 equipped with 6GB video memory. It’s backed up by 16GB DDR4 memory and an Intel Core i7-5820K CPU.

The Evil Within 2 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on GeForce GTX 1060 6GB | Intel i7-5820K | 16GB DDR4

  720p 1080p 1440p
Low 80 56 40
Medium 73 52 37
High 69 48 34
Ultra 65 44 33

The GeForce GTX 1060 is where we begin to see The Evil Within 2's performance really disappoints. This is a $250 graphics card with excellent 1080p performance, and yet it can't hit a stable 60 frames per second on Low. That's really no good enough - there are far nicer looking games that also perform much better.

The huge performance differential between the R7 370 and the GTX 1060 doesn't really shine through here, resulting in what we'd have to call disappointingly low FPS. 44fps on Ultra 1080p is still fairly playable, but micro-stutter and the occasional sharp drop does upset the experience. Overall, there are improvements that need to be made in regards to The Evil Within 2's PC performance.

How Well Optimised is The Evil Within 2

The Evil Within 2 CPU Core Usage and Multithreading Performance

Evil Within 2 CPU Usage during 1080p / Ultra Benchmark with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

Evil Within 2 CPU Usage during 1080p / Ultra B

Evil Within 2 GPU Usage during 1080p / Ultra Benchmark with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

Evil Within 2 GPU Usage

In both of these examples, we can see neither the CPU nor the GPU is being utilised to its full capacity. The CPU was always unlikely to be a bottleneck in The Evil Within 2, with admittedly excellent multithreaded usage that sees all cores and threads at around 30-50% capacity.

From here, the natural assumption is that the GPU is causing the bottleneck, even with a GeForce GTX 1060 at 1080p. However, as you can see the GTX 1060 6GB is only being used at 74% of its potential performance. Only around 2.5GB VRAM is being used so it's not that either. The conclusion logically reached here is that The Evil Within 2 is badly optimised. It doesn't maximise the performance of the GPU, resulting in wasted performance potential. It's a shame because at 100% usage it's easy to see the GeForce GTX 1060 being capable of 1080p / Ultra / 60 fps, and yet this hampered performance means Nvidia recommends a GTX 1070 for these graphics settings.

Overall, the benchmark results for The Evil Within 2 aren't great. A playable frame rate can be achieved with both graphics cards, but you must be prepared to drop down to lower resolutions and graphics presets than you're perhaps used to.

The Evil Within 2 PC Most Important Graphics Options