Single page Print

Examining early DirectX 12 performance in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

We take a preview build for a spin

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is one of the hottest games on the block right now. It also happens to be one of AMD's Gaming Evolved titles, so it's no surprise that the company is using it as a showcase for its graphics cards' performance—especially now that a preview version of the DirectX 12 render path is available on Steam as a beta release branch. DX12 has offered performance boosts for AMD graphics cards in several titles now, so I was curious to see how the new renderer would affect Radeons' performance in DXMD, as well.

After playing around with DXMD's DX12 preview last night, however, I wasn't surprised to find some rough edges in this beta software. I noticed a lot of hitching and jerkiness in DX12 mode with GeForces and Radeons alike, so when AMD sent over some flattering average-FPS benchmark numbers as part of its press materials for the game, I knew it was time to pull out PresentMon and see just what the story behind that roughness was. You can see some of those numbers over at WCCFTech, for reference. Other sites, like ComputerBase, have also measured average-FPS results with Deus Ex's DX12 renderer.

Before we share some test numbers of our own, I want to make it clear that this is a quick-and-dirty look at one game's performance, not a full review. While we tried to maintain the same rigor we do for our graphics card reviews, we didn't test the full range of graphics cards or games we would have for a full review. Our goal here is just to get a sense of how this beta version of Deus Ex performs in a way that average FPS numbers just don't offer. These results will most likely change once Deus Ex's DX12 renderer gets an official release on September 19.

Here are the specifications for our test system:

Processor Intel Core i7-6950X
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-X99-Designare EX
Chipset Intel X99
Memory size 64GB (4x 16GB DIMMS)
Memory type G.Skill Trident Z DDR4-3200
Memory timings 16-18-18-38
Chipset drivers Intel Management Engine
Audio Integrated X99/Realtek ALC1150
Hard drive Intel 750 Series 400GB NVMe SSD
Power supply Seasonic Platinum SS660-XP2
OS Windows 10 Pro

And here are the specifications and driver versions for each graphics card we used in our testing:

  Driver revision GPU base
core clock
GPU boost
MSI GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming Z GeForce 372.70 1632 1835 2025 8192
EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB SC 1759 1898 2002 6144
AMD Radeon R9 Fury X Radeon Software
-- 1050 500 4096
AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB 1120 1266 2000 8192

Here are the graphics settings we used for both our DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 tests:

Without any further ado, let's see how this quartet of cards performs in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.