Resident Evil 3 Benchmark Test & Performance Analysis

Resident Evil 3 Benchmark Test & Performance Analysis – 27 Graphics Cards Compared

Introduction

Resident Evil 3 by Capcom is a remake of the 1999 PlayStation smash hit “Resident Evil 3: Nemesis” survivor horror third-person action RPG. The game will simultaneously release on April 3rd on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Events of the game are re-told with a completely rebuilt production design. Instead of fixed-perspective prerendered rooms in which the player moves, Resident Evil 3 is now fully interactive 3D—as expected for 2020.

The game follows protagonist Jill Valentine on mission to escape Raccoon City during a zombie apocalypse triggered by a T-virus outbreak, while she is being hunted down by an intelligent bio-weapon called Nemesis. During her mission she runs into survivors of Jill’s special police division, STARS, and a second (playable) protagonist, Carlos Oliveira, a mercenary hired by the Umbrella Corporation to help survivors of the Raccoon City outbreak escape.

Resident Evil 3 uses Capcom’s in-house RE Engine (which also powers other Capcom titles, such as Resident Evil 2 Remake and Devil May Cry 5). On the PC platform, RE Engine is able to leverage both DirectX 11 and DirectX 12. Compared to previous versions of the engine, we’re now getting more eye candy and support for AMD FidelityFX. In this mini-review, we test Resident Evil 3 across a wide selection of graphics cards from all price segments; we test both the DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 modes and present comparisons between both.

Graphics Settings

  • The first option, “Presets” lets you quickly set all following options; you may pick from Recommended, Max, Graphics Priority, Balanced, and Performance Priority.
  • RE3 can be played in DirectX 11 or DirectX 12. On the next page, we’ll take a closer look at how the two APIs compare in terms of performance
  • Display Mode options are fullscreen, windowed, and maximized window.
  • Rendering Mode lets you enable the interlaced TV-like visuals Resident Evil featured a long time ago. I doubt many people will activate this setting nowadays.
  • “Image Quality” really means “Resolution Scaling”, the options range from 50% to 200% in 10% steps.
  • The FPS cap can be set to 30 FPS, 60 FPS, and unlimited.
  • V-Sync can be disabled, too.
  • Anti-aliasing options are off, FXAA, TAA, FXAA+TAA, SMAA—no MSAA
  • Texture quality lets you change the quality of textures, depending on how much VRAM you’ve got. The range goes from “Low (0 GB)” to “High (8 GB)”
  • Motion blur can be disabled completely
  • If you wonder why the game looks weird, warped and blurry—turn off Lens Distortion. No idea why anyone would want to play with this horrible setting enabled, and it’s enabled by default
  • Field of view can be adjusted too, in another section called “Camera”. While there aren’t any values listed, the range is sufficient in both directions.

 

Test System

Test System
Processor: Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.0 GHz
(Coffee Lake, 16 MB Cache)
Motherboard: EVGA Z390 DARK
Intel Z390
Memory: Thermaltake TOUGHRAM, 16 GB DDR4
@ 4000 MHz 19-23-23-42
Storage: 2x 960 GB SSD
Power Supply: Seasonic Prime Ultra Titanium 850 W
Cooler: Cryorig R1 Universal 2x 140 mm fan
Software: Windows 10 Professional 64-bit
Version 1909 (Sep 2019 Update)
Drivers: AMD: Radeon Software 20.4.1 Beta
NVIDIA: GeForce 445.75 WHQL
Display: Acer CB240HYKbmjdpr 24″ 3840×2160

Benchmark scores in other reviews are only comparable when this exact same configuration is used.

We tested the press review version of Resident Evil 3. We also installed the latest drivers from AMD and NVIDIA, both of which have game-ready support for the game.

 

Conclusion

Resident Evil 3 is yet another masterpiece from Capcom. Building on the success of Resident Evil 2 Remake (2019) and Resident Evil VII (2017), it seems that the company has definitely figured out the right formula to bring their genre-defining titles from the year-2000 era to the gamers of today. The plot summary of Resident Evil 3 is very similar to that of the year 1999 version, but differs in the details. Paired with the new amazing graphics I can definitely see how another playthrough will be worth it even if you played the original.

While the plot is fairly simple, it is typical Resident Evil: bad virus, evil corporation, mindless zombies, city in distress—a story the main character Jill Valentine manages to carry on her perfectly shaped shoulders in a convincing way. Graphics details and animations of all major character models are extremely realistic and life-like, which lets you build a relationship with them through the many interspaced real-time-rendered cut scenes. Visually, Jill has received a body upgrade, looking more similar to Lara Croft than ever before, but in an even more likable way. Personally, Jill reminds me much more of Milla Jovovich than Sienna Guillory, who played Jill in the Resident Evil: Apocalypse movie—a good choice. Throughout the story you also get to play a second character, Carlos, the typical soldier archetype. The differences between both characters are mostly visual though as the playstyle is identical.

Resident Evil 3 is definitely true to the mechanics of the series. You work your way through rooms, solving puzzles, always getting a bit closer to your goal, fighting enemies in between. Unlike other Resident Evil titles, I found the gameplay of Resident Evil 3 extremely linear, and the puzzle difficulty far too low. It seems Capcom wanted to make their new title more accessible to this decade’s audience. Inventory management is also easier because there are fewer items to keep track of, which is something I hated a lot in previous games, but now realized I miss, just a little bit. The number of weapons is similar to other titles, basically a handful of guns with mostly optional upgrades you can find scattered throughout the world. Due to the linear nature of the game you’re unable to go back to explore previous areas, though. The in-game map makes it easy to find where you haven’t cleared everything completely because those sections are marked in red on the map and turn blue only when all items and points of interest have been investigated. On the other hand, if I look at the level design in DOOM Eternal, Capcom has a lot of catching up to do. You’re basically still navigating a 2D world from 1999.

Overall, I had a great time playing Resident Evil 3, and the current world-wide virus situation made things even more believable. Let’s just hope the conspiracy theorists don’t get inspired too much. What I found slightly disappointing was that the game is short—just a few hours. The replay value is minimal; once you’ve found all the items and solved all the puzzles, there’s little reason to go back. Still, I would recommend Resident Evil 3 if you’re looking for a new horror-shooter game. The production quality is outstanding, sound and voice acting is perfect, and the number of scares is decent, but not annoyingly overwhelming.

As mentioned before, graphics are good, a notch better than Resident Evil 2, especially the character models are much more detailed now, both in terms of geometry and textures, making them one of the best in recent history. The environment could do with higher poly-counts, and some textures do get muddy as you walk past them. Objects in the world are also quite blocky and rectangular. I guess some could argue that is the Resident Evil art-style—I’d still wish for more, especially given the good performance. Most lighting is prebaked, but what dynamic lighting exists is very well designed and helps with the atmosphere. Overall, despite the lack of ray tracing, I’m very happy with the lighting.

The controls (with mouse and keyboard) are precise and great to use, and an option to adjust field of view exists, too. For me, the default was good, unlike most other games. Resident Evil 3 has lots of graphics options to fine-tune the performance to your hardware capabilities; everything is there except for multi-sample anti-aliasing, but you get resolution scaling both up and down. Capcom is giving PC gamers an unlimited framerate option, and I couldn’t spot a hidden FPS cap, either. If you plan on buying the game, immediately test if you prefer playing without the Lens Distortion effect—at first I thought, “wtf is wrong with the rendering?”, no idea why they enabled it by default.

Performance is excellent across the board. For 1080p 60 FPS even a GTX 1060 3 GB or RX 570 4 GB will be sufficient—at the highest setting. The settings screen claims that this setting requires 12 GB VRAM, which is not even close since we measured 5.5 GB and the game still ran fine on cards with less VRAM. For 1440p at 60 FPS, a GTX 1660 or RX 580 does the trick, and even the demanding 4K resolution is perfectly playable on a lot of cards. Here, you need a RTX 2070 Super or Radeon VII. We tested with Game Ready drivers from both companies, NVIDIA 445.75 is already public and AMD’s Radeon 20.4.1 (which AMD provided for our testing) will come out in a few days, well ahead of the game’s release.

Resident Evil 3 supports both the DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 API. Just like in previous RE Engine games the DirectX 12 render path is actually a little bit slower than DirectX 11. Even on older cards, like NVIDIA Pascal and AMD Polaris. The only difference is the GTX 1060 3 GB, which seems to take a smaller performance hit on DX12 when it runs out of VRAM at 1440p and 4K—still not the right card for those resolutions. In a reversal of that result, the Radeon RX 5500 XT with its 4 GB VRAM and PCIe x8 interface does a lot worse in DX12 than DX11 when it runs out of memory. My recommendation is to switch to DirectX 11 for your playthrough and never look back.

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