Hitman 2: PC graphics DX12 (v2.20) performance update

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DirectX 12 PC graphics performance update

Hitman 2: DirectX 12 PC graphics performance update 
The curious case of DirectX 12

Hitman has seen many versions, chapters, and episodes. The latest iteration was Hitman 2 released a few months back in November 2018. With a new patch, the company now brings added DX12 compatibility and we wanted to take a quick view on how that shapes up to be with a couple of graphics cards as well as looking on an Intel Core i9 9900K and AMD Ryzen 7 2700X platform, in a quicky one-page review. So this is not your standard deep performance review, but rather a quick update.

The software house behind the Hitman series has a bit of a tendency to keep the game going (sales wise) by compartmentalizing anything and everything in an effort to boost their sales momentum as long as possible. Chapters are added, then features like HDR / DX12 updates often are released way after the game was released, just in an effort to drag you onboard to purchase the game at one point in time. All previous edition have had DX12 support, so why was Hitman 2 released with merely DX11 support? I mean it's the same engine. We think because of what we just stated, to keep the momentum going as long as possible and release something 'new' every now and then.


For Hitman 2 a lacking feature thus was DirectX 12, which has now been added with patch v2.20 As mentioned, we'll merely take a few cards and see how DX 12 is behaving opposed to DX11. Nothing fancy or in-depth, we just want to know if DX12 offers even better framerates.



We'll test with settings maxed out in the Miami benchmark run

Hitman 2 is tested with the game based on the new patch a couple of days ago, combined with the latest AMD Radeon Software drivers version 19.3.3 and for Nvidia their GeForce 419.67 WHQL driver. DirectX 12 will not improve image quality but will help with CPU related matters. As such we test at Full HD (1920x1080/1200) and QHD/WHQD (2560x1440), we'll leave the GPU bound Ultra HD for what it. For this article we'll test merely a  GeForce RTX 2080 , a GeForce GTX 1080 and a Radeon RX 590 and Vega 64. The CPUs used are a Ryzen 7 2700X and a Core i9-9900K. DirectX 12 can be set in Hitman 2 in the launcher before the actual start of the game. In the game itself, there is no way to change the D3D API. Other than the DX12 toggle, there are no new settings or features.



In the two upper plot, you can see a Radeon RX Vega 64 and GeForce RTX 2080 at Full HD. Hitman offers two results sets, one CPU oriented, and one GPU. Above the GPU plot for Full HD. In specific this chart you can see little dynamic for the GeForce card, the Vega 64, however, bumps up in perf a bit at ... at DirectX 11. Yeah, you better get acquainted to the results, as Hitman 2 is going to be a blurry flurry of mixed results. 



When we move towards a more stringent 2560x1440 we see DX11 take a lead for both brands. Yes, this is not looking good for DX12 eh? Let's widen the scope of results with two more cards:



In the above two charts, we added Polaris and Pascal as well. This again is the CPU result set from the Hitman 2 benchmark runs. I can be short here, the general consensus is that DX11 performs as good as DX12, or better ...

Bet let's move to the GPU benchmark runs:


So here we can see the Full HD 1920x1080 GPU  result set derived from the Miami benchmark run. Interesting, Turing and Vega 64 perform better in DX12. Polaris and Pascal, however, do not. What about Quad HD then?


Well at 2560x1440 the results reverse themselves, DX11 is equally fast or faster than DX12. We ran these tests like three times over and over again to verify the outcome, this is what it is. 

A quick Ryzen / Intel comparison



The question that people always ask me, can you show me what proc is better, the fastest Core series of Ryzen 7. Well, the answer is simple, a Core i9 9900k (€ 559,-) is the better proc in CPU gaming. Ryzen 7 2700X (€ 319,-) however is not far off. Above the GeForce RTX 2080, at Full HD it is more CPU bound and close to 20% slower with such a graphics card on Ryzen 7 2700X, where that is just over 5% at (Wide) Quad HD..


We also performed the same test with a Radeon RX Vega 64, and interestingly enough, the gap is much smaller at Full HD, only ~10% and 4% at Quad HD.


That's it for this little pre-weekend writeup. It is nice to see that Hitman 2 is receiving DX12 support, however, the results are a bit all over the place. You should simply give it a try yourself if you have the game (and haven't already finished it) to see what works best for you.  The results vary per brand, product, and resolution. The game performance best with the Core i9 9900K we threw at it, but a Ryzen 7 2700X will do that job just as well, especially if you have a bit more GPU bound card or resolution.

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