Graphics memory (VRAM) usage D3D 11/12 and Conclusion
Graphics memory (VRAM) usage
How much graphics memory does the game utilize versus your monitor resolution with different graphics cards and respective VRAM sizes ? Well, lets have a look at the chart below. The listed MBs used in the chart are the maximum measured utilized graphics memory during the test run.
During game-play the game is swapping and loading stuff but settles inbetween the 3GB and 4GB marker with Ultra quality setting. Up-to Full HD (1920x1080) an up-to 3 but preferred 4 GB graphics card of decent caliber will do the job well. 4 GB or better is your best bet and target for 2560x1440, especially at the best image quality settings VRAM eats away a large portion of whatever is available. If you want to play Ultra quality with Ultra HD as preferred monitor resolution, that 4GB is a minimum (unless you are comfortable to twiddle and fiddle around a little with AA settings etc).
Image quality Perofmance modes
So what if you have a budget card and Ultra quality won't cut it? Well, at the cost of image quality you can lower the quality preset modes from Low, Medium, High to Ultra settings. Honestly almost anyone can run ultra quality. but above I have inserted the results of a Radeon RX 460 (2GB), which is struggling at the ultra quality mode. I've spread out the chart from Full HD towards WQHD towards Ultra HD. You will notice that at HIGH quality setting 1080P already becomes very playable at a 48 FPS average threshold. Again that's the performance effect of the quality modes in relation to the slower cards out there.
DirectX 11 versus DirectX 12
Sniper Elite 4 does not show improved graphics over DX11 really. But what is interesting to see is that it is D3D12 compatible. In the above chart I plotted a Radeon RX 480 at DirectX 11 mode, then DirectX 12 mode, and then DirectX 12 with ASync compute enabled. Yes, we actually have a working D3D12 ASYNC supported title here. The results going from D3D11 to D3D12 are already noticeable. However if you focus at 1920x1080 (less GPU bound) you will notice a significant performance increase. I have read some people claiming that D3D12/ASYNC mode would stutter, I cannot confirm this. We used the Radeon Crimson 17.2.1 driver here.
When we move to nvidia (GeForce GTX 1070) we can see a much lesser effect in ASYNC compute. DX11 however was a hint slower, so again DX12+ASYNC enabled is the recommended setting. We used the new 378.66 driver here.
And once we combine the two you can clearly see that AMD benefits from D3D12 and ASYNC the best. For both AMD and Nvidia cards the experience is stutter free and smooth. We can high recommend you to enable D3D12/ASYNC mode.
Sniper Elite 4 was an interesting title to test. It is weird to see that the title offers pretty much the very same graphics as the previous release, you'd expect some extra eye-candy in combination with DX12. That's not the case, it is more of the same yet in a different scenery. The graphics aren't bad at all, they could be better though when compared to say Battlefield 1. While not mandatory, if you have a DirectX 12 compatible PC (Windows 10 and a D3D12 graphics card) then yeah, DX12 is faster. We use have a megalomaniac fast 8-core processor you, however ASYNC activated certainly shows performance enhancements. So IF you have a compatible system, by all means activate it. The game is more of the same like the previous chapters. I like it, it is enjoyable for a couple of hours but sure at one point gameplay can get repetitive and a little boring. Any modern age graphics card can render the game in Ultra quality settings at 2560x1440 (WQHD) really. Other then that have a peek at our results. If you need a little more performance, I'd advise to play around with the anti-aliasing settings as that one does seem a little heavy for what it does.
Last note, and update. Nvidia released GeForce 378.66 WHQL driver. While this is the recommended driver for Sniper Elite V4 we have not noticed any performance increases or improvements compared to the GeForce 378.49 WHQL driver used in this article.
Snipe on !
Please do make sure you have installed the latest compatible graphics card driver, the new 17.2.1 or higher driver from AMD as well as GeForce 378.49 or newer drivers. Download the latest AMD Catalyst drivers here and the Nvidia GeForce drivers here.