BatmanAK 2015-06-30 15-42-48-59Batman: Arkham Knight was released on June 23, and it was pulled from sale shortly afterward due to bugs and serious performance issues.   Rocksteady had farmed out the PC port which was poorly done.  This editor was fortunate that Batman ran OK on both the AMD and Nvidia partitions, and it has been a BTR benchmark for many weeks.  Two days ago, the performance issues were finally addressed by an interim 626MB patch on Steam.

According to the official release notes for the Steam patch, these issues were addressed:

Reduced frame rate hitches
Optimizations for system memory and VRAM usage
Improved performance on all GPUs (requires the latest drivers)
More Comprehensive In-Game Settings
Fixed low resolution texture bugs
Fixed hitches when running on mechanical hard drives (HDD)

Further improvements for Batman: Arkham Knight are promised by Warner Brothers, however, the game’s feel has definitely been improved as has its performance.  This editor has been benching for a MSI 390X OC evaluation versus the 290X and the GTX 980 when the patch dropped, and the benchmarks for tomorrow’s review were run again after the patch was applied.

In addition to bug fixes and performance improvements, the Batman: Arkham Knight graphics options have been expanded with more features and higher settings.  Here is the original control panel:2015-07-27_00001

Now note the new features and higher settings added by the patch:BatmanAK 2015-09-05 10-40-43-05

We ran the original benchmarks with all of the settings On and High just as we do now with the expanded features.  Only Nvidia’s Enhanced Rain and Enhanced Light Shafts are “Off” as Radeons cannot run these effects.  Surprisingly, with all of the new features turned on, the performance as measured by the built-in benchmark’s average frame rate counter, has improved over the pre-patch version with less features enabled!

Here are the performance results of our testing of the patch using the very latest drivers, GeForce WHQL 355.63 and Catalyst 15-8 Beta.  Both sets of drivers were released last week.  Our testing and hardware are the same as in our last Driver Performance Analysis on Windows 10 Home 64-bit.  All of the video cards are run at stock clocks under identical testing conditions, the only differences are the new higher settings of the patched game.

Batman Arkham Knight’s Interim Patch Performance Comparison

Untitled-1There is a definite increase in performance over nearly all of the settings even though higher settings are now available and were picked for the patched game.  The gameplay definitely feels smoother and Batman: Arkham Knight is perhaps ready for serious play now.

Tomorrow, expect a MSI R9 390X OC evaluation versus the 290X clock-for-clock, as well as versus the GTX 980 and GALAX GTX 970-EX OC.  Until then,

Happy Gaming!