The title of Massive Entertainment has been talked about a lot in recent days. As you can read in our review of The Division 2, this sequel has in fact proved to be one of the best loot-shooters released so far, thanks to a huge amount of content, a well-made progression system and a more tactical and articulated gameplay than the first chapter. The developers have taken into great consideration the feedback received with the first chapter of the saga, also improving the graphics sector. The transition from Manhattan to Washington DC was good for The Division, perhaps more on the art direction than on pure graphics.
To look at the Ubisoft product at its best we tested the PC version with a high end configuration, then testing it also on a mid-range version, the most widespread among the players, which allowed us to understand the scalability of the Snowdrop Engine .
System requirements, test PC and graphics settings
The Division 2 was released on AMD branded PC : the game was therefore optimized in particular to work best with Ryzen processors and Radeon video cards. The developers provided a long list of system requirements, going into the detail of the hardware needed to make the title work depending on the resolution and number of frames per second.
The basic configuration, necessary to play in Full HD at 30 frames per second, includes a processor AMD FX-6350 or Intel i5-2500K together with 8 GB of RAM and a GPU chosen from Radeon R9 270 and GTX 670 . To touch the 60 fps instead go up to a Ryzen 1500X or Intel i7-4790 along with a Radeon RX 480 or NVIDIA GTX 970 . Strange to combine these two GPUs in the same configuration, since the AMD proposal is definitely newer and more powerful than the NVIDIA one.
The 1440p at 60 fps is instead manageable with a Ryzen 7 1700 or an Intel i7-6700K , with Vega 56 or NVIDIA GTX 1070 GPUs, along with 16 GB of RAM. The configuration to play in 4K at 60 fps instead provides a Ryzen 7 2700X or Intel i9-7900X, with video card Radeon VII or GTX 2080 Ti .
To test The Division 2 we used the most powerful configuration currently available at AMD, which includes a Ryzen 7 2700X processor and 16 GB of RAM at 3200 MHz, along with a Radeon VII, a very special GPU that squeezes eye to the prosumer sector, thanks to its 16 GB of RAM HBM2. In addition to this, on the same PC we also tested the mid-range solution from AMD, the Radeon RX 590, which still allows you to play very well in Full HD.
The credit goes to the rich menu of graphic settings, very detailed and full of options with which to customize the visual experience of The Division 2. You can really manage every aspect of the game, from the viewing distance to the environmental occlusion, passing for the quality of water, vegetation, textures and the sky
Graphic quality and benchmark
The Division 2 stands out more for its staging than for the actual quality of the graphics. Massive Entertainment has been very skilled in creating a huge and full of details Washington DC, where the variety of scenarios and their characterization are the real strengths.
For the rest we are still faced with a title with more than decent graphics, but without leaving us speechless. Of note is the excellent representation of the day-night cycle and the effects of light, which also project realistic and well-defined shadows. Convincing also the representation of atmospheric conditions, as well as the volumetric lighting, which combined with the fog gives very suggestive scenarios.
All this obviously has a cost in terms of resources, The Division 2 is a scalable game but at maximum detail it becomes difficult to manage, even for a powerful GPU like the Radeon VII. For the tests we did not use any optimization, aiming directly at the maximum possible graphic quality, setting all the values to the maximum and using the internal benchmark as a test bed.
Details at most
Details at minimum
In 4K the Radeon VII generated 45 frames per second although the recommended requirements indicate that the configuration used for the test reaches 60 fps. In reality, thanks to the graininess of the graphic settings, the 60 fps target can still be reached, minimizing the impact on visual quality.
Going down instead to the 1440p the frame rate goes to 76, well beyond the optimal threshold of 60, while in Full HD it reaches 103 fps.
Turning to the RX 590, AMD's mid-range GPU has performed well, especially given that, even in this case, we have not optimized the graphic settings, always keeping them to the maximum possible. In 4K the RX 590 showed 24 fps, the 30 fps target can still be reached by adjusting the settings. In 1440p instead it rises to 41 frames per second, which become 61 in Full HD. A great result, especially if we consider that this video card can be found at around € 250.
Ultimately we were satisfied with the PC version of The Division 2 from a technical point of view, especially for the care taken by Massive Entertainment in creating a game with tons of settings, which make it scalable even on less up-to-date hardware.