Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War: a technological showcase for Nvidia? We did a lot of tests on a racing PC!

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The test

You will know this if you have followed the intense marketing campaign that the Santa Clara firm has carried out around Treyarch’s latest game, Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War was entitled to special attention for its PC version. Developed by Beenox, the latter benefits from a really advanced optimization for players equipped with Nvidia GPUs, and here we will tell you more about it, and give you some figures concerning the performance that can be expected with RTX cards. from the mark to the chameleon.

It had only been mentioned in our video test (which you can find below), but Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is one of the few PC games to be particularly well optimized on PC, which is quite rare for be mentioned. Indeed, the superior power of gaming computers often pushes developers to ignore the optimization of their games which, in any case, will offer superior graphics quality on this platform. But for once, PC gamers are well served, thanks to the work of the Beenox studio which produced this version of the game, and thanks to Nvidia which used the game to show off the performance of its new 30 Series Ampere GPUs. It must be said that Treyarch’s latest game uses a large number of technologies from the Nvidia Gameworks suite, including RTX for ray-tracing, but also DLSS for upscaling.


During our first playthrough of the game campaign, we had a PC equipped with an RTX 2080 Ti, and drivers optimized for the game (version 457.30). The good surprise is that we were able to play serenely in 4K, with all options at most (including the effects calculated via rat-tracing), but on condition that we opt for a slightly more intense DLSS setting. than the average. Before going into details, we remind you that DLSS is a technology compatible with GeForce RTX cards which uses the hardware acceleration provided by Tensor Cores in order to run a Deep Learning IA. The objective of this AI is to be able to achieve performance gains by upscaling on the fly the images calculated by our GPU, and by lowering more or less the native resolution of the image, or of certain places of the image. In absolute terms, the system is somewhat reminiscent of the operation of anti-aliasing (SSAA type) where certain areas of the image were calculated in higher resolutions, then downscaled.

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War

Call of Duty: black Ops – Cold War therefore offers us 4 levels of intervention for DLSS. The former simply disables the tool, forcing the GPU to calculate the 8.3 million pixels of each frame. The quality setting will minimize upscaling, in order to provide an image with maximum quality, but at the expense of the framerate, the balanced setting offers a good compromise between the two, while the performance option allows everyone to enjoy ‘crazy framerate, which is particularly interesting in multiplayer, especially if you have a super fast screen that supports 240Hz. Our test PC sticks perfectly to the recommendations made for the game, with an i7-8700K, 32GB of Ram, and the game installed on an M.2 PCIE 3.0 SSD. With the RTX 2080 Ti, we had to go for the balanced setting in order to get 45-5fps playing, the quality setting dropped us to 30fps, while without the upscaling technology it simply became impossible to have an acceptable framerate unless you cut back on the graphics options (lower the RTX, be satisfied with a minimum of anti-aliasing). In reality, by playing and capturing our gameplay in addition, we were often forced to adopt the performance setting, even if this last did not save us much more, the fault of the first generation tensor cores of the 2080 Ti.

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War


Since then, nvidia has sent us an RTX 3080, which has second-generation RT cores, and third-generation Tensor Cores (the second was in the RTX 20 Super series). Beyond the classic grain of power allowed by the more recent architecture, and which can be seen from the benchmarks already released, we were able to focus on seeing the big difference made by these new computing units in their specific tasks . This time, without DLSS, the RTX 3080 allowed us to oscillate between 35 and 40fps, which is now playable. But by activating the system, the gains became much more amazing. On the quality setting we thus obtained 60fps, we jumped to 80fps in performance mode, and obtained more than 90 FPS on the Performance setting. Clearly, where the old Tensor Cores allowed a gain of 5 to 10fps in the best case, we can now expect 10 to 15fps better on the RTX Series 30 cards, almost three times more in some cases, which is huge.

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War

As you can see, now, with calculation units specifically dedicated to technologies whose effects are radically different, the usual test methods for graphics cards will have to change, and it will be necessary to look more and more carefully at the gains obtained. in this way. These can indeed have a huge impact, and change the gaming experience much more drastically than the mere increase in FP32 computing power, which was until then the holy grail of gamers. We suggest you find our video test of Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War below, while our test of the RTX 3070 is still accessible at this address.

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War


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