Does Denuvo Slow Game Performance?

DooKey

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Since Denuvo has been around there's been a debate raging about its effect on game performance. YouTuber Overlord has decided to put this to rest and he tested 7 games with Denuvo installed and with it officially patched out. His test rig utilized an i7 2600K running stock with a stock clocked 1080 Ti. Further, he used the 2600K since most arguments say Denuvo hits the CPU pretty hard. His video is very informative and the results are interesting. Take a look at the video so you can make up your own mind about performance issues.

Watch the video here.
 

Armenius

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Since Denuvo has been around there's been a debate raging about its effect on game performance. YouTuber Overlord has decided to put this to rest and he tested 7 games with Denuvo installed and with it officially patched out. His test rig utilized an i7 2600K running stock with a stock clocked 1080 Ti. Further, he used the 2600K since most arguments say Denuvo hits the CPU pretty hard. His video is very informative and the results are interesting. Take a look at the video so you can make up your own mind about performance issues.

Watch the video here.
Not a good test since the game's are not being run on the same version. Despite that, the results still show that the difference is statistically insignificant.
 
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They never say how the DRM was removed in those that claimed not to have it. There's a big difference between patching out and not linking. The interesting thing to me is the possibility that it's how Denuvo interacts with the store/overlay that is the cause of the slowdowns.
 

Izord

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TL;DR - Yes, but not by a large margin. Average about 2-3 FPS lower with Denuvo.

Then, we have the latest nonsense - Denuvo not running on pre-4th gen Intel or pre-Piledriver AMD in MH:W implementation:

https://www.resetera.com/threads/mo...h-cpus-that-lack-the-fma3-instructions.60963/

EDIT: I guess the above was fixed in a 0-day patch.


Thanks! I hate clickbait. It wasn't so hard to put the info into the leading sentence. Instead of 'Click on me for a longass video!!!'
 

blkt

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The video wasn't that long...geez...I think it was worth watching.

Every game has a different implementation and Denuvo is always changing. Denuvo only has the potential for a noticeable effect on fast paced games where even the smallest time windows are important (fighting games, arcade shoot 'em ups, fast paced FPS) as the problem is much less about framerate averages and more about stuttering, framedrops and latency.

Tekken 7 had this problem and even the director of the game publicly admitted to it (apparently now resolved). With small hiccups like this, it is very difficult to isolate and assign the blame as it could be a combination of your hardware and OS configuration, background processes, drivers, profile or power settings, game settings or ini tweaks, NIC, USB device(s), display monitor etc.

My only complaint is this takes time away from developers who are already under time, budget constraints and with a limited support window after release. PC gaming already has the problem of too many configurations to test and poor optimization/ports; another layer is a distraction. But what can you do? The higher ups, publisher and distribution method will always have final say.

Nothing is without cost (so upgrade your hardware lol).
 

MaZa

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Except on Mass Effect Andromeda (where the difference was huge) the difference between with and without Denuvo is insignificant. But correct me if I am wrong, doesn't AC Origins get a lot of shit about being unnecessary CPU hog not just because of Denuvo but because of having Denuvo AND some kind of realtime sandboxing / decrypting thingamajig protecting the Denuvo? DRM for the DRM so to speak? That I can see causing a massive performance issues.

*edit* Actually, since ME:A gained such a big performance boost maybe that game also had something similar, some crap trying to protect the Denuvo although much less succesful one because the game got cracked (or fooled with wrapper like most Denuvo protected games) pretty quickly?
 
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Except on Mass Effect Andromeda (where the difference was huge) the difference between with and without Denuvo is insignificant. But correct me if I am wrong, doesn't AC Origins get a lot of shit about being unnecessary CPU hog not just because of Denuvo but because of having Denuvo AND some kind of realtime sandboxing / decrypting thingamajig protecting the Denuvo? DRM for the DRM so to speak? That I can see causing a massive performance issues.

*edit* Actually, since ME:A gained such a big performance boost maybe that game also had something similar, some crap trying to protect the Denuvo although much less succesful one because the game got cracked (or fooled with wrapper like most Denuvo protected games) pretty quickly?

Given the wide disparity of results, it's very likely that "how" Denuvo is being implemented by their customers is the cause of the slowdowns. Either their documentation sucks or the coders do.
 
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FrgMstr

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SighTurtle

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Do people complain about being forced to ask a manager to open a glass case up at the store? Yeah, its a performance decrease, I don't deny that, I just find the idea of people being offended about DRM being used to be stupid as hell. Are you offended by real-life security measures aimed at deterring thieves?

Yeah, yeah, DRM doesn't affect piracy, DRM restricts legitimate customers, blah blah etc etc, i don't care, just cause its a digital good does not mean you get to steal it and have justification for doing so. Now, dont get me wrong, theres plenty of nuance in the DRM conversation, but I find it appalling to hear of people who dislike efforts for developers and publishers to protect their products from thieves, who crow at denuvo being defeated since that means they get to enjoy free stuff without proper payment. Ugh.
 

Spidey329

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Thanks! I hate clickbait. It wasn't so hard to put the info into the leading sentence. Instead of 'Click on me for a longass video!!!'

Not really clickbait as it's not an [H] sponsored video (I don't think). So the news poster doesn't gain anything from not putting it up there, but they may have felt some journalistic integrity to not spoil someone else's hard work.

It's like another site linking to an [H] benchmark article and then putting the results right on their own page / posting.

Clickbait would be if Kyle Bennett created the video and then posted "We test Denuvo in 7 games, you won't believe the results of game #6!"
 

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I will say this in defense of DRM. If there was no DRM on products, people would be trading clean legitimate versions of games just like we some people used to. Back when CDRoms were popular, it was the requirement of the cdrom that served as copyright protection. My point is this, DRM makes pirates resort to sketchy, ripped and cracked versions of these games with unknown consequences.
 

sinisterDei

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Not really clickbait as it's not an [H] sponsored video (I don't think)....Clickbait would be if Kyle Bennett created the video and then posted "We test Denuvo in 7 games, you won't believe the results of game #6!"

I disagree. I think the definition of clickbait here is that it's a (relatively) long video that essentially starts with a question ("Does Denuvo slow game performance?") and then fails to summarize an answer, or even draw conclusions of its own. Instead, you have to watch the whole video, which is of value to the content creator for his YT metrics. He *could* have summarized, he said it himself @10:45 in the video; the guy says he believes their sample size is sufficiently large, but still leaves it to the viewer to draw conclusions. I think the 'clickbait' criticism here is that, somewhere in the relative beginning of the video, or at least at the end of the video, directly answering the question would have been a good idea; NO, removing Denuvo doesn't seem to slow game performance.

The rest of the video is fine, and I love the research work that's done. But I can also understand the frustration with the video, since a relatively simple question "Does it slow down games" can have a relatively simple answer, but it's never presented in the video. Think of it this way, if you asked a friend whether their new video card was faster than their old one (or whatever) and instead of saying yes or no, they instead gave a ten minute presentation documenting specific examples one at a time, you'd probably be annoyed with that fellow, doubly so if the answer ended up being "no it isn't".
 

MavericK

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I will say this in defense of DRM. If there was no DRM on products, people would be trading clean legitimate versions of games just like we some people used to. Back when CDRoms were popular, it was the requirement of the cdrom that served as copyright protection. My point is this, DRM makes pirates resort to sketchy, ripped and cracked versions of these games with unknown consequences.

CD keys and online authentication are enough, given that virtually all games these days have some form of online connectivity.

Even so, oftentimes pirates get a superior version of the game because it's got all the bullshit stripped out.

The best way to incentivize a purchase is to make it convenient and reasonably priced.
 
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viivo

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People sometimes equate crackers/pirate groups to those who find and report vulnerabilities in security implementations, but that comparison makes no sense. Obviously they force designers of copy protection to innovate, but that is good for no one, especially the end-user who pays doubly - one for a performance hit, and one for ridiculous licensing costs of Denuvo which will drive up game prices as it becomes more complex and convoluted.
 

atom

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CD keys and online authentication are enough, given that virtually all games these days have some form of online connectivity.
Single player games only need connectivity due to DRM, i.e. Steam launcher. Not everyone is playing the latest online fad, such as Fortnite.
 

sinisterDei

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As a former pirate, I don't really mind DRM as long as it's unobtrusive. Steam is the DRM I've come to appreciate, and its benefits (such as never having to keep track of physical media) I feel like outweigh the online requirements. With that said, my patience instantly runs out the moment that pirates have a better user experience than paying customers. This is largely the case with things like Blu-Rays; an owner of a Blu-Ray will have a helluva time putting that movie on-the-go on their tablet, whereas someone who downloaded it via torrent can easily transfer the movie from one device to another.

Paying for the content should lead to a *better* user experience, not a crappier one.
 

Derangel

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I disagree. I think the definition of clickbait here is that it's a (relatively) long video that essentially starts with a question ("Does Denuvo slow game performance?") and then fails to summarize an answer, or even draw conclusions of its own. Instead, you have to watch the whole video, which is of value to the content creator for his YT metrics. He *could* have summarized, he said it himself @10:45 in the video; the guy says he believes their sample size is sufficiently large, but still leaves it to the viewer to draw conclusions. I think the 'clickbait' criticism here is that, somewhere in the relative beginning of the video, or at least at the end of the video, directly answering the question would have been a good idea; NO, removing Denuvo doesn't seem to slow game performance.

The rest of the video is fine, and I love the research work that's done. But I can also understand the frustration with the video, since a relatively simple question "Does it slow down games" can have a relatively simple answer, but it's never presented in the video. Think of it this way, if you asked a friend whether their new video card was faster than their old one (or whatever) and instead of saying yes or no, they instead gave a ten minute presentation documenting specific examples one at a time, you'd probably be annoyed with that fellow, doubly so if the answer ended up being "no it isn't".

That is not remotely what clickbait is.
 
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Gawd
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Clickbait is when someone posts a video titled, "OMG... I AM PRETTY SURE I JUST BLEW UP MY ENGINE IN MY 80K CORVETTE!?!?!?!" and when you watch the video, they just ran out of gas and start talking about how they hope it didn't break from running out of gas. Or, boobs in the thumbnail that aren't in the video at all :D
 

polonyc2

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doesn't Denuvo always get removed after a few weeks?...it's only to prevent the initial release surge of piracy...either way it gets a bad rep that may not be deserved...
 

sinisterDei

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Clickbait is when someone posts a video titled, "OMG... I AM PRETTY SURE I JUST BLEW UP MY ENGINE IN MY 80K CORVETTE!?!?!?!" and when you watch the video, they just ran out of gas and start talking about how they hope it didn't break from running out of gas. Or, boobs in the thumbnail that aren't in the video at all :D

Sure. I get that. But there's also the factor of structuring your content in such a way as to force continued attention, beyond the initial click. I view this as an extension of the clickbait concept, though perhaps deserving of its own term.

Your example - a video where the title (or thumbnail) describes content that doesn't actually appear - doesn't seem that dissimilar to me from a video where the title is a question that, by the end of the video, goes unanswered. Especially when it's basically a yes/no question.
 

Derangel

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Sure. I get that. But there's also the factor of structuring your content in such a way as to force continued attention, beyond the initial click. I view this as an extension of the clickbait concept, though perhaps deserving of its own term.

Your example - a video where the title (or thumbnail) describes content that doesn't actually appear - doesn't seem that dissimilar to me from a video where the title is a question that, by the end of the video, goes unanswered. Especially when it's basically a yes/no question.

Not really. The purpose of videos like this is to provide information to the viewer. Letting the viewer decide how they feel about the results is better than trying to distill everything down to a single yes or no point. People are going to take that data and look at it their own way. The channel seems to be built around providing information and digging into things. The guy makes his thoughts pretty clear, but isn't dictating how his audience should feel. Also, the other poster's demand for an answer in the first few seconds of the video is stupid. Information should be provided before thoughts on that information is given.
 

Flogger23m

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My understanding is that yes, newer versions are getting more bloated and may slightly affect performance.

The old versions certainly didn't. Well, at least not in a way that could be seen from the in game benchmarks or through normal gameplay. Although I now realize that the checks / performance disparity occurs in many different areas so longer gameplay sessions are needed to find it. Even if there is a gameplay difference, the built in benchmark tool might not be an area where performance may be impacted.
 

sinisterDei

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The guy makes his thoughts pretty clear, but isn't dictating how his audience should feel

I'll admit to only watching this one video. But in this video, if it was transcribed to be an essay turned into the English (or science) teachers of my childhood, he would have been raked over the coals for failing to write a conclusion. He laid out the question, presented a bunch of data, and then told the audience to make up their own minds. If the data presented contained mixed results, then I think that'd be fair, but aside from one outlier (the minimum FPS results on ME:A) his results weren't particularly mixed - they were consistent in that Denuvo removal didn't improve performance.

Regardless, I'll concede the point; it's not clickbait.
 
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worse case of meaningless performance hog was Just Cause 3 with Internet turned on.

as for AC:O, for some reason it didn't affect me as it affects others.

but the performance hit from Denuvo comes from installing on a HDD than a SSD. Even games like Total War Hammer gets a performance hit from installing on a HDD for no good reason. Someone should do an in depth study on that.
 
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Did you know that the word plagiarized actually comes from the word 'plague'. It was thought that people who were suffering from the plague copied each other to get ill and contracted the disease. Later on in the late 1700's lawyers decided that it was a breach of copyright law and banned contraction of the plague

And that's why the disease doesn't exist anymore.

True Story.



honestly.
 
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