An analysis of Resident Evil Village performance on iPhone

2023-11-08 22:41:15

Our colleagues from Digital Foundry have just published a video dedicated to the recent port of Resident Evill Village on iPhone. They are particularly interested in MetalFX, the technology ofupscale from Apple which arrives (finally) in the iPhone.

First of all, they note that the actual definition when MetalFX is used is a little lower than with a Mac. Let’s take the example of a 1920 x 1080 image: the principle of MetalFX consists of calculating a smaller image and enlarging it. On Mac, they estimated that the image was calculated with a ratio of 0.5 on each axis, that is to say an image in 960 x 540. On the iPhone, the ratio is according to them 0.4 , or (in the example) a 768 x 432 image. Given the high resolution of iPhone screens, they indicate that the quality loss is small.

metalFX is not perfect all the time.

Second interesting point, they show that the gains are paradoxically lower than with a Mac (around 40%, compared to around 70% on Mac). They cannot verify whether the bottleneck is the iPhone’s GPU – efficient given the energy budget, but weak in absolute terms – or the NPU, which performs part of the calculations linked to the enlargement. But they note that this is a problem already seen on entry-level nVidia cards with DLSS 2 (the equivalent of MetalFX).

The iPhone 15 Pro offers good performance, even against an iPad M1.

For them, the best choice remains the “Quality” mode of MetalFX: the other variants cause too much degradation of the image or a aliasing (i.e. the appearance of staircase effects) too significant. They also noticed a point that we talked about during our handling: the options, which are numerous, are a bit useless. Some, probably designed for iPads which have more RAM, even cause the game to crash after a few seconds.

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Preview of Resident Evil Village on iPhone 15 Pro: an experimental port

For overall performance, our colleagues indicate that it is possible to achieve around 30 frames/s consistently by tinkering with the options, but that the iPhone 15 Pro lacks the power to provide 60 frames/s consistently, at cause of the CPU. Likewise, there are some slowdowns here too related to the CPU, probably because of the low number of cores in an A17 Pro. Finally, they were able to test the game on an iPad Pro M1, which offers better performance but without really getting close to 60 frames/s.

They offer settings to apply to obtain good performance, in 900p with a few precise settings.

From a more practical point of view, finally, they consider that the touch controls lack efficiency and that the latency of Bluetooth controllers is a little too high, but that the game is still a great technological demonstration. And they hope that the port of Resident Evil 4 will bring some adjustments to settings and performance.

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