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Denuvo Performance Cost & FPS Loss Tested

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I would like to see older arch like Haswell and Ryzen CPU's... if it ain't compiled under specific instruction tree.
 

bug

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I don't agree that it's useless, but CPU and RAM usage would be nice as some causal gamers usually have other tasks running.
If Denuvo was CPU intensive, you'd see FPS drops in CPU-limited scenarios. You don't see that, so you have your answer.
As for memory usage, I'd be really surprised to see any significant increase. It's not like Denuvo has to create large data structures to operate.
 
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Excellent article! I would love to see more of these technical types of articles.

Maybe we can stop beating the horse that Denuvo destroys gaming performance and now only piss and moan about it being DRM that isn't needed. People that are going to pirate are going to pirate and people that are going to pay will pay. No amount of DRM is going to solve that (even no DRM).
 
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Ownership has always been governed by the EULA which stipulates you only license the right to play the game.
While that may be true, there are laws in many countries that do not allow such limitations to ownership. In many places, like where I live, local laws state clearly that if you pay for something with either currency(money), work(you worked to earn it) or time(you spent time watching an ad) you then lawfully own that something as the law requires a clearly definable record of ownership for potential taxation and lawful accountability. Those laws also limit double jeopardy, so parties can not own the same thing at the same time and thus both be responsible for that something.

Most EULA's have entire sections that are worthless as they are unenforceable.
 

bug

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While that may be true, there are laws in many countries that do not allow such limitations to ownership. In many places, like where I live, local laws state clearly that if you pay for something with either currency(money), work(you worked to earn it) or time(you spent time watching an ad) you then lawfully own that something as the law requires a clearly definable record of ownership for potential taxation and lawful accountability. Those laws also limit double jeopardy, so parties can not own the same thing at the same time and thus both be responsible for that something.

Most EULA's have entire sections that are worthless as they are unenforceable.
Yes, but the trick is, you pay for the right to use, not for the game. So while you own the right, good luck exercising it if the publisher decides to take the activation servers offline.
 
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2000 = you PAID the game, you OWN it
2019 = you PAID the game, you RENT it
I prefer to just pay (support) devs I want and download (pirate) whatever I want. Cause to be fair, games with excessive DRM are mostly not actually worth buying anyway.

Also, it seems that good games (Witcher 3) dont actually need anything else than being good to make pretty absurd amount of money. I wouldnt mind if EA or Ubi just went belly up, preferably along with Acti-Blizz. More space for better devs and publishers.

Large part of gaming industry has sickness called "heavy case of greed".
 
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I prefer to just pay (support) devs I want and download (pirate) whatever I want.
Hopefully, someone doesn't decide to return the favor and only selectively pay you for things that you do. I'm sure you wouldn't like.

I guess since these are big corporations it's ok? I mean real people aren't hurt or anything.
 
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Yes, but the trick is, you pay for the right to use, not for the game. So while you own the right, good luck exercising it if the publisher decides to take the activation servers offline.
Yes, I think that's how they do it. Kind of like leasing or renting an item. You don't own anything other that the right to use it.
 
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Most users with high end gear aren't going to notice Denuvo generally speaking - but IMO any performance impact is too much, especially for folks with mainstream or low end gear.

Would love to see someone be able to test AC Odyssey or Origins as those are using VMProtect on top of Denuvo. I'd love to see the performance measurement on those.
 

bug

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Most users with high end gear aren't going to notice Denuvo generally speaking - but IMO any performance impact is too much, especially for folks with mainstream or low end gear.

Would love to see someone be able to test AC Odyssey or Origins as those are using VMProtect on top of Denuvo. I'd love to see the performance measurement on those.
Reviewers run high end gear and they do feel Denuvo :D

I prefer to just pay (support) devs I want and download (pirate) whatever I want. Cause to be fair, games with excessive DRM are mostly not actually worth buying anyway.

Also, it seems that good games (Witcher 3) dont actually need anything else than being good to make pretty absurd amount of money. I wouldnt mind if EA or Ubi just went belly up, preferably along with Acti-Blizz. More space for better devs and publishers.

Large part of gaming industry has sickness called "heavy case of greed".
Before GOG, StarDock also sold DRM-less titles: Galactic Civilizations ans Sins of a Solar Empire sold really well back in the day. The only "DRM" they employed was you needed an account to download patches.
 

W1zzard

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Most users with high end gear aren't going to notice Denuvo generally speaking - but IMO any performance impact is too much, especially for folks with mainstream or low end gear.
0.5% is too much?
 
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Yes, but the trick is, you pay for the right to use, not for the game.
That's the point I was trying to make, most jurisdictions do not allow for that distinction. You pay for something, you own that something. In the case of a copyrighted work, you own that copy, but only that copy.
So while you own the right, good luck exercising it if the publisher decides to take the activation servers offline.
Ah, but then we have a problem. Copyright owners do not have the right to deny you access to or the use of your copy of that copyrighted work, effectively your lawful property. So in the event that a copyrighted work becomes unsupported or the entity that created it shuts down, you have the lawful right to disable and/or circumvent any obstacle that might prevent you from using your copy of that copyrighted work.

Example, Microsoft's activation servers are still activating copies of Windows XP. Why? Not because they are being nice, but because they are lawfully required to allow people to use the software they've paid for. If they begin denying activation's or shut down the specific functionality of the XP activation's, they will have to release a patch to remove the need for activation or they will instantly be liable for damages for denying access to users software they lawfully own.

And before anyone chimes in about the DMCA, those laws take a back seat to statutory use/ownership rights, at all times.
 
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0.5% is too much?
IMO, anything above 0.0% is too much. Thankfully I have a powerful rig that generally isn't affected by a 3-5% usage, but not everyone has the $ the build a rig powerful enough to offset DRM. I know folks with middle-tier hardware that have every CPU thread pegged in AC Odyssey / AC Origins that don't have any overhead to spare.
 
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@W1zzard thanks for the write up and responses.

I have to agree that any performance impact due to any DRM should be frowned upon. Publishers are buttholes, period, they want timelines that most developers cant handle so gamers get crap games on launch day that needs patching within a week. Developer studios are often slow, dont know how to plan ahead, hire too many interns, or take too many vacations due to stress should just quit and go work at fkn McDonalds.

Enough of the small talk. regarding Denuvo, I refuse to buy any game that has it. Past examples of it implementation has put a sour taste in many gamers mouth. "Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me." is just as important to live by as voting with your wallet. ya 0.5% is too much.
 
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Hopefully, someone doesn't decide to return the favor and only selectively pay you for things that you do. I'm sure you wouldn't like.

I guess since these are big corporations it's ok? I mean real people aren't hurt or anything.
Really big corporations are problem, not only in gaming industry. More they get hurt = better. People will get hurt no matter what. Acti-Blizz CEO fired a lot of ppl while pocketing 15M USD as "reward" for job well done.

Their CFO (if I remember right) switched titles and was awarded with really hefty sum of money as well. Overall financial side of Acti-Blizz and what their management does is at least questionable..

Another thing about "people getting hurt". Well, if you cant afford to lose job for even month, then 1) you are not prepared 2) you probably shouldnt work for colosal corporation, cause they do have habit of firing just about everyone at any random moment, cause their CEO feels like it needs to shrink expenses a bit.

If you want to point fingers, I would start with really big corporations, their managements and last but not least economical systems and states (and government). And ofc idiots that let that happen, eg. ordinary folk with their votes and easily manipulated minds.

Beside all this, if you good in gaming industry, you most likely really dont need to worry about your job. Having in your resume things like "worked for Acti-Blizz/EA/Ubi" isnt exactly bad thing, no matter what these companies do.

Yea and also I dont get paid by people or anyone really. So no worry there. :D
 
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Really big corporations are problem, not only in gaming industry. More they get hurt = better. People will get hurt no matter what. Acti-Blizz CEO fired a lot of ppl while pocketing 15M USD as "reward" for job well done.

Their CFO (if I remember right) switched titles and was awarded with really hefty sum of money as well. Overall financial side of Acti-Blizz and what their management does is at least questionable..

Another thing about "people getting hurt". Well, if you cant afford to lose job for even month, then 1) you are not prepared 2) you probably shouldnt work for colosal corporation, cause they do have habit of firing just about everyone at any random moment, cause their CEO feels like it needs to shrink expenses a bit.

If you want to point fingers, I would start with really big corporations, their managements and last but not least economical systems and states (and government). And ofc idiots that let that happen, eg. ordinary folk with their votes and easily manipulated minds.

Beside all this, if you good in gaming industry, you most likely really dont need to worry about your job. Having in your resume things like "worked for Acti-Blizz/EA/Ubi" isnt exactly bad thing, no matter what these companies do.

Yea and also I dont get paid by people or anyone really. So no worry there. :D
Going a bit off topic but about big corps; its not so much about letting it happen, it is historically well documented that the rich always get richer, faster. Once you can invest money and make more out of it, you're on the path to getting even more money out of it. That applies to almost everythiing you can own as a person. From a house, to shares, etc. Big corporations basically have the greatest opportunities to make more money, and they get addicted to it because they also fork over money to those shareholders, which could be you or me. So, you may see why things don't change, this is such a fundamental problem its nearly impossible to avoid, especially now that the world's a village. Good luck creating a system that covers all countries...

This also ties into 'renting' everything, but also into on-demand services. If corporations can take a bite out of your recurring expenses, that's the most valuable thing for them. Offering a service means you will always be able to offer a service, after all, people will get dependant on it to get something and they can never make money out of a sale or investment because all that money went into the services; end result = eternal customer.

If you look at games, and DRM, you can clearly see the same trend: a vanilla release is just 'the beginning' and we are supposed to go along with a seasonal 'journey' which is nothing more than a bi-monthly or quarterly subscription of sorts. In a sense, the content becomes on-demand much like Netflix offers its seasons. And of course: bonus points for the always online requirement and regularly updating the product so the cracking scene has no way of keeping up. Realistically, DRM isn't even required anymore.
 
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What about... framerate smoothness? 1% and 0.1% lows?
 
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2000 = you PAID the game, you OWN it
2019 = you PAID the game, you RENT it
You've never owned the game (well... unless you really buy it, the whole IP and trademarks). You pay for the right to play it (license).
when implemented correctly
This being the key part of that phrase.
The key part is that clearly Denuvo can be implemented with next to no impact on performance. But it's just a small part of the whole code.
If you find a game that has large differences, it most likely means it was written by mediocre coders. Hence, their "work" may have had a much larger impact on fps than just Denuvo.

Think about it.
We usually take fps for granted and just compare GPUs. But how often a better looking game also has a lot more fps on the same hardware?
We say "well, it's badly optimized" and we live on.
But it basically means you're paying hundreds of USD for better hardware to get those 100fps instead of 60fps, but a similar result could have been achieved just by better coding. :)
Ownership has always been governed by the EULA which stipulates you only license the right to play the game. But it's true on PC, in the absence of DRM, you pretty much owned what you paid for. But that has never been true on consoles.
Even with no DRM, your relation to the game you paid for is not even close to owning. Owning means being able to do whatever you want as long as you don't violate the state law.
You can't modify the game, you can't rename it, you can't sell it as your own product, you can't use it commercially (yes! there are commercial licenses for games!).
 

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Even with no DRM, your relation to the game you paid for is not even close to owning. Owning means being able to do whatever you want as long as you don't violate the state law.
You can't modify the game, you can't rename it, you can't sell it as your own product, you can't use it commercially (yes! there are commercial licenses for games!).
Oh if you only knew how many hours I spent hacking saved games to give myself gold and what not. Or how many times I played using a trainer just because I wanted to go crazy. Hell, there was even a time when we shared poke codes for ZX Spectrum.

That's the point I was trying to make, most jurisdictions do not allow for that distinction. You pay for something, you own that something. In the case of a copyrighted work, you own that copy, but only that copy.

Ah, but then we have a problem. Copyright owners do not have the right to deny you access to or of use of your copy of that copyrighted work, effectively your lawful property. So in the event that a copyrighted work becomes unsupported or the entity that created it shuts down, you have the lawful right to disable and/or circumvent any obstacle that might prevent you from using your copy of that copyrighted work.

Example, Microsoft's activation servers are still activating copies of Windows XP. Why? Not because they are being nice, but because they are lawfully required to allow people to use the software they've paid for. If they begin denying activation's or shut down the specific functionality of the XP activation's, they will have to release a patch to remove the need for activation or they will instantly be liable for damages for denying access to users software they lawfully own.

And before anyone chimes in about the DMCA, those laws take a back seat to statutory use/ownership rights, at all times.
Not that I'm disagreeing with what you're saying, but who would activate those licenses if MS went under?
 
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Oh if you only knew how many hours I spent hacking saved games to give myself gold and what not. Or how many times I played using a trainer just because I wanted to go crazy. Hell, there was even a time when we shared poke codes for ZX Spectrum.


Not that I'm disagreeing with what you're saying, but who would activate those licenses if MS went under?
Probably nobody. If some game that required "always online" goes down, its down. Unless there is crack that can be searched, its sorta definitive. Games like Division would probably be unplayable I think (unsure if that has some crack or not.. somehow I bought that :D), since always online and some side seemed to be server based.

But then, even games that had hard server part implemented were cracked, except client now needs to run even server part of emulation. Not so easy or sometimes possible to do. Probably best DRM. As long as there are servers..
 
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2000 = you PAID the game, you OWN it
2019 = you PAID the game, you RENT it
More from that chain of thought...

2000 = you PAID the game, you get FREE patch updates and new content!
2019 = you PAID the game, that'll be $5...oh you want more content, that'll be $30 for a season pass which covers only a small portion of the new content scheduled to come. You want the game + all the content for one price? Wait for GOTY when we'll combine it and raise the price back to near launch price because it's such a value!!
 

bug

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Probably nobody. If some game that required "always online" goes down, its down. Unless there is crack that can be searched, its sorta definitive. Games like Division would probably be unplayable I think (unsure if that has some crack or not.. somehow I bought that :D), since always online and some side seemed to be server based.

But then, even games that had hard server part implemented were cracked, except client now needs to run even server part of emulation. Not so easy or sometimes possible to do. Probably best DRM. As long as there are servers..
Now don't get me wrong, I'm down with the online requirement for multiplayer titles (sort of, I'm not sure forbidding 3rd party servers is great idea, but since I've never been a fan of online titles, I don't care that much). What irks me is online requirements/activations for single player games. To me that's just "guilty until proven innocent" approach.
 

Coler

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2000 = you PAID the game, you OWN it
2019 = you PAID the game, you RENT it
exacly, I'm completely fed up with this regime what the hell.


More from that chain of thought...

2000 = you PAID the game, you get FREE patch updates and new content!
Good old times, with offline LAN play in almost all mp games, without any need to install twenty platform clients,
imagine that now :laugh:


You've never owned the game (well... unless you really buy it, the whole IP and trademarks). You pay for the right to play it (license).
That's true obviously, but OWN we mean in terms of material keeping and freedom of usage, that's more a feeling that a legal statement, wich imho, is more efficient when you want to sell a product. (or better, the license to use it)
It would be smart to keep too many restrictions and worthless stuff away from entertainment stuff as games, could be demotivating at some point...
 
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Not that I'm disagreeing with what you're saying, but who would activate those licenses if MS went under?
I imagine patches would be released to remove activation or auto-activate. It's not like those kinds of things didn't exist already..
 
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well done @W1zzard this was genius, really appreciate this review. :toast:

"I can now hear you asking "but what about the 20 FPS difference found by a user on Steam forums?". It seems the answer to that question lies in how the Denuvo-free version of DmC 5 works. The Steam version stores the savegame and settings in "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\userdata\[user id]\601150\remote\win64_save", whereas the Denuvo-free version stores its data in the game's folder in a subdirectory called just "win64_save", even if you plop the new EXE straight into the Steam installation folder. So, when switching from the Steam version to the Denuvo-free version the first time, all settings are lost and the game will auto-configure itself. Devil May Cry 5 uses very conservative details settings by default even when high-end hardware is detected, so it's plausible that this would lead to the large performance difference observed in such a quick, uninformed test."
 
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