Earlier today, Stu reported Denuvo Anti-Tamper DRM protection had been patched out of Hitman 2. Naturally, my first port-of-call was to re-download Hitman 2 and see whether the removal of Denuvo had any impact on Hitman 2's frame rates.

As always with Denuvo benchmarks though, we’re all sat around trying to prove the unprovable. It would take an immense out of luck (or dedication) to have benchmarked Hitman 2 yesterday before the removal of Denuvo. As it is, we’re faced with two separate benchmark results performed on the same hardware but separated by three months, several patches, and multiple driver updates.

However, even with new graphics card drivers, and the removal of Denuvo, it’s hard to argue a case for improved frame rates in Hitman 2, as you can see in the Hitman 2 benchmarks with and without Denuvo DRM below.

Hitman 2 Denuvo Benchmarks

These Hitman 2 benchmark results have been gathered from two separate tests, both using the exact same hardware - a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB, Intel Core i7-5820K CPU, and 16GB DDR4 memory.

The benchmark tests for Hitman 2 with Denuvo were performed back in November, while the Hitman 2 without Denuvo scores were benchmarks taken today.

Both tests were the same run on the same Miami level in Hitman 2.

Hitman 2 1080p Denuvo Benchmarks

Hitman 2 1440p Denuvo Benchmarks

Hitman 2 4K Denuvo Benchmarks

  1080p With Denuvo 1080p Without Denuvo 1440p Denuvo 1440p Without Denuvo 4K Denuvo 4K Without Denuvo
Low 89 78 66 68 34 39
Medium 80 75 57 57 30 31
High 72 73 47 51 27 26
Ultra 68 65 44 49 26 25

If can draw any concrete conclusions out of these figures then you're a better statistician than I. The area where we'd expect to see Denuvo have an impact is at lower resolutions and with Low visuals in Hitman 2, but we actually end up with the opposite. Whether that's due to changes in population density or something on Io Interactive's end we just don't know, but at the settings where we would expect Denuvo to cause an FPS hit if it causes one at all, the opposite happened.

Aside from this minor anomaly, there's honestly so little at play here that the performance difference in these benchmark runs comes entirely down to margins of error. Hitman 2 runs pretty much the same now without Denuvo as it did three months ago with Denuvo.

The results may bear more fruit while using a much weaker CPU but any program using CPU cycles will by definition impact a weaker CPU more than a strong one. Hitman 2 isn't exactly a game that goes easy on your processor either, so those with low-end CPUs will probably find themselves struggling for stable frame rates even with Denuvo removed.

Well, that's the results. Again, there's no conclusive answer and I don't think we're going to get one until we're actually forewarned about Denuvo being removed from a game. 

If any of you folks happen to have benchmarked Hitman 2 very recently then we’d also to love to hear your experiences with it now Denuvo has been removed!

What are your thoughts on the results? Is this the sort of FPS impact you were expecting? Let us know!

Our Favorite Comments
"Conclusion: Denuvo's performance is the best at 1080p."
"Performance wasn't ever the issue for me for any denuvo game but its the server denuvo needs that bothers me the most, i look at it like gfwl, if shutdown on there end we have to either beg for it to be removed (which might not happen for all) or go down the crack routeSaying that though i do..."
"The pirated version isn't the same as magically removing denuvo. The protection is still there, the exe was still like 250mb it was working but bypassed"