PUBG Goes 1.0, Has Performance Improved?

Following up on last month's CPU-focused benchmarks, we're back to see how PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds performs on a massive range of graphics cards. So far we know the game strongly favors Intel's hardware when it comes to CPU performance and only requires four cores if they are clocked at more than 4GHz. That said, the six and eight-core Ryzen CPUs also turned in respectable results despite the fact that PUBG under-utilizes them.

Moving on from our last round of testing, we have an epic battle between Radeon and GeForce graphics cards. Before going any further, we should note that PUBG is an Nvidia supported title and during the game's early access phase it heavily favored hardware from the green team.

For whatever reason, AMD almost always gets the rough end of the stick when it comes to hugely popular titles -- actually, the reason is money, and Nvidia simply has more of it to throw at developers.

Having seen how successful PUBG was early on, Nvidia climbed on board and before long we started to see the GeForce logo appear on the game's loading screen. AMD has of course been optimizing its drivers for the game and we've seen numerous releases over the past few months that address performance, but you can rest assured that Nvidia has paid to win this one.

To test GPU performance in PUBG we'll be doing 60 second benchmark passes on the same map as before ("Miramar") and we'll report the 1% low along with the average frame rate from three runs. Most of the testing will be done using the ultra quality preset though we realize serious players will use lower quality settings and we'lI touch on those before the end of this article.

The latest AMD and Nvidia display drivers available at the time of testing have been used and all graphics cards were tested on our standard GPU test rig. Inside we have a Core i7-8700K clocked at 5GHz with 32GB of DDR4-3200 memory.

That's all the important stuff, so without wasting any more time let's get to the results because there's a boat load of them.

Benchmarks

Kicking things off, we have some real relics. Can you believe some of these models are three years old now? Even at 1080p, you'll still require some serious GPU firepower if you want to play PUBG using the ultra quality settings. For an average of around 60fps, gamers will require an R9 Fury or GTX 980 graphics card from the previous generation.

Some noteworthy observations here include the fact that the GTX 980 Ti decimates the Fury X when looking at the average frame rate, yet the 1% low figures are almost identical. The GTX 970 and R9 390X provided virtually the same performance while the R9 380 beat the GTX 960 by a comfortable margin of 16%.

From the current generation lineup, for around 60fps gamers will require the GTX 1060 6GB or perhaps the Radeon RX 580.

We then see a massive 32% or greater leap with the GTX 1070 and Vega 56 GPUs when looking at the average frame rate. However, we again recorded very little improvement in the 1% low results and in fact here the 1070 was just 11% faster than the 1060.