Quality Presets Comparison, Wrap Up
Wrapping things up, I thought since we have the data lets compare the performance of the ultra and very low quality presets. Starting with the GTX 1060 we see 59fps on average with the ultra preset but that jumps up massively to 115fps using the very low quality settings, a 95% increase. Similar gains are also had with the RX 580.
The R9 390 sees a 93% performance jump from ultra to very high though it only hit 87fps with all the visuals wound down.
As the fastest 2GB graphics card tested, the GTX 1050 provides an interesting result. Here we see a massive 116% performance jump and that's down to the fact that the ultra quality settings overwhelmed the 2GB frame buffer by a massive margin at 1080p. That bottleneck is alleviated using the low quality settings and now quite shockingly it's able to match the RX 570. The rest of the mid-range to low-end field also see massive gains when reducing the quality settings from the maximum level to the lowest.
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is still insanely demanding on GPUs, so much so that running the game on ultra quality isn't even an option for most players.
This wouldn't be much of a concern if PUBG set a new benchmark for PC game visuals, but instead you could argue that it doesn't really look much better than the original decade-old Crysis -- Crysis 2 from 2011 actually looks better if you ask us. That being the case, there's really no need to compare the visuals in PUBG to that of other modern quality titles such as Battlefield 1, which would only be disappointing.
Despite its open world design, PUBG is a game that should really run at hundreds of frames per second on modern hardware, not 53fps with dips nearing the 30s when playing at 1440p on a Titan X Pascal. You could almost forgive the game's strangely demanding yet mediocre visuals if had decent netcode. Fellow game developers must be scratching their heads wondering how such a half-baked game can be so unbelievably popular.
Having said enough about how weak the game looks for how demanding it is, let's discuss the hardware you'll need to play PUBG.
Other than an Intel quad-core clocked at around 4.5GHz and 16GB of RAM, you'll get away with a reasonably affordable GPU if you plan to play the game at 1080p using the lowest possible visual settings. Something around the performance of an R9 280X, RX 570, R9 380, GTX 1050, 960 or even 950 will work well.
For second-hand shoppers, the GTX 950 looks like the GPU to go after. The card regularly sells for $70 and offer GTX 1050-like performance when using the very low quality settings. It's also comparable to the HD 7970 and R9 380, as both cost anywhere from $20 to $50 more on the second-hand market.
When it comes to today's hardware, the GTX 1060 has the RX 580 beat in PUBG, the GTX 1070 and Vega 56 are very evenly matched and the Vega 64 is consistently beaten by the GTX 1080, though the margin isn’t that big. The Vega 64 Liquid gets trashed by the 1080 Ti here and as you would expect, Nvidia's flagship gaming GPU delivers the best results.
- AMD Radeon RX 570 on Amazon, Newegg
- AMD Radeon RX 580 on Amazon, Newegg
- AMD Radeon Vega 56 on Newegg
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 on Amazon, Newegg
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 on Amazon, Newegg
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 on Amazon
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti on Amazon, Newegg
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 Ti on Amazon, Newegg