Our Conclusions (and Bonus Testing With GeForce GTX 1080 vs. Radeon RX Vega 64)
The GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and Radeon RX 580 struggled to run at 1920x1080 under the Epic quality preset. But our host processor appears to have plenty of headroom left. So let's take a look at what a couple of high-end graphics cards can do to push our platform harder.
In this round of tests, we drop a GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition and a Radeon RX Vega 64 into the Ryzen-based PC, maintaining a 1920x1080 resolution and the Epic preset with Show Grass enabled.
While AMD's Radeon RX Vega 64 falls below our 60 FPS floor once, the GeForce remained above that threshold through our test sequence. Unsurprisingly, both cards offer smooth game play, even if the Radeon demonstrates some significant frame-time spikes.
When it comes to CPU utilization, Unreal Engine 4 still operates mostly across two cores, leaving the others far less occupied. Overall usage is definitely higher with these two high-end graphics cards installed, though, which is definitely understandable, since higher frame rates force the CPU to do more work.
Processor Utilization at 144 FPS and 240 FPS
Now, let's focus on specific frame rates. We want to know if host processing comes into play as a limiting factor when you try to run at 144 or 240 FPS. Of course, hitting those performance levels means dialing down the graphics quality, even on our high-end cards. Medium and High quality settings with Shadows disabled are what we need to get there.
Although we still see two cores most heavily utilized (sometimes fully), the game engine takes advantage of other cores this time, too. Tim Sweeney's words prove accurate: Unreal Engine 4 does seem capable of exploiting the Ryzen CPU's resources, just not in a perfectly homogeneous fashion.
Based on the Unreal Engine 4 game engine, Fortnite is playable on a wide range of system configurations, from entry-level to high-end, thanks to a panoply of graphics settings. How you toggle those settings on and off has a large (and variable) impact on performance. For example, the Shadows option has the biggest effect on frame rates, in our experience, particularly on lower-end GPUs.
We definitely recommend a card based on the GeForce GTX 1060 3GB/6GB or the Radeon RX 580 to push the detail settings as high as possible at 1920x1080. With a less powerful graphics card, you'll have to sacrifice either quality or resolution.
Don't worry as much about your CPU. While Unreal Engine 4 is certainly capable of making use of multiple cores, it does so in an unbalanced fashion (in Fortnite, at least). Our findings show that two cores are really all you need. At least this makes it possible for the game to run smoothly at Full HD on a fairly low-end platform, so long as you have enough graphics horsepower to burn and a high enough clock rate.