The Best Possible PUBG Performance: 10 Graphics Cards Tested

CPU, RAM & VRAM Resources

Processor Utilization

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, based on the Unreal Engine 4, calls for a quad-core Intel CPU or a hexa-core AMD processor at minimum. Based on those specifications, it's fair to assume that the game is optimized for threading. Our six-core Ryzen should be right at home.

We made slight modifications to our CPU charts so that they'd provide even more useful information:

  • The first chart illustrates the utilization of each physical and logical core throughout our test. A mostly green bar indicates that the core in question spent most of its time idling, while a mostly red bar tells us the core was active throughout the test.
  • The next two charts show CPU usage for the entire test (a little over eight minutes in this case). Utilization of our 12 physical and logical cores is superimposed, with the total height of each bar representing cumulative CPU usage (1200%, or 12 times 100%, being the theoretical maximum). The color of each bar section, from green to red, indicates the load for each core at each point in time.
  • The two charts that follow are an enlargement of a 60-second snapshot from the preceding graphs. For PUBG, we're using the 60 seconds following the parachute sequence.
  • Finally, the two last graphs represent the frequency of each core during the test.

Whether we're looking at Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060 6GB or AMD's Radeon RX 580, CPU utilization remained similar through our benchmark sequence. Only three or four cores seem to be used heavily, even though we can see that the engine uses up to seven physical/logical cores at most. Once again, UE4 shows that it's optimized for multi-core CPUs and manages multiple threads well.

System & Video Memory Utilization

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds seems to be more hungry for system RAM when it's running on a Radeon card compared to an Nvidia one. In both cases, though, total memory utilization remains under 6GB. So long as you satisfy the 8GB minimum specification, you'll be fine.

The game similarly uses more of the Radeon RX 580's on-board GDDR5 compared to Nvidia's GeForce GTX 1060 6GB. Still, in both cases, utilization is quite a bit lower than the capacity of both cards.

Multi-Core Performance

Is PUBG still playable if you don't have a six-core CPU with simultaneous multi-threading technology to match our Ryzen 5 1600X? To answer this question, we standardized on our GeForce GTX 1060 6GB card and started testing with multiple core/thread combinations.

Four cores are sufficient to run PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds with a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB or any other mainstream graphics card. Lowering the core count to two causes a slight performance drop, along with a frame time variance increase. A CPU with two physical cores and some form of multi-threadding should be sufficient, so long as its operating frequency is high enough.

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PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds PC
  • beckstrom12
    Can you please start including 1440p back into your benchmarks? I think that this resolution, while not the most popular now, will become more and more popular. This will make these articles much more future proof and allow people that have QHD now and in the future view these articles for information.
  • mischon123
    All cards are 2 or more years old. 1080, 60, 50, 40 is obsolete by any standard. 1080px to 2560px is dead. New merchandise coming out. 4k and 8k is where its at. Not a review or test...TH part of the marketing scheme to sell off old stock.
  • Lucky_SLS
    ^ guess u never read the steam user system survey info published in the first page...

    Damn, meant to down vote that. Lel.
  • husker
    No problem with the article if they want to test common cards. The problem is the title. If I click a review of "The Best Possible PUBG Performance", then I kind of expect to see high end video cards, not older, mid-range cards.
  • spdragoo
    20998644 said:
    Can you please start including 1440p back into your benchmarks? I think that this resolution, while not the most popular now, will become more and more popular. This will make these articles much more future proof and allow people that have QHD now and in the future view these articles for information.

    1440p wouldn't have been useful in this situation. Except for the "bonus" GTX 1080 vs. Vega 64 showdown, none of the GPUs tested are "1440p-capable" GPUs. The top-line GPUs they tested were the GTX 1060 & RX 580...both of which barely managed to get past 60FPS@1080p, & had significant differences between their Average & Minimum results. What would have been the point of 1440p testing with these GPUs? "Proving" that their 1440p performance is lacking? "Proving" that PUBG's optimization still lags behind other games?

    Even with the GTX 1080 & Vega 64, those 1440p tests aren't exactly impressive. It's more in line with the 1080's performance in Witcher III ( I think we can all agree that there's no contest as to which game (PUBG or Witcher III) has better graphics...
  • The Paladin
    clean answers though not terribly revealing to many that have the hardware and the game from the start, but in all fairness for all the youngsters out there thinking of building a new rig for gaming PUBG this would be a good read to guide them.

    as far a 1440 and 4K gaming, that is upper gamer life, 75% or more "home gamers" who have a mortgage will tell you they have a 1080po monitor on they desk.

  • nickkalember2
    Please include 1070s and 1080s in your performance reviews
  • Lucky_SLS
    If you guys are considering 2k res for benchmarks, I for one would love to see the 21:9 aspect ratio performance. 2560x1080 for mainstream and 3440x1440 for the top end.

    Imagine playing in a monitor like the AOC - C3583FQ. True mainstream gaming monitor.
  • alextheblue
    Only three or four cores seem to be used heavily
    UE4 shows that it's optimizedfor multi-core CPUs and manages multiple threads well.
    Are you contradicting yourself here, or when you say "optimized for multi-core" you actually mean TWO cores with hyperthreading. The game barely taxes the CPU from your own testing. A cheap CFL i3 would probably be overkill.

    Meanwhile on the GPU front you can't throw enough graphics resources at the game, seems like they have a lot of headroom for optimization.
  • lucas_7_94
    AntiAliasing = High/Ultra
    Post Processing = High/Ultra

    Shadows High.

    Everything else, very low, and enjoy