Bonus: GeForce GTX 1080 Vs. Radeon RX Vega 64
The GeForce GTX 1080 and Radeon RX Vega 64 cards are much more powerful than the mainstream models we like to focus on. But everyone always wants to know how high-end hardware compares, so we dialed PUBG's detail preset back to Ultra, and tested at 1920x1080 and 2560x1440 for this last set of tests.
Both cards performed similarly, even if the GeForce GTX 1080 enjoyed a slight lead at 1920x1080. And both averaged more than 90 FPS and never dropped below 60 FPS at that resolution, yielding a smooth experience.
Jumping up to 2560x1440 obviously imposes a performance hit. But the two high-end cards still averaged more than 70 FPS and never dropped below 50 FPS.
It should come as no surprise that two cards generating more frames through the same benchmark sequence impose higher CPU utilization as well. Once again, we saw three to four cores heavily utilized. More broadly, the Unreal Engine 4 doesn’t seem to use more than seven physical/logical cores.
Finally, the GeForce GTX 1080 causes slightly less host processing utilization compared to AMD's Radeon RX Vega 64 at a similar performance level. This is a DirectX 11-based game after all, and Nvidia is known to enjoy an advantage in that API due to its heavily optimized drivers.
The Bottom Line
Built on an excellent Unreal Engine 4 foundation, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds runs well across a wide range of hardware thanks to well-calibrated graphics presets. If you want to play the game at 1920x1080 using PUBG's best-looking detail settings, however, forget lower-end cards like the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti and Radeon RX 560. At a minimum, you want a Radeon RX 570 or GeForce GTX 1060 3GB.
Consider a quad-core CPU mandatory. And although a processor with more cores won't buy you much extra performance, it's always a good idea to pair higher-end graphics cards with more capable CPUs in the interest of maintaining balance. Gaming PCs with 8GB of RAM installed are fine, though it'd be smart to use 16GB in a system with components from the PUBG Corporation's recommended specs.
Although PUBG launched in early access form in March of 2017, its full release was only a few months ago. The game continues to benefit from regular updates, some of which do affect performance. Let’s hope that a future patch smooths out those frame time variance spikes we observed. Since they seem to affect every graphics card we tested, the issue appears inherent to the game itself, rather than any issue or benefit of one card or chip-maker over the other.