Call Of Duty: Ghosts: Good With A $150 GPU And $110 CPU
Call Of Duty: Ghosts is graphically interesting. And while it doesn't do anything innovative in terms of game play, it's at least as fun as its predecessors. The question is, what sort of hardware do you need in order to enjoy the title?
When it comes to your graphics card, we wouldn't bother playing the game at its lowest settings without a Radeon HD 6570 DDR3 or GeForce GT 640, though that hardware won't be satisfactory above 1680x1050. If you want to get the most from Call of Duty with more visual realism, you want at least a Radeon R7 260X (a rebranded Radeon HD 7790) or GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost. Those cards should be good for 1920x1080 with a minimum frame rate above 30 FPS.
If you're the type of enthusiast who feels compelled to turn every setting up as high as it'll go, you need a Radeon HD 7950 Boost or GeForce GTX 670 (or its equivalent, a 760) to play the game at 1080p. At 2560x1600, it takes a Radeon R9 280X (rebranded Radeon HD 7970) or GeForce GTX 770 (close to a rebranded GeForce GTX 680) to maintain fluid frame rates.
What about your host processor? The good news is that every CPU we tested managed frame rates above 30 FPS, except for AMD's Phenom II X4 965. Of course, that was also paired up to a GeForce GTX Titan. There will come a point where lower-end graphics cards turn into a bottleneck, and you'll see lower performance. It appears that a combination of high core count and aggressive clock rates helps the FX's case. However, Intel's architecture maintains its dominance, as the two-generation-old Core i5-2500K still finishes first in our chart. Naturally, Ivy Bridge- and Haswell-based chips are going to fare even better at the same or higher clock rates.
In the end, it takes about $110 of CPU and $150 of graphics card to run Call of Duty: Ghosts smoothly at 1080p with High details enabled. That's not a particularly high bar, but it's more than we were expecting from such a mainstream title. Were the developers concentrating their efforts on next-gen consoles this time around? Perhaps. That would have certainly made sense, given the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 release frenzy. If you're playing on the PC, though, make sure your Image Quality option is set to Extra. Otherwise you're going to get upscaled blurriness.