The online shooter PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was a major breakthrough last year. Brendan Green’s project gave rise to the widespread popularity of the Battle Royale genre, which is now trying to repeat all major gaming campaigns. And even the next Battlefield and Call of Duty won’t be without their Battle Royale counterpart. In the meantime, PUBG retains its leadership and a huge audience. The game is also known for mediocre optimization and high system requirements. The question of choosing a video card for PUBG is very acute. In this review, we will find out which AMD and NVIDIA graphics accelerators provide comfortable or acceptable performance in the game. Let’s compare older solutions in high resolutions, up to 4K mode.

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

The game is based on Unreal Engine 4 and runs in DirectX 11 environment. PUBG shows large spaces with many objects, but the overall level of graphics is mediocre. Picture at the level of budget projects using Unreal Engine.

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's BattlegroundsTesting graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

While only two maps are available in the game, a third will appear soon. The first map is two united islands with military bases, industrial facilities, dense grass and small groves. The second map is a desert area surrounded by mountain ranges.

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's BattlegroundsTesting graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Test participants

Solutions from the top, middle and budget segments, including new generation models and old video cards, will take part in comparative testing. AMD solutions are presented in greater numbers, for convenience we will place them at the top of the list.

NVIDIA’s most powerful solution will be the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

ASUS CERBERUS-GTX1070TI-A8G introduces the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti series, which we will talk about in more detail in one of the following articles dedicated to graphics adapters.

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

The GeForce GTX 1060 series is represented by the ASUS DUAL-GTX1060-6G accelerator. A review of this video adapter will be released soon.

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

From AMD’s side, the reference design Radeon RX Vega 64 is the top choice. Testing was done with stock BIOS in normal balanced mode (default settings).

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Also in testing will take part Radeon RX Vega 56 by ASUS. This is the ROG Strix Radeon RX Vega 56 model, which has a slight overclock. Therefore, the video card was put into Quiet mode by switching to the second BIOS in order to achieve performance at the level of standard versions.

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

The Polaris architecture models represented by the Radeon RX 580 and Radeon RX 480 are presented by ASUS ROG-STRIX-RX580-O8G-GAMING with the appropriate frequency correction.

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Full list of participants:

All video adapters were brought to standard frequencies to match the reference options. The Radeon R9 270X replaces the Radeon HD 7870 video adapter.

The participants have been tested at nominal and overclocked. But in simple modes, older models are only used at standard frequencies.

test bench

The test bench configuration is as follows:

  • processor: Intel Core i7-6950X (3.0@4.1 GHz);
  • cooler: Noctua NH-D15 (two NF-A15 PWM fans, 140 mm, 1300 rpm);
  • motherboard: MSI X99S MPower (Intel X99);
  • memory: G.Skill F4-3200C14Q-32GTZ (4×8 GB, DDR4-3200, CL14-14-14-35);
  • system disk: Kingston SSDNow KC400 (512 GB, SATA 6Gb/s);
  • secondary drive: Hitachi HDS721010CLA332 (1 TB, SATA 3Gb/s, 7200 rpm);
  • power supply: Seasonic SS-750KM (750 W);
  • monitor: ASUS PB278Q (2560×1440, 27″);
  • operating system: Windows 10 Pro x64;
  • Radeon driver: AMD Adrenalin Edition 18.4.1;
  • GeForce driver: NVIDIA GeForce 391.35.

The game allows you to create battle records. For testing, a replay was used, which was played several times on each video card. A simple test segment was selected, which included the last seconds of a parachute landing and a long run through hills with dense vegetation.

It should be noted that when playing a replay, the performance is below the level that the game showed in real time. According to subjective feelings on mid-level solutions, this difference is up to 20%. However, the test scene is simple, with no combat interaction. Therefore, the final results are quite consistent with real performance.

Testing was carried out with standard High and Ultra quality profiles. Let’s start with the results at high graphics settings. In this comparison, the emphasis is on budget solutions, so the middle-class models are tested at face value.


Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

At normal high settings, even the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti shows about 40 fps, overclocking improves performance by 15%. A few percent weaker than the GeForce GTX 960. The performance of the GeForce GTX 1050 is slightly higher than the Radeon R9 270X, but for all of them you will have to enable simpler settings. The video memory load in the test scene reached 3 GB.

Let’s move on to the results with Ultra-graphics.

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

The GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 580 deliver around 50 fps, the overall performance of these competitors is as close as possible. In a real game, they can produce higher frame rates. These video adapters can be called optimal for 1920×1080 resolution with maximum graphics. The old GeForce GTX 780 Ti is not inferior to them, which is nice for the owners of this «veteran». However, the game uses 4GB or more of VRAM at maximum settings, so new solutions with 6-8 GB will feel more confident. The performance of GeForce GTX 1070 Ti and Radeon RX Vega 56 will satisfy the most demanding gamer. Radeon RX Vega 64 with standard frequencies shows fps at the level of the overclocked GeForce GTX 1070 Ti adapter.

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

When the resolution is increased to 2560×1440, the GeForce GTX 1060 and Radeon RX 580 are out of the comfort zone. But for the sake of interest, it should be noted that in heavy mode, the AMD representative shows a clear advantage over the competitor. The Radeon RX Vega 56 also takes the lead over the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti, although not by a significant margin. Radeon RX Vega 64 is approaching 60 fps. The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti outperforms the leader AMD by 30-35%, but these rivals are from different weight categories.

In 4K, only top solutions from AMD and NVIDIA have been tested.

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

Radeon RX Vega 64 does not pull out 3840×2160 resolution. The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti looks noticeably better in this mode, although the performance of just over 40 fps is not impressive. The difference between video adapters is almost 35%.

Let’s supplement the given data with a video comparison of individual graphics accelerators. Each video contains three or two video adapters of the same level.

PUBG puts high demands on the CPU as well. At the stage of preparing a large comparative testing of processors, there was an attempt to run the CPU models available to us in the game. However, due to periodic updates, old replays did not start. A full-fledged comparison did not work out, but some data can be brought together and at least partially assess the difference between the old and new models. This data was obtained by repeating a one-minute test scene, where half the time is parachute landing.

Testing graphics cards in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

In the group of new Core processors, the variant with the highest frequency is expected to have the best performance. Perhaps the six cores of the Core i5-8600 also give some acceleration. The old top version of the Core i7-3930K is noticeably weaker than the new processors, although the difference in frequencies is not very big. The once-popular Core i5 Sandy Bridge will be even worse. The AMD FX processor is extremely bad at gaming, but given its budget level and age, this is an expected result.


To enjoy PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds at a comfortable frame rate, you need a reasonably powerful PC. And this applies to both the processor and the graphics accelerator. A sufficient option for Full HD at maximum graphics settings are the Radeon RX 580 and GeForce GTX 1060. If you lower the graphics to a high level, then more or less acceptable performance starts with the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, although the video adapter pulls this mode with difficulty. Owners of monitors with a resolution of 2560×1440 pixels should rely on the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti or the Radeon RX Vega 56. 4K resolution is difficult even for the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, although with overclocking and a little tweaking of the settings, a compromise can be reached. AMD simply does not have solutions that can work well in 4K.