XCOM 2 PC Performance Review – AMD VS Nvidia

XCOM 2 PC Performance Review - AMD VS Nvidia



When you crank XCOM 2 up to the max the game is super demanding, giving even today’s flagship GPUs a hard time at a resolution of 1080p. Thankfully the game scales very well to lower end hardware,  easily achieving average framerates of 90+ on our R9 380 and GTX 960 GPUs at 1080p. 

In the graphical options there are plenty of options to mess with in order to achieve a high framerate, with the most important setting easily being Texture detail, which really improves the detail on player and enemy characters.

At the higher settings the main changes that are seen in the game are the addition of depth of field effects and an increase in both the amount of shadows and the complexity of them, making the world look much more real, but at the same time are effects that are not very noticeable outside of a side by side comparison until the game’s camera zooms into one of your soldiers. 

At the games maximum settings the game is extremely taxing on your hardware, so much so that I would not personally recommend using the games Maximum presets as it does little other than add a large amount of anti aliasing and having a significant impact on performance.  Medium and high settings are the best options of you want a good balance between performance and visuals, so I suggest using these settings as a basis for your own custom settings. 

In almost all settings tested both AMD and Nvidia GPUs perform equally in this game, with both GPUs providing similar minimum framerates throughout our testing. It is great to see a modern PC game be so friendly to both AMD and Nvidia GPUs, but at the same time the game isn’t the most beautiful game to ever grace the PC given how much GPU performance it can consume.

With the visuals provided by this game it is pretty easy to say that this game is not well optimized. While the visuals are a significant upgrade from XCOM 2 they are not something that really justifies the need for such powerful hardware, especially when you consider the performance and visual fidelity of other modern titles like Rise of The Witcher 3, Dying Light, Star Wars: Battlefront and Metal Gear Solid V. 

In summary XCOM 2 is a very demanding title at it’s maximum settings, but it can scale and play well on any of today’s GPUs by just lowering a few settings. The game works well on both AMD and Nvidia hardware and really can’t be said to prefer either side, though that could change if either manufacturer create a game specific driver.


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