Call of Duty: Modern Warfare PC Performance Review and Optimisation Guide
Published: 28th October 2019 | Source: OC3D Internal Testing | Price: |
Introduction - Preparing for the calls of next-gen
The pst two iterations of Call of Duty have been doing a lot of exciting things on the hardware side. Black Ops 4 focused on delivering a "Battle Royale" experience through the game's Blackout mode, which targeted the development team's efforts on CPU optimisation, cramming 100 players into a single game with respectable framerates on both PC and consoles.
With Modern Warfare, the same efforts have been applied to the game's visuals, delivering a full physically-based materials/lighting system, enhanced geometric culling (to increase the game's effective polygon budget), and other changes that enable Infinity Ward to create a game with impressive visuals and a broader scope. Beyond that, the game's PC version also contains DXR Raytraced shadows, an upgrade which gives us a glimpse of what to expect from next-gen consoles.
With this iteration of Call of Duty, gamers can no longer say that the game's graphics don't change from year-to-year. If you still think this, you are wrong, we can't put this any other way. There has been a lot of changes to Modern Warfare's graphical makeup, though fundamentally this is still a Call of Duty game, and shares visual similarities with other games in the series.
The addition of DXR raytraced shadows showcases one possibility of how raytracing will be used in future games, showcasing how spotlights and complex area lights can be accurately simulated. It also showcases how shadow maps can fail to simulate shadows accurately and how raytracing will impact the graphics of future games. With both next-generation consoles supporting real-time raytracing, it is clear that most of premiere game developers are interested in how the latest GPU technology can impact the visuals of their games. This implementation of DXR shadows was created in collaboration with Nvidia, though it can run on all DXR compliant hardware. More information about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's RTX/DXR Raytracing features can be read in our dedicated raytracing analysis.
In this review, we will be looking at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's performance on modern PC hardware, and at how to optimise the game's performance to run better on older, less performant graphics cards.
- PC System Requirements, RTX and Graphics Options
- CPU Performance - Do you need a monster CPU to play this game?
- RX 5700 VS RTX 2060 - Performance Scaling - Low, Medium, High and Max
- Optimisation Tips - Which settings will have the most impact?
- DXR Raytraced Shadows
- 1080p Performance
- 1440p Performance
- 4K Performance
When testing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's PC version, we opted to use the newest drivers from both the Radeon and Geforce camps. These drivers are AMD's Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 19.10.2 driver as well as Nvidia's Geforce 440.97 driver.
OC3D is a website that is dedicated to PC hardware, so you better believe that we test every game on a wide range of hardware configurations. This commitment to variety means that we will be using both Intel and AMD based testbeds as well as a range of GPU offerings from both Nvidia and Radeon.
Our primary test system uses Intel's X99 platform, containing an Intel Core i7 6850K at a fixed clock speed of 4GHz. This testbed will use 32GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4 memory and will be powered and cooled by an HX1200i PSU and an H110i AIO liquid cooler respectively, with everything sitting inside a Corsair 460X chassis. In this system, we are using an ASUS Strix X99 motherboard.
The system below will be used to conduct the majority of our game testing. This system will be used in this review unless otherwise stated.
Game Test Rig
Intel i7 6850K @4.0 GHz
ASUS X99 Strix
Corsair Vengeance LP 4x8GB DDR4 3200MHz
Corsair H110i GT
Windows 10 x64 "May 2019" Update
No gaming test suite would be complete without a large selection of GPUs. At OC3D out current test suite covers Nvidia's RTX 20-series and GTX 10-series alongside AMD's RX Vega and RX 500 series graphics cards.
Starting with Metro Exodus, we began testing new PC games with Nvidia's latest RTX series of graphics cards. In our testing, we currently use the mid-range RTX 2060 and uber high-end RTX 2080 Ti entering our graphics card lineup. In time we hope to have a Radeon RX 5700 graphics card for RTX 2060 VS RX 5700 comparisons.
With this performance analysis, OC3D's main review staff has been able to work together from across the UK to deliver wider levels of performance testing than is common for our gaming content. This has enabled us to add a wider range of GPUs to our test suite for this review.
Radeon RX 5700 Series - Navi (RDNA)
- Powercolor Radeon RX 5700 XT Red Devil
- Powercolor Radeon RX 5700 Red Devil
Geforce RTX 20-Series
- Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
- Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPER Founders Edition
- Nvidia RTX 2070 SUPER Founders Edition
- Nvidia RTX 2060 SUPER Founders Edition
- Nvidia RTX 2060 Founders Edition
Geforce GTX 10-series
- Nvidia GTX 1080 Founders Edition
- Nvidia GTX 1070 Founders Edition
- ASUS GTX 1060 Strix Gaming OC
AMD RX Vega Series
- AMD Radeon VII
- AMD RX Vega 64
- AMD RX Vega 56
AMD RX 500 Series
- AMD RX 580 Strix OC
Keyboard & Mouse
To control this setup, we will be using Corsair Strafe RGB keyboard with Cherry MX Silent keys alongside a Corsair M65 RGB mouse, matching the general theme of this RGB illuminated system.
Cherry MX Silent Keys are ideal for gaming, coming with similar characteristics as Cherry MX Red keys, but with quieter operation. This comparative silence will help keep players immersed in their games, without the distracting clicks that are present in other Cherry key switches.