Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia PC Performance Review
Published: 10th May 2018 | Source: OC3D Internal Testing | Price: |
The Campaign Map - Performance Issues & Graphical Comparison
Even at the game's lowest settings, we can see that Thrones of Britannia can get incredibly CPU limited, with our 4GHz i7 6850K failing to allow our GTX 1080 to achieve 50% GPU utilisation when using the games Low Preset.
It is unsurprising then to see that the game's framerate barely changes as we move towards the game's medium preset, with the framerate in our screenshot lowering by a mere 4FPS while seeing huge improvements on overall graphical quality.
When using Thrones of Britannia's Medium Preset, we can see shadows arrive around foliage, characters and environmental features like the Giants Causeway on the right in the screenshots below.
At this higher preset terrain details also improves and both grass and trees detail with grassy or forested areas becoming significantly denser.
Moving between Medium and High settings the most significant graphical difference within the campaign is a boost in shadow detail, with more objects casting shadows while existing shadow casts become a lot sharper, as is evident when looking at the major settlement of Duin Sebuirgi and the shadows cast on the sea by the Giants Causeway.
On the campaign map, the change from Medium to high offers a minimal visual difference, explaining why the game's framerate and GPU utilisation barely changes. Even at high settings Thrones of Britannia remains CPU limited in the campaign.
At Ultra Settings the two most substantial graphical changes can be attributed to Ambient Occlusion and the movement from Trilinear to Anisotropic filtering.
Anisotropic filtering offers much more detailed lighting simulation, with more realistic darkened areas, particularly around the Giants Causeway, around forested regions and within the screenshotted settlement of Duin Sebuirgi.
Looking at terrain textures it is also clear that everything appears sharper, thanks mostly to the addition of Anisotropic filtering, albeit a mere 2x version of the effect. As we have said before, this graphical effect has a minimal impact on performance, so most players of Thrones of Britannia can afford to crank this setting up to 16x.
The primary differenced between Thrones of Britannia's Ultra and Extreme settings is its use of 4x MSAA and 4x ANisotropic filtering, with the settings' increased unit sizes having no impact on the game's graphics or performance in the campaign.
While the addition of more anisotropic filtering is helpful, the use of 4x MSAA does a great job decreasing the appearance of jaggies on sharp edges, particularly around grass and across the mountain tops.
At these settings, the campaign map is so CPU limited that use of 4X MSAA delivers no decrease in overall performance at 1080p on our GTX 1080, increased increasing the GPU's utilisation to around 80%.