Total War: Three Kingdoms PC Performance Review

Graphical Settings Comparison - The Campaign Map

Total War: Three Kingdoms PC Performance Review

Graphical Settings Comparison - The Campaign Map  

Before we enter into this graphical comparison, we will note that Total War: Three Kingdoms' texture settings are not defined by the user's chosen graphical preset. Texture settings are defined by how much VRAM the game detects, defaulting to Ultra Textures when more than 4GB (maybe 3GB) of VRAM is detected.

This feature ensures that the maximum level of texture detail is utilised in Total War: Three Kingdoms, a wise decision given the minimal impact that texture settings have on game performance. So long as you have enough space within your GPU's frame buffer, texture settings within PC games have a negligible impact on performance, at least in most cases.      

Moving from Total War: Three Kingdom's Low preset to Medium results in a significant uptick to the levels of graphical fidelity that are offered by the game, adding shadows to the campaign map alongside higher quality trees and a larger number of trees and other geometric features on the campaign map. Three Kingdoms' medium settings will also decrease pop-in within the campaign map, creating a smoother looking appearance when scrolling through the game world. 

All that said, Total War: Three Kingdom's low preset is more than good enough to deliver players a pleasing game experience, with the improved framerates that are offered by these settings making the game well suited to older gaming PCs and notebooks.  


(Low VS Medium)
Total War: Three Kingdoms PC Performance Review  Total War: Three Kingdoms PC Performance Review

 
Moving to Total War: Three Kingdom's High settings will activate the game's Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA) solution, resulting in a considerable increase in the game's sharpness while making the game appear less grainy. In all, TAA delivers PC gamers a massive improvement to Three Kingdom's graphical fidelity, dealing with much of the game's aliasing while delivering sharper results than FXAA.

At High, we can also see that the geometric detail of the scene has increased further, especially within cities, and that shadows are being rendered to a higher level of detail and at distances that are further from the player's viewport. 

Given the additional sharpness and the respectable game performance levels that are offered by these settings, Total War: Three Kingdoms' High preset is the preset that we believe that most PC gamers should target, assuming they have enough PC performance to achieve playable framerates. 


(Medium VS High)
Total War: Three Kingdoms PC Performance Review  Total War: Three Kingdoms PC Performance Review

 
At Ultra we can see advanced graphical features take hold, with SSAO, Depth of Field, increased shadow detail and other details increasing the Total War; Three Kingdoms' graphical appeal. 

Even with these changes, it is hard to call these changes worthwhile when it comes to performance cost, as most PC gamers would prefer higher framerates over higher levels of graphical detail. Ultra settings at 1080p will require a graphics card that's on par with the RX Vega 64 or GTX 1080 to achieve 60FPS framerates, and even then dips below that target will be frequent.  


(High VS Ultra)
Total War: Three Kingdoms PC Performance Review  Total War: Three Kingdoms PC Performance Review
  

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Most Recent Comments

26-05-2019, 13:57:17

NeverBackDown
Fantastic write up Mark

I too did some limited testing and let me tell you the performance is certainly better than Warhammer 2, but man some settings are insane!

TAA in my testing easily eats up 11-12 FPS. Shadows also are extremely demanding, basically everything that was extremely demanding before still is. Though the major improvement to CPU performance is definitely helping make it a more consistent and better gameplay experience.

It looks like I'll dial down every setting except unit sizes to high. Not much benefit using more based off the screenshots.

I also would like to see separate settings for campaign and battle. They can be so much different in terms of framerates it's makes you have to take into account both modes and dial back settings.Quote

26-05-2019, 18:50:16

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverBackDown View Post
Fantastic write up Mark

I too did some limited testing and let me tell you the performance is certainly better than Warhammer 2, but man some settings are insane!

TAA in my testing easily eats up 11-12 FPS. Shadows also are extremely demanding, basically everything that was extremely demanding before still is. Though the major improvement to CPU performance is definitely helping make it a more consistent and better gameplay experience.

It looks like I'll dial down every setting except unit sizes to high. Not much benefit using more based off the screenshots.

I also would like to see separate settings for campaign and battle. They can be so much different in terms of framerates it's makes you have to take into account both modes and dial back settings.
Thanks. Yeah, there are lot of complexities to the Total War series.

This game definitely runs better than Warhammer II, that said, the extra unit variety and the unit sizes that some factions offer do not do that game any favours. The Skaven will kill your CPU cycles faster than any of those dwarf things.

While TAA can be demanding, it is a great addition to the game. It deals with a lot of the aliasing and smooths over a lot of the fuzziness that the game has with FXAA or no AA. As nice as MSAA sounds on paper, it is more demanding and doesn't address all types of aliasing.

I'd love to have that 5GHz i9-9900KS right now...Quote

26-05-2019, 20:39:06

NeverBackDown
Playing at 1440p it reduces the need for TAA but it still does look slightly better. But with my 1080 just maintaing 60fps is enough of a task. Adding TAA drops me to the 45-50 range. So i'll stick with no TAA.

I use extreme unit settings to, which is also another reason TAA is such a big performance hit since it has to calculate for all the extra units.Quote
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