Total War: Three Kingdoms PC Performance Review

Graphical Settings Comparison - Real-time Battles - Part 1

Total War: Three Kingdoms PC Performance Review

Graphical Settings Comparison - Real-time Battles - Part 1

To start, we will remind you that Total War: Three Kingdoms' default texture quality settings are defined by the user graphics card, not their chosen in-game preset. Simply put, if the player's graphics card has enough VRAM, the game will run at the highest texture quality option available. In the case of 4GB or larger graphics card, Ultra Textures will be selected. As such, the screenshots below are all taken with Ultra texture settings, as even today's low-end gaming graphics cards offer at least 4GB of VRAM. 

At low settings, Total War: Three Kingdoms puts unit size to a minimum, reduced draw distances and detail levels for grass, trees and other foliage and removes shadows from the game. This drastic simplification allows Total War: Three Kingdoms to run on some extremely low-end setups. 

Cranking the game up to the medium preset presents players with larger unit sizes, increased grass/foliage detail levels and draw distances and enables higher fidelity details on off-map features, as is visible on the game's distant mountains. Shadows have also been added to the scene, adding a lot of extra depth to the scene. 
 


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

At high settings, unit sizes make another leap forward, while the game's TAA greatly improved Total War: Three Kingdom's visuals by smoothing out aliased sections of the scene, such as the grass and other small details. Unlike the Campaign mode, TAA does not deliver a sharper presentation than TAA in battle, appearing sharper in some areas and blurrier in others.     

In all, TAA looks better than FXAA, as it deals with aliasing better and presents a similarly clear final image. You will notice if you switch from TAA to FXAA, with TAA offering the best final image. 


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

 
At Ultra settings we see a significant drop in game performance over high, with features like depth of field, SSAO and increases in foliage and shadow detail all having an impact on the game's framerate. 

In Total War, players are surveying the battlefield and are unlikely to spot these finer details in the heat of battle, though they are nontheless welcome graphical upgrades. If you have the PC performance to spare, play Total War: Three Kingdoms at Ultra, but if you want a more playable gameplay experience, base your custom settings on the game's High preset, not Ultra. 


(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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