Up For Debate - Poor Quality Console Ports On PC

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Oct 17, 2015 4:00 PM

Following an outburst from Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's director earlier this week about console ports on PC being disrespectful, it got me thinking about the state of the situation and what it means for PC gamers. Make no bones about it - PC's are on the receiving end of more console ports than ever before. Plenty of them may not be directly ported per se, they could be made from the ground up for PC, but in recent years they would have never existed on PC at all. 

Plenty of franchises which up until now have never seen the light of day on PC are now cropping up, aided by what looks to be a bit of a PC gaming boom in Japan. Like it or not, console ports are a big part of gaming now. Some of these ports are a heck of a sight better than others. It might have taken its sweet time getting here, sipping on a cocktail for a few years on Vespucci beach, but Grand Theft Auto 5 was one of finest console ‘ports’ in many a year. There’s stacks more like it. The list of terrible ports is actually far smaller, but when a game like Batman: Arkham Knight comes along it tends to kick up enough anger to drown out a dozen quality PC ports.

The definition of a bad port however is up for debate. Batman: Arkham Knight, by pretty much any definition, is a bad port. I’d argue though that a port such as Tales of Zestiria, that’s locked at 30fps, isn’t. As long as it at least matches the performance of its console counterpart, without being overly demanding, I don’t have any particular issue. Sure, I’d like it to have greater resolutions, higher frame rates and additional visual options, but provided it doesn’t perform worse than its console counterpart then that’s a fair deal to me.

There’s plenty of people up in arms about games with locked frame rates. In fact, there’s even a Steam curator that goes by the name of The Framerate Police which tars games with a locked FPS badge. There’s sense in this in some places, but targeting stop-motion point ‘n’ click adventures or turn-based strategy games seems patently absurd.

I’d rather get a port with a locked frame rate than no port at all, basically. There is merit in arguing that perhaps we shouldn’t buy these ports which have perhaps had less effort put in. It certainly sends a message that we won’t put up with PC games not designed to take advantage of our extra hardware power. But it might also tell devs not to bother bringing them over at all.

Clearly there’s more than one of looking at this situation but that’s just my two cents. What’s your opinion of console ports? Would you rather buy a poor quality port than none at all, or is withholding your purchase the best way to send a message to publishers and game devs?

Which aspects put you off a PC Port? 2 Votes

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11:55 Oct-26-2015

If Microsoft shuts down XBOX ONE and helps windows to grow make restrictions about optimization if a game has to launch, It will be best change in history of MANKIND!!!

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09:21 Oct-28-2015

windows grow? It's already the most used OS and the worst by far...

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16:54 Oct-28-2015

Grow in being better for gamers..
They can actually turn the tables....

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14:54 Oct-19-2015

"It certainly sends a message that we won’t put up with PC games not designed to take advantage of our extra hardware power. But it might also tell devs not to bother bringing them over at all."
Well, if a developer decides to give us PC-gamers a game which isn't capable of running better on PC than on console,..

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14:57 Oct-19-2015

..then they should expect some, if not a lot, frustrated reactions. Of course, there are certain games on which it wouldn't matter a lot, though on the majority it does matter. People buying an inferior system shouldn't expect, nor be given, a better version of a game, or at least in my opinion.

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05:55 Oct-19-2015

It makes me sad when I think of how many PC ports are half done nowadays but we've had games like Dust An Elysian Tail and Street Fighter IV that ended up being amazing and working great on PC. There is excuse for a bad PC port.

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02:04 Oct-19-2015

Miss the days Console games were downscaled PC ports... Or am I only thinking of Battlefield 3 and Crysis? Still works out better that way. Especially visuals.

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18:11 Oct-18-2015

I think all of the above puts me off about PC ports but it has to be poor optimization.But I'd rather have a poor port than no port at all.FF Type-0 HD is a mess but at least it's there on the PC.And I'd rather play a messed up FF15 than not play it at all.

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08:19 Oct-18-2015

Pfffttt... Like hell I would buy a poor quality port in the fear that not doing so might tell devs not to bother bringing them over at all. If you're gonna bring a half-baked joke of a game to pc, better not bring it over at all.

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05:43 Oct-18-2015

batman arkham knight and AC3 surely my worst experience in console-port games. funny how AC blackflag runs great, but AC3 made my pc looks like a trash can. well, it's a trash now for sure. lol

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09:30 Oct-18-2015

I was able to get 30 fps on high-ultra at 1440*900 on AC3

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18:12 Oct-18-2015

No way man.Tell me your secret.

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08:09 Oct-19-2015

I agree I had HD 7750 And Ac3 ran like crap on it on low it gave me barely 30 fps on other hand black flag ran alot better at high settings :D

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14:02 Oct-18-2015

While I do agree with you, it is pretty ironic that AC3 even runs bad on the PS3. Any AC game pretty much runs bad on the PS3. What gives, Ubisoft?

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16:51 Oct-18-2015

really? even in console? damn, Ubisoft!

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19:36 Oct-18-2015

Yes, I got AC1 on the PS3 and it plays like 10-20 FPS. Sometimes drops even lower. Though I must say Black Flag plays a lot better than the other, except Rogue (I haven't tried it on PS3, but I believe it is even better).

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12:42 Oct-26-2015

AC1 is 30fps locked on PS3...

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12:51 Oct-24-2015

IDK, never had any problems with any AC game on my PS3, rogue and before, don't have black flag for PS4 though.

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11:56 Oct-26-2015

Actually I use nvidia and you all probably amd... And game is poorly optimised for AMD... I will upload benchmarks when I re download AC3 (slow net.... #original
_digital_content)...

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05:09 Oct-27-2015

i agree. i think it runs better with nvidia gpu. then again, i remembered there were number of user with nvidia card also suffered some graphical issues

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01:07 Oct-18-2015

This has happened so much with the last few Assassin's Greed games that i have lost interest with them and refuse the buy them. I've basically given up pre-ordering games, this even goes for Fallout 4 and i'm so hyped for it.

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09:38 Oct-18-2015

Black flag and Rogue were perfectly optimized, especially Rogue.

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14:06 Oct-18-2015

I've played Rogue and it kind of felt like the graphics in the game was worse than Black Flag (Not that the games' graphics are bad).

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16:52 Oct-18-2015

That wasn't just your feelings, Rogue is indeed less graphically heavy than Black Flag; and isn't bad as you rightfully point out. Rogue is also very well optimized, it rarely drop below 60 FPS (at like 56 at worst) on ultra on my laptop.

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08:14 Oct-19-2015

Rogue have worse graphics in comparison with black flag because it was only released for old gen consoles but black flag was released on both current and old gen consoles :)

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09:42 Oct-19-2015

I do understand that, but what is weird for me is that Rogue was released after Black Flag.

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21:11 Oct-18-2015

Black Flag's definitely not perfect, but still better off than their other games. I remember having to force triple buffer V-Sync in Black Flag, but once I did, it ran pretty well.

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00:52 Oct-18-2015

It is quite pathethic when a game comes out on all platforms, run at 1080 + 30 fps on a weak console and then I can't run it at 1080 max @ 60fps. I mean, a PS4 has what, 20% the power of my pc? Maybe even less.

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14:11 Oct-18-2015

Much, much less haha. Nice rig.

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19:38 Oct-18-2015

By any chance you were playing Watch Dogs? XD

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02:18 Oct-19-2015

I bought watch dogs not too long ago for PC because I felt it had been long enough since release that it would be fixed... Nope.

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07:46 Oct-19-2015

Same here bro. Same here. :'(

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15:12 Oct-19-2015

It's sad indeed. Mainly AAAdevs need to put so much work into making their game actually able to run on consoles that PCs gets kinda ignored, even though most profit can be earned on the PC platform. The best thing to do is just disregars every ****ty port, hurting the devs where they'll certainly feel it; their wallet

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00:40 Oct-18-2015

Poor optimization of PC port is like a slap to the face actually scratch that, its like a kick in the testicles to PC Gamers !!!


There are 5 MAJOR problems in my opinion that Gaming has:


1- Bad or out right lazy optimization !
2- Exclusives of any kind.
3- Pointless DRM like Uplay, Denuvo, Always online and many others...
4- Greedy DLCs (preorders, season pass call it what you want) that are actually ripped from the game.
5- False marketing.


NONE of this will change unless MAJORITY of gamers realize that they are the ones with the choice and have power to make gaming better !

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10:34 Oct-18-2015

I agree with everything you say. Sadly when you tell the truth you attract angry fanboys. They come with unreasonable answers like:
1- If its optimization is bad then play it on console. (Almost fells like they are getting payed by companies.)
2- If its exclusive buy aconsole. (Same as 1.)
3- Pc has piracy, pc bad, pc evil, pc eats us. (My brain cells die.)

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10:37 Oct-18-2015

...
4- Games are more expensive to make nowadays, companies need to eat too. (Like they aren't selling millions of copies already.)
5- ... (For some costumers this isn't even a problem. They can't see the flaws of final product compared to what they see in ads. And we also have "This game has just released, give it a few months" excuse.


Edit: "feels like, not fells like :D"

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12:13 Oct-18-2015

totally agree

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15:29 Oct-19-2015

I agree that the things you and CaptainESS mentioned are notable issues, which we as Pc-gamers are unfortunately seeing more and more often lately. Although there's one bigger problem, one called 'consoles'. Without these relatively expensive, severely crippled PCs (xbone and ps4 both use x86-architecture) and their..

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15:37 Oct-19-2015

..over-priced games, true PC gaming would be a whole lot further in terms of,.. err,.. well, pretty much everything. If a AAA developer decides to make a game for PC and current consoles, they'll need to assign a lot more time to making it on those consoles, due to those consoles' hardware already being outdated. ..

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15:40 Oct-19-2015

..As we all should know, time is the most valuable resource. This definitely applies to game development. If devs could use that valuable time they spend on making the game actually playable on consoles, they could much better use to improve the PC version.

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22:18 Oct-17-2015

I'm sick of game companies not optimising their games for PC coughubisoftcough

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22:38 Oct-17-2015

Looks like you ubicoughed

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22:48 Oct-17-2015

Don't forget Ubisoft's Amazing Uplay DRM :)

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23:45 Oct-17-2015

yet I bet you like steam...

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00:49 Oct-18-2015

Steam is fine.

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02:07 Oct-18-2015

all these DRMs suck.

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05:52 Oct-18-2015

Steam isn't DRM. It has an optional DRM component, but that's up to the publishers if they want to use it or not.

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09:39 Oct-18-2015

and where can I get a physical copy of my PC games, because I can't find any.... besides ordering online, then the delivery costs half to as much as the game.

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13:53 Oct-18-2015

@Eleventeen "Steam isn't DRM." Yes. Yes it is. Steam in itself while being a great distribution service is also DRM. Try copying the game files and running the game outside of Steam. Guess what? It won't work. That's the basic idea of DRM. An example of a distribution service without DRM is GOG.

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13:55 Oct-18-2015

Another thing that should be noted is that Steam has handled the DRM very well. No always-online, no limited installs. The only thing stopping you from you giving the game to everyone is that it's tied to your account and that seems to be working just fine. Other services like Uplay and Origin are adapting this as well

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16:55 Oct-18-2015

yea, steam is the good kind of DRM, the one that you barely ever notice it's there.


Uplay in the other hand...

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18:16 Oct-18-2015

Steam is ok Denuvo is bad UPlay and Origin are horrible and always online is the devil incarnate.

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19:23 Oct-18-2015

You don't need an internet connection to play steam games as there's an offline mode. Uplay however...

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16:23 Oct-19-2015

GoG all the way

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00:00 Oct-18-2015

gotta love ubisofts uwillnotplay great software right there

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00:01 Oct-18-2015

ubisoft in a nutshell:
U Pay, U Pray, U Play.

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00:44 Oct-18-2015

OMG XD.

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15:32 Oct-19-2015

saw -14 in a comment, so decided to post something in this thread xD
1) companies cannot afford to optimize their games for PCs, when they are heavily limited by console's weak performance, and definitely cannot afford to make PC version completely from scratch
2) DRM means Digital Rights Management, Steam (Store) is totally DRM, if you authorize a game online, it is DRM, no matter if you need a client (Steam, Uplay, Origin) for it or not
3) Denuvo is anti-piracy algorithm, which brainlessly encrypts and decrypts all the game content realtime, being capable of killing an SSD in few months

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15:46 Oct-19-2015

Couldn't have said it better myself. You, sir, I like you.


May I make a request? I noticed that you've made some articles on Game Debate before, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Could you please take a look at the recent Payday 2 Crimefest fraud?
It's mainly regarding Overkill's recent 'Black market update'. ..

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15:56 Oct-19-2015

..Here are some links discussing the issue:
https://www.reddit.com/r/FreePayday2/
https://www.reddit.com/r/paydaytheheist/


I just noticed this video clearly describing the problem:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1lQ9g518cg

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21:15 Oct-17-2015

and let's not forget the requirements which keep increasing for no reason, i mean even remasters have high requirements... it's stupid really sigh


devz aren't even worried about the games data size it just keeps going up too

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22:31 Oct-17-2015

Of course requirements are going up. That's how technology works.

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22:49 Oct-17-2015

It's the speed that the requirements are increasing that bothers me. To be fair, the only devs that are really guilty of pushing top requirements are the AAA companies. Thankfully there are plenty of indie devs that are pushing out quality games that won't kill a mid level rig.

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02:35 Oct-18-2015

That's how it is when something new comes out.


It was the exact same when the Xbox 360 and PS3 came out, requirements climbed drastically.

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04:13 Oct-18-2015

I personally HOPE that requirements keep going up. That means dev's are pushing hardware more. Sure, it's gonna get hard on the wallet, but I'm fine with playing at lower specs until we reach the next plateau in games in a little while. I'd much rather see games getting more and more technically advanced and have to shell out some cash to play them, than to have games not get any more high tech...

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04:15 Oct-18-2015

...if dev's catered to mid-level rigs, then we wouldn't see any advancement in gaming. I think it's better for gaming if instead of catering to current mid level hardware, that they PUSH the high end stuff, and see what they can really do with games.

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06:35 Oct-18-2015

The only problem is that the requirements are going up due to poor optimization, not improved graphics.

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20:23 Oct-17-2015

Wheres the all of the above option on the vote list?

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19:26 Oct-17-2015

Why we can't choose more than One choice ? cause everything is pissing me off !
Game is Downgraded, dont use PC Power for Graphics Settings, Optimisation is Poor, Framerate is poor, Delay is too long !

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18:56 Oct-17-2015

Poor optimizations. *looks at FFXIII

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18:49 Oct-17-2015

Ah, I voted for poor optimization (which goes without saying, these days...) but poor controls would be up there, too. You can get around resolution caps, and also frame rate locks sometimes, unless unlocking the frame rate screws up the physics engine or some other weird things happen, and if there's any capability for modding, attempts can be made at alleviating graphical downgrades. You can also usually go into the config files to mess with more graphics settings than what's available in-game, although all of this is a lot less convenient, in any case

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18:42 Oct-17-2015

Poor optimization and frame rate lock.

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18:27 Oct-17-2015

poor controls port, that's what I dislike the most.

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17:54 Oct-17-2015

1 Vote not 2 atleast it won t me vote for something else i wanted to vote for poor optimisation and graphics downgrade

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17:52 Oct-17-2015

There are usually two from that choices, First Poor Optimization, and Second is Locked Frame Rate to 30, sometimes 60 especially when I have a 144hz monitor and can handle that game above 60

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18:44 Oct-17-2015

A steady lock at 60 ain't that bad. But 30 is crap, yes.

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 720p
Core i5-4590 3.3GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Asus Pheonix 4GB 10GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti MSI OC 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1080 Ti 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 4k
Ryzen 9 3900XT 12-Core 3.8GHz GeForce RTX 2080 MSI Gaming Trio 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, 1080p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 MSI Armor 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 7 3750H 4-Core 2.3 GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Mobile 16GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-2450M 2.5GHz GeForce GT 635M 6GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen R7 1700 GeForce GTX 1080 MSI Sea Hawk 8GB Edition 20GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 5 5600X 6-Core 3.7GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Super Asus ROG Strix 8GB 32GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Ryzen 3 3100 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB 16GB
0% No [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 3 3100 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Super MSI Gaming 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1440p
Ryzen 9 3900X 12-Core 3.8GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Asus Dual OC 8GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
Core i7-5930K 6-Core 3.5GHz GeForce GTX 1080 Ti ASUS ROG STRIX 11GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen R5 1600 AF GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 4GB 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-3770 4-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 960 2GB 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
Ryzen 5 2600 Radeon RX 580 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Core i7-8700 6-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3070 AFOX 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [5 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 1070 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 8GB Edition 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i3-10105F 4-Core 3.7GHz GeForce GTX 1650 8GB
100% Yes [4 votes]