Borderlands 3 benchmark performance round-up - Expected FPS from every major graphics card

Written by Jon Sutton on Fri, Sep 13, 2019 4:40 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

Borderlands 3, one of the biggest launches of the year, has arrived today, although it's been far from plain sailing. There have been reports of performance struggles, DirectX 12 woes, and all sorts of issues on top of that pesky Epic Games Store exclusivity which will put a few off.

Handing over $60 is never easy, particularly if you're unsure of your performance. Here we've assimilated data based on our BL3 benchmarks, performance reports, and user-submitted benchmarks for Borderlands 3.

This provides a guide to what sort of performance you can expect in Borderlands 3 if you want to max out its graphics settings, depending on your graphics card. There are external variables such as CPU to account for, but these benchmark results are assuming the graphics card is the bottleneck.

Borderlands 3 benchmarks are available for 1080p, 1440p and 4K resolutions across a complete range of GPUs from AMD and Nvidia's previous three graphics card generations.

There are two red vertical lines for each bar that indicate 30 frames per second and 60 frames per second. If a graphics card scores below 30fps in a benchmark it’ll be red, if it’s between 30 and 60 it’s yellow, and anything 60 frames per second or higher is green.

All of this data is also viewable on Borderlands 3's game page, as well as on an array of other AAA PC titles. You can also head to the page of just about any graphics card from the past three generations and see plenty of extensive in-game benchmarks, such as the GeForce RTX 2060 Super

Last but not least, you can also pit two cards head-to-head to compare their gaming performance directly, such as the GeForce RTX 2070 versus the AMD Radeon RX 5700.

Borderlands 3 1080p/Ultra Graphics Card Benchmarks (Average FPS)

Click to enlarge

What's immediately noticeable here is that Borderlands 3's recommended specs are absolutely not high enough to play at 1080p/Ultra with satisfactory frame rates. Gearbox suggest either a GeForce GTX 1060 or a Radeon RX 590, which hit averages of 41 fps and 45.5 fps respectively. Turn off that volumetric fog and it may just be doable but these graphics cards are more suited to High/Medium if you want to hit a locked 60 fps in BL3. 

In terms of which graphics cards can hit the elusive 1080/60 on Ultra in Borderlands, Nvidia's entire GeForce RTX 20 series can do the job, as can AMD's top-end models such a the RX Vega 64, the Radeon VII, and the Radeon RX 5700 series. It's an exclusive club though, and Borderlands 3 is actually quite a demanding game overall.

 

Borderlands 3 1440p/Ultra Graphics Card Benchmarks (Average FPS)

Click to enlarge 

Take the high up to 1440p and you're in rarefied company if you can play Borderlands 3 at 1440/60 on Ultra. Just five graphics cards can manage this, and they're all on the wrong side of $500. Ultra's just a target though and all of the graphics cards with yellow results should be able to run Borderlands 3 at 60 frames per second provided they dropped a few graphics settings (or presets). Anything from the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and down is really pushing it though, and these graphics cards are much better suited to 1080p.

 

Borderlands 3 4K/Ultra Graphics Card Benchmarks (Average FPS)

Click to enlarge

  

You should probably only be considering running Borderlands 3 at 4K screen resolution if you've got an absolute monster of a PC. Ultra will hit any system hard, even those with a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti/ Running in SLI or CrossFire could do the trick though, depending on how good Borderlands 3's multi-GPU support is.

We would imagine 4K/High is the sweet spot for the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, although we'd probably be a little bit hesitant to play Borderlands 3 on 4K at all considering the hefty frame rate hit. It's a bit of an odd turn of events really as Borderlands 3 doesn't look like a pixel pushing powerhouse. Here's hoping Gearbox is already busy with BL3 PC performance optimisation.

So we hope you enjoy exploring this new GPU FPS data and as ever we’re really keen to hear if you’ve got any great suggestions for new features. You can find plenty more of these performance comparisons across game and graphics card pages.

Our favourite comments:

Boy, can't wait for when this game comes out on Steam, maybe then we'll also have the GPUs this game was developed for!

Myrmiron

Good point. But this case the game doesn't have the visuals to justify the dismal frame rates.

GDAnon_516417

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04:05 Sep-29-2019

metro is still harder to run at ultra , also no one uses that motion blur anyway it fights against everything in your gpu and its ugly

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05:54 Sep-18-2019

What CPU did they use? An FX8350? There is something really wrong with these benchmarks.

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19:55 Sep-18-2019

Not at all, on ultra the game is 2x times more demanding than on high... it's just the ultra settings that are garbage and on high it looks 99% as good.

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20:05 Sep-18-2019

I think its an older Haswell E platform either way they do have some perf downlift from spectre and meltdown about 10% at worst but still it's not a CPU issue despite many people saying that they get stuttering on quad cores but idunno which CPU is used probably the 6 core intel one either way its still a good cpu

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10:55 Sep-19-2019

Guru3D got the same results +/- 2-3FPS and they are using an i9 9900k. It's ultra that is BS, it doesn't really look different from High and it cuts the FPS in half.

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10:56 Sep-19-2019

And the game barely scales beyond 4 cores/8 threads on that matter and doesn't at all above 6 core/6 threads and 6 cores/12 threads.

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12:45 Sep-19-2019

Can definitely confirm that it is not CPU bound, my R5 2600X gets higher utilization on only like 2-3 cores, rest are low. Like it will spread load over cores, but most will be like 20%-ish utilization or even less. So yeah, it is very GPU bound. And even dropping settings doesn't change that much, though I didn't exactly try medium or low.

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17:17 Sep-19-2019

i dont have the game i just heard people say they get stuttering on quad cores but im pretty sure it has nothing to do with the CPU as i watched a review and the guy said on his 2080Ti he couldnt maintain 60fps on high at 1080p so it's not that ultra is bs the game is just piss poorly optimized not the settings.

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17:21 Sep-19-2019

But he also said other people report fine performance with different rigs so yeah... it's not the preset settings themselves it's just another poorly optimized gearbox game that will work fine on your system but run like crap on a different system. Different areas run differently obviously so it depends

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17:50 Sep-19-2019

new Denuvo is a biatch.

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16:20 Sep-17-2019

Oof, my 1070 just barely makes it at 1080p. This is not good at all.

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16:23 Sep-17-2019

Yes, but with literally a few settings turned down it looks 99.9% the same and performs much better.

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17:22 Sep-17-2019

Ah, like most games. That's good at least for us.

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21:33 Sep-17-2019

Like I said below, check out Hardware Unboxed's video about this, i have 90fps easily and often even more.

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09:30 Sep-17-2019

???? eek only 43fps. but wait this is just with 1 card right? so my 2 1080's beat still beats 1 rtx

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19:30 Sep-16-2019

How is anyone finding the optimisation in terms of CPUs? My 1060 looks to be fine, but am a tad worried that my i5 4440 and 8gb ram might be a bit of an issue... any thoughts?

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19:37 Sep-16-2019

change cpu and ram xd

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10:55 Sep-15-2019

gtx 1070 not even reaching 60fps in 1080p, yikes...

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16:14 Sep-16-2019

really now? its 59 fps if all you want is 60

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16:53 Sep-16-2019

Maybe it looked like i was comparing 1fps but what i meant that 59 or 60 is still very low for 1080p with 1070 especially when graphics are not that good.

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19:20 Sep-16-2019

I would really advise you to look at Hardware Unboxed game setting optimization guide on Youtube. There are few unnecessary performance hogs in the game and you can tune them down to get will past 60FPS and difference will only be noticeable on screenshots, if at all. This is measured at ultra and I always say, ultra is for screenshots, high is for playing.

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08:44 Sep-15-2019

Check out Hardware Unboxed's video about the settings, runs fine with my GTX 1070 at around 90-100fps-

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23:58 Sep-14-2019

My gtx 1060 already runs current demanding games at 40 fps 1080p ultra settings, but the graphics in this game looks just a little bit better than borderlands 2 and tales of borderlands but nothing too crazy to justify the performance cost, i think the gtx 1060 6gb should at least be between 55-60 fps avg.This game really isnt optimized.

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22:53 Sep-13-2019

is this a joke ? either that or the game has to be the worst pc port in years, probably even beating " arkham knight " to the title, and at the same time i'm having a constant 60+ fps on gears 5 with everything maxed out to ultra and bl3 is no where near that game in term of graphics
https://m.imgur.com/gallery/XBEgUvn

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06:52 Sep-14-2019

I'm running it on Ultra at 55 FPS and i feel like there is no stutter or something that could affect my gaming. No fluctuations except in cutscenes where is 30 locked. Don't even try DX 12.

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22:37 Sep-13-2019

Borderlands has always been poorly optimised so im not suprised i remember opening the inventory menu in borderlands and it was a slideshow between selecting weapons dont think that was ever fixed either still the main games ran pretty meh. Not buying it though so idk if the numbers check out but worse than control?

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23:32 Sep-13-2019

Yeah, I was telling my friends the other day that Borderlands 3 will probably be just as poorly optimised like the older games. Gearbox just made it run even worse than the previous games The remastered version of Borderlands 1 is still a mess on PC and hasn't even received a single update to fix any of the issues. They have zero support for PC and don't care about their consumer base either. I am surprised to see them support DX 11 and 12 (kinda) though, didn't think they would add that in Borderlands 3.

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18:59 Sep-14-2019

I'm worried about the VR adaptation of borderland2 on PC coming this autumn.
Maybe we should take a look at the most demanding graphic option and it turn down.

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22:20 Sep-13-2019

Seems to me like this chicken escaped oven way too early and will have to be chased with flamethrower to get it fully cooked... or in other words, game didn't get optimized, just like DX12 support didn't get finished, and they will need to patch things while they are selling early version for full price. In other words, typical AAA industry. :-D

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00:10 Sep-14-2019

Oh, the irony of calling the industry "AAA" when it's becoming infamous for anything but...

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01:21 Sep-14-2019

anything but what?

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13:27 Sep-14-2019

The words "anything but" at the end of Hank's sentence basically means "not at all". In short he's saying the AAA gaming industry is currently a big joke for the most part.


https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/anything%20but

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22:18 Sep-13-2019

According to this statistics, it will be one of the worst optimized game ever

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21:47 Sep-13-2019

Ouch and it's borderlands 3, imagine next year's AAA games and how demanding they'll be. XD


Basically for 1080p the bare minimum of a GPU for this game at ultra 60fps is the gtx 1660Ti/gtx 1070 or the vega 56, ouch. Medium settings 1080p anyone? XD

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22:18 Sep-13-2019

I do question how optimized B3 is anyway. That DX12 support keeps telling me how unfinished it is. Plus ultra is for screenshots anyway, I usually drop to high for playing. Also it might also have some setting that makes minor visual difference but really hogs performance, I do look forward for setting performance breakdown.

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22:47 Sep-13-2019

Well borderlands has never had the best optimization, but still if it's GPU bottlenecked then it's the graphics that are demanding and it appears to be exactly that. Not that you can't optimize graphics, but still.


And I'd say that in modern games medium looks 80-95% as good as Ultra in many, many games. Above medium it's usually the distanant object details that improve, and somewhat the shadows and lighting.


Many older games, usually last-gen had huge difference between all or almost all settings.

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19:47 Sep-13-2019

Boy, can't wait for when this game comes out on Steam, maybe then we'll also have the GPUs this game was developed for!

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17:07 Sep-13-2019

At first glance it looks like the game is really poorly optimized. I mean, the best GPU in the market can't even reach 60 fps at 4K?

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22:09 Sep-13-2019

Yeah, one would almost think that broken DX12 support was sign of things to come... it almost sounds like it got rushed. :-D

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23:12 Sep-13-2019

Counter point - the game could BE just that demanding. The best GPU on the market doesn't mean it's the best there will ever be. There will be games later on it won't be able to do 4k/60.

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05:39 Sep-14-2019

Good point. But this case the game doesn't have the visuals to justify the dismal frame rates.

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07:29 Sep-14-2019

The stuff under the skin that we don't see can make or break a game. Excess polygons, especially in the distance, can cripple a GPU.


I'm just playing devil's advocate because I keep seeing still much negativity on here.

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16:44 Sep-13-2019

How the hell does Gtx 1050 get better fps than 1050 ti?

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17:01 Sep-13-2019

Might be the wrong ID attached, I shall check

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17:08 Sep-13-2019

how do you guys calculate these expected perf. results?

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17:12 Sep-13-2019

It was a problem with the 1050 and 1650 IDs being the wrong way around. Will update once the changes filter through. Cheers for the spot!

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17:21 Sep-13-2019

OK fixed now and updated

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17:22 Sep-13-2019

the rx460 should be much faster than the vega 8 too

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17:24 Sep-13-2019

the gtx 950 can't be on par with the gtx 1050 either

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17:34 Sep-13-2019

@Jon please revise this chart cause there are a lot of errors eg. weaker cards ahead of stronger ones, I won't list all of them

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23:38 Sep-13-2019

they are not errors, it happends many times when the game is pooorly optimised to the point that in some cases a 1070 performs better than 2080 lol

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Can They Run... |

Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 10GB
| 30FPS, High, 1080p
Core i3-8100 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 32GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-4770K 4-Core 3.5GHz GeForce GTX 980 4GB 32GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i5-10400F 6-Core 2.90GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Ti MSI Ventus 2X 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [5 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-10700F 8-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 970 Gigabyte G1 Gaming 4GB Edition 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-11400F 6-Core 2.6GHz GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-3770 4-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB 16GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-4770K 4-Core 3.5GHz GeForce GTX 980 4GB 32GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Xeon E3-1230 GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gigabyte G1 Gaming 4GB 16GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-3470 3.2GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Gigabyte G1 Gaming 4GB 12GB
66.6667% Yes [3 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 720p
Core i3-10100E 4-Core 3.20GHz GeForce GTX 750 Ti Asus OC 2GB Edition 16GB