Call of Duty: Modern Warfare best PC graphics settings for optimised performance

Written by Jon Sutton on Fri, Sep 20, 2019 2:47 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

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's beta test is rattling away right now on PC, offering up a bunch of maps to modes to play around with ahead of next month's launch. We've been busy messing around with it, primarily because we were very interested to see how Infinity Ward's new game engine holds up. The answer, unsurprisingly, is 'very well'.

But, as the old saying goes, you can never have too many frames. While performance with a GeForce RTX 2060 on Ultra was, by and large, fantastic, there were a few minor dips and stutters which led me to thinking what would be the optimal graphics settings for playing COD:: Modern Warfare.

The purpose of this exercise, really, is to drop down from the maximum graphics settings as low as we can get before notice a discernible drop in graphics quality. Of course, every graphics setting will have subtle differences when examined under a microscope, but this is designed to find the reasonable upper limit to the visuals. Put your settings to anything higher than this and you’re arguably sacrificing your frame rate for very little in return.

You can see our full rundown of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s PC graphics settings here.

First of all, COD: Modern Warfare runs absolutely fantastically. With any luck, a lot of people won’t even need to make use of such a guide as this. But, if you are struggling a little with your frame rate and you don’t want to make major graphical sacrifices, this guide should be able to point you in the right direction.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Optimised Graphics Settings

  Optimised Ultra
Texture Resolution High High
Texture Filter Anisotropic Normal High
Particle Quality Low High
Bullet Impacts Enabled Enabled
Tessellation Near All
Shadow Map Resolution Normal Extra
Cache Spot Shadows Enabled Enabled
Cache Sun Shadows Enabled Enabled
Ambient Occlusion GTAO Both
Particle Lighting Normal Extra
Anti-Aliasing SMAA T2X Filmic SMAA T2X

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Optimised PC Performance

COD: Modern Warfare runs really, really well already. Infinity Ward have worked some wonders here. As such, on my particular hardware setup (PNY XLR8 GeForce RTX 2060, Intel Core i7-5820K @ 4.2 GHz, 16GB DDR4) it ran pretty much flawlessly when on Ultra/1080p.

Rendering at 1440p did reduce the frame rate somewhat though, and it's here where we begin to see the advantage of the optimised PC graphics options for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019). 

On Ultra, my average frame rate was 86.9 FPS with a minimum of 70.4 frames per second. Using the optimised settings, my average frame rate was 101.6 frames per second while the minimum was 83.9 FPS.

On average, the optimised graphics settings ran at 9.7% higher frame rates. The real benefit was to be found in the minimum FPS though. Ultra dipped down near 70fps while Optimised only barely dropped down to Ultra's average FPS. It's a more stable experience. The minimum frame rate on Optimised is almost 25% faster. On top of this, the 0.1 lows, which can indicate stuttering, show Ultra can dip below those all-important 16ms frame times.

  Optimised Ultra
Average FPS 101.6 92.6
Minimum FPS 87.9 70.4
Maximum FPS 115.3 113.9
1% Low framerate 76.3 64.4
0.1% Low frame rate 60.9 58.5

COD: Modern Warfare Optimised vs Ultra Graphics Comparison

Slide your cursor over to compare

Here you can see a quick comparison of my Optimised graphics settings versus Call of Duty: Modern Warfare beta's maxed out graphics settings. Unlike our usual Low vs Ultra graphics comparisons, we basically want these pairs of screenshots to look as similar as possible.

They look almost identical, although there is probably a case to be made for turning Shadow Map Resolution up to High to prevent a handful of rare but unsightly aliased shadows. That said, while playing a match I couldn't accurately eyeball which of the two graphics settings it was set to, which was the purpose of this exercise.

So, how are you all finding the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare PC beta test so far? And which graphics settings have you settled on? Remember as well you can add your FPS results to GD and help other users benefit from the knowledge of your performance data. The more that's added, the more accurate it all becomes.

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14:16 Sep-23-2019

Let's be honest, CoD ain't winning any awards in the looks category but the new engine does help in improving visuals especially when compared to Black Ops 4.


Also the game runs rock solid on Max settings even on a GTX 1060. I did a video on it and it never dipped below 60 fps for me.
https://youtu.be/CdXzSpIrxFU

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08:53 Sep-22-2019

Why does the game look like a 2004 cardboard game even on ultra? Is it just because of the beta? I've tried the 32v32 and it looks worse than MW1 in 2007 or whenever it launched...And yes, I've switched the render to 100% from the default 50%

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15:25 Sep-21-2019

Eh in any way I get 100+ frames so it doesn't really matter.


The only problem this game has graphically is the intense blurring the AA settings give off

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13:13 Sep-21-2019

Playing the Beta on 1080p Ultra settings, Mimimum frames were 60, Average is 80 and maximum Frames ive seen were 105 Fps, which is probably pretty fine for my Setup, except the VRAM is maxed out at 6GB, which gives me some small Lag Spikes.

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11:05 Sep-21-2019

your teamates got killed cuz of optimized settings

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06:17 Sep-21-2019

The lighting and shadow changes a lot. Other than that very minor changes.

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19:43 Sep-20-2019

Why would you set Texture Filter Anisotropic to medium? I've never encountered any frame drops by setting this option to 16x (which is considered ultra in all games I know)

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17:45 Sep-20-2019

In the second picture, optimised looks better than ultra.

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19:43 Sep-20-2019

I disagree. It looks more like graphics we are used to. The ultra is setting the ambiance, while the optimized shows a pretty picture.

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00:53 Sep-21-2019

Yeah the ultra one is way better. You can really spot the ambient occlusion setting there

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09:12 Sep-23-2019

Ambient Occlusion for static objects is enabled in both Optimised and Ultra.

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08:54 Sep-24-2019

i said it cause i spot some darkened edges and softer shadows in angles, but since you say ambient occlusion is on in both cases, it resolves back to illuminations and shadows settings.

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 1070 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 8GB Edition 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz Radeon RX 570 MSI Armor OC 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 3070 MSI Gaming X Trio 8GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
APU E1-2500 Dual Core Radeon HD 8240 4GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-4670 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti EVGA Gaming 4GB 8GB
| Low, 720p
Core i7-8750H 6-Core 2.2GHz GeForce GTX 765M 8GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Xeon Processor E5620 Radeon RX 570 4GB 8GB
0% No [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600H 6-Core 3.3GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
66.6667% Yes [3 votes]