Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition graphics optimization guide

Written by Chad Norton on Mon, Nov 15, 2021 3:18 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

Rockstar's highly anticipated remasters of the original Grand Theft Auto Trilogy launched last week, and with it we got some improved visuals to classics like GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas. But what are the most demanding graphics options? And which settings can be turned down for more FPS with little to no quality loss?

In this article we will take a look at which Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - Definitive Edition graphics settings are the best to turn all the way up to Ultra and which ones can get us a little FPS boost for no real visual loss when we turn them off or down. We've compiled a list below of the most demanding graphics options in the game, so you can get a handle on what to expect when you adjust different graphics settings in the GTA Trilogy remasters to get the perfect balance of visual fidelity and FPS performance in game.

Below you will see every graphics option listed and benchmarked against a minimum graphics setting used as our baseline benchmark for Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition. From there we see which graphics options have the highest performance impact on our hardware for the least visual improvement, and then we will see which options can be turned up to max and deliver the best visual improvement in GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition.

If you want to look at some more graphics benchmarks with various gaming graphics cards running GTA Remastered Trilogy then you can check out our Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition PC Performance Benchmarks article instead.

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition PC system requirements

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition PC performance report and graphics card benchmarks

For the performance cost result baseline we used the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card - which is around the recommended GPU for Grand Theft Auto Definitive Edition - an Intel Core i7-10700K processor, and 16GB of DDR4 memory.

To standardize the benchmark tests we drove around the neighbourhood in Grand Theft Auto: San Adreas - Definitive Edition, before driving into the main city. We found this run to be pretty representative of your general experience whilst exploring the world of this game when comparing each graphics option relative to the other.

If you see any significant discrepancy/difference between the benchmark tool FPS and actual FPS returned then please do share your findings in the comments below.

There's quite a few graphics settings available in Grand Theft Auto Trilogy Definitive Edition, so we went through the 17 graphics options listed and tested each one in turn, recording the average frame rates for each and then comparing them to a baseline FPS that was recorded with all the graphics options either turned off or to their lowest settings.

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition baseline FPS

To give us a comparable FPS baseline for GTA Trilogy remastered Frame Rates achieved when all Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition's graphics settings are on lowest or OFF.

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

The further to the right the bar goes, the more demanding the graphics option is.

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What are the most demanding graphics options in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition?

As you can see in the FPS performance graph above, there are quite a few graphics settings in GTA Remastered Trilogy that can significantly impact your frame rate. Although these are only a few, and the rest of the settings actually have very minimal FPS cost, though it sometimes depends on the situation.

The most demanding graphics option in the GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition is Car Reflections at a 37.63% FPS performance cost, followed closely behind by Graphics Quality at 35.63%, World Shadow Quality at 29.67%, and then finally Depth of Field at a surprising 17.86%.

Following from that, the next most demanding graphics option in Grand Theft Auto Trilogy Definitive Edition is Ambient Occlusion at 5.6%, DIstance Scaling at 5.29%, Anti-Aliasing at 5.08%, Lens Flare at 4.88%, Texture Quality at 4.11%, Bloom at 3.13%, Anisotropic Filtering at 2.93%, Reflection Quality at 2.72%, Streetlight Quality at 2.67%, Motion Blur at 2.1%, Vehicle Light Quality at 1.9%, City Glow Effect at 1.85%, and finally Cloud Quality at 1.28%.

Apart from that though there isn't much else to mention. Some settings qill have a greater performance impact during certain situations, like car explosions or whilst travelling at night. So keep that in mind when comparing each graphics option to each other.

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition All Graphics Settings Benchmark Guide

Best Video Settings in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition

There are quite a few graphics settings available in GTA Trilogy Definitive Edition in order for us to customize our FPS and get the right balance of FPS performance and visual quality.

Below we've provided both a score for the performance impact as well as a priority score designed to recommend which graphics settings you should prioritize turning up (the higher the number, the better).

Obviously, these scores are subjective and we really do encourage you to share your own thoughts in the discussion area below on what you think are the best Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition graphics settings are. But for now, let's jump in...

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Graphics Quality

Graphics Quality Ultra setting performance impact

Graphics Quality graphics option Low compared to Ultra

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Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition Graphics Quality

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Graphics Quality 125.4

Graphics Quality option range: Low/Medium/High/Ultra

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Graphics Quality setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Seemingly affects lighting quality and how it bounces in the world.

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Anti-Aliasing

Anti-Aliasing TAA+ setting performance impact

Anti-Aliasing graphics option Off compared to TAA+

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Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition Anti-Aliasing

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Anti-Aliasing 184.9

Anti-Aliasing option range: Off/FXAA/FXAA+/TAA/TAA+

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 5/5

What does the Anti-Aliasing setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Improves image quality by reducing the amount of jagged edges on objects.

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Anisotropic Filtering

Anisotropic Filtering 16x setting performance impact

Anisotropic Filtering graphics option 2x compared to 16x

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Anisotropic Filtering 189.1

Anisotropic Filtering option range: 2x/4x/8x/16x

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Anisotropic Filtering setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Improves image quality when viewing at odd angles.

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Distance Scaling

Distance Scaling Ultra setting performance impact

Distance Scaling graphics option Close compared to Ultra

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Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition Distance Scaling

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Distance Scaling 184.5

Distance Scaling option range: Close/Medium/Far/Ultra

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Distance Scaling setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Improves distance at which objects are visible.

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Texture Quality

Texture Quality Ultra setting performance impact

Texture Quality graphics option Low compared to Ultra

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Texture Quality 186.8

Texture Quality option range: Low/Medium/High/Ultra

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Texture Quality setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Improves texture quality.

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Car Reflections

Car Reflections Planar setting performance impact

Car Reflections graphics option Screen compared to Planar

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Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition Car Reflections

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Car Reflections 121.5

Car Reflections option range: Cubemap/Screen/Planar (Low Detail)/Planar

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the Car Reflections setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Adjusts which type of reflectiosn to use for surfaces of cars.

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Cloud Quality

Cloud Quality Volumetric Max setting performance impact

Cloud Quality graphics option Material compared to Volumetric Max

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Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition Cloud Quality

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Cloud Quality 192.3

Cloud Quality option range: Material/Volumetric/Volumetric Max

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 2/5

What does the Cloud Quality setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Adjusts which type of clouds to use.

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Reflection Quality

Reflection Quality High setting performance impact

Reflection Quality graphics option Low compared to High

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Reflection Quality 189.5

Reflection Quality option range: Low/Medium/High

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Reflection Quality setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Improves reflection quality.

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City Glow Effect

City Glow Effect High Quality setting performance impact

City Glow Effect graphics option Off compared to High Quality

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Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition City Glow Effect

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
City Glow Effect 191.2

City Glow Effect option range: Off/Low Quality/High Quality

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the City Glow Effect setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Adds a soft glow effect to cities, most noticeable at night.

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World Shadow Quality

World Shadow Quality Ultra setting performance impact

World Shadow Quality graphics option Off compared to Ultra

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Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition World Shadow Quality

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
World Shadow Quality 137

World Shadow Quality option range: Off/Low/Medium/High/Ultra

Performance impact: 4/5

Priority: 4/5

What does the World Shadow Quality setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Improves shadow quality generated by world objects.

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Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion SSAO setting performance impact

Ambient Occlusion graphics option Off compared to SSAO

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Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition Ambient Occlusion

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Ambient Occlusion 183.9

Ambient Occlusion option range: Off/SSAO

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Ambient Occlusion setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Improves image quality by simulating shadows produced by objects close to each other.

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Bloom

Bloom On setting performance impact

Bloom graphics option Off compared to On

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Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition Bloom

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Bloom 188.7

Bloom option range: On/Off

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 2/5

What does the Bloom setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Enables bloom, which adds a soft glow to light sources.

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Lens Flare

Lens Flare On setting performance impact

Lens Flare graphics option Off compared to On

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Lens Flare 185.3

Lens Flare option range: On/Off

Performance impact: 2/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Lens Flare setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Enables lens flare when viewing bright light sources.

NOTE: Lens Flare cannot be enabled unless Bloom is also enabled. When disabling Bloom, Lens Flare is also automatically disabled.

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Motion Blur

Motion Blur On setting performance impact

Motion Blur graphics option Off compared to On

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Motion Blur 190.7

Motion Blur option range: On/Off

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Motion Blur setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Enables motion blur on moving objects.

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Depth of Field

Depth of Field On setting performance impact

Depth of Field graphics option Off compared to On

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Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition Depth of Field

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Depth of Field 160

Depth of Field option range: On/Off

Performance impact: 3/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Depth of Field setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Enables depth of field that blurs out the far background.

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Streetlight Quality

Streetlight Quality Max setting performance impact

Streetlight Quality graphics option Low compared to Max

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Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition Streetlight Quality

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Streetlight Quality 189.6

Streetlight Quality option range: Low/Medium/High/Max

Performance impact: 1/5

Priority: 3/5

What does the Streetlight Quality setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Improves the lighting quality of streetlights.

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Vehicle Light Quality

Vehicle Light Quality Max setting performance impact

Vehicle Light Quality graphics option Low compared to Max

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Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy The Definitive Edition Vehicle Light Quality

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Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition Avg FPS
Baseline 194.8
Vehicle Light Quality 191.1

Vehicle Light Quality option range: Low/Medium/High/Max

Performance impact: 5/5

Priority: 1/5

What does the Vehicle Light Quality setting do in Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition? Improves lighting quality generated from vehicles. Higher settings will generate shadows from all vehicle light sources.

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Conclusion

Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition graphics settings performance results and conclusion - Looking over all the results above we can see that the GTA Remastered Trilogy has a pretty decent selection of graphics settings to choose from, with only a few options that significantly affect FPS performance during gameplay.

If you want to get some extra FPS in Grand Theft Auto Trilogy Definitive Edition, the first setting you should turn down is Car Reflections (37.63% FPS cost), followed by Graphics Quality (35.63%) as these are the most demanding graphics options in the game. Additionally, you should then turn down World Shadow Quality (29.67%) and then Depth of Field (17.86%).

The rest of the graphics settings in GTA Trilogy Remaster have minimal impact on performance and so should be turned down only due to personal preference. Such as  Ambient Occlusion (5.6%), DIstance Scaling (5.29%), Anti-Aliasing (5.08%), Lens Flare (4.88%), Texture Quality (4.11%), Bloom (3.13%), Anisotropic Filtering (2.93%), Reflection Quality (2.72%), Streetlight Quality (2.67%), Motion Blur (2.1%), Vehicle Light Quality (1.9%), City Glow Effect (1.85%), and then finally Cloud Quality (1.28%).

An important note worth mentioning though: some settings will have much more impact on FPS depending on certain situations. For instance, Vehicle Light Quality affects the lighting quality and shadows produced from vehicles at night, so higher quality settings will significantly impact FPS at nighttime.

Additionally, World Shadow Quality affects shadows produced by the world. However, on Ultra settings it also renders shadows from explosions, which can dramatically reduce frame rate in those situations, so it is probably best to keep on High settings if you are already struggling to begin with.

Rockstar has already stated that they will be updating these games to improve performance at some point. So you may find that some of these results will become a little inaccurate in later versions. However, they should all remain the same performance impact relative to each other.

And that's it for the most important graphics options in Grand Theft Auto The Trilogy Definitive Edition! As always we're now passing it onto you guys! We would love to hear your thoughts on what graphics settings you turn all the way up in FH5 for little to no performance impact, and which options you turn down to get some extra frames so we can all benefit from better performance and image quality in this great looking and highly anticipated game!

Login or Register to join the debate

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16
Offline
08:53 Nov-17-2021

I feel sad, the concept of this remaster is to take a former good game, but now ugly, and make it more ugly.

1
Rep
136
Offline
11:34 Nov-16-2021

Well, a polished turd is still a turd.

4
Rep
-12
Offline
07:13 Nov-16-2021

i optimised my wallet by leaving this trash well alone

6
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6
Offline
19:10 Nov-15-2021

Why is there the dark glow around the character in some images? Reminds me of playing around with Reshade.

0
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0
Offline
03:12 Nov-17-2021

It's a terrible SSAO implementation

1
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28
Offline
16:22 Nov-15-2021

My optimization guide: dont buy it. dont look at it, dont acknowledge it exists...kinda sorry for the creator of this article that put in more effort than the developer.

17

Can They Run... |

| Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 3 3300X 4-Core 3.8GHz Radeon RX 570 4GB 16GB
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Core 2 Duo E7500 2.93GHz Radeon R7 250X Sapphire 1GB Edition 4GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10870H 8-Core 2.20GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 4k
APU A10-9700E 4-Core 3.0GHz Radeon R5 M320 2GB 12GB
0% No [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-11400 6-Core 2.7GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Asus TUF Gaming 6GB 16GB