A Plague Tale: Requiem: PC analysis, optimized settings – and performance improvements thanks to the new patch

We’ve already established that A Plague Tale: Requiem is a graphically demanding game – hence the move to a 30fps/40fps target for Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, despite running at native 1440p with an upscaling. time scale for 4K output and often fails to maintain its performance target. Looking for answers on how heavy this game is, we can turn to the PC version for answers – just like we did with Gotham Knights.

Adding extra spice is the arrival of a new patch for the game. We were hoping this would add ray tracing support for PC, but alas it didn’t – but as you know You’ll see, Asobo has made some solid performance improvements here. For PC users looking to get even better frame rates, we’ve also put together a detailed analysis of the settings as well as console vs PC performance comparisons.

First, let’s talk about the recent patch. On consoles we found a number of performance pressure points, but to address just one, with our heroes surrounded by blazing hell, it could drop below 30fps on PlayStation 5. The new patch improves performance by 35% on the Sony console, while the Series X boost brings it to its 40fps limit. Interestingly though, the PC has the exact same optimization with a similar frame rate boost when tested on an RTX 2070 Super, the closest GPU we could find to match PS5 performance.

Our video review of the PC version of A Plague Tale: Requiem, with console equivalent settings, optimized settings, performance analysis – plus a look at the benefits of the recent patch.

For PC users, optimized settings are clearly the way to go and we’ve put this together from two different angles. First, we ran our own performance measurements and weighed the cost of various settings against how they looked onscreen. Second, we used the PlayStation 5 as another point of comparison and matched the PC settings to the console release. In short, developer Asobo Studio itself has implemented its own “optimized settings” to extract the best value for money from the consoles, so why not take advantage of their perspective as well?

In reality, my optimized settings and Asobo’s are indeed very similar. For the most part, my picks for best balance in settings basically turn out to be average across the board with ultra textures. Asobo’s choices for PlayStation 5 are essentially identical – with one exception. It seems that distant details correspond to medium settings, while foreground details correspond to high settings. If you really want to match console settings precisely, you can achieve that by editing the game’s .ini file, but ultimately there’s little gain in doing so.

Stacking my choice of settings against the ultra basic preset, various mini-savings across the board add up to a nice performance boost – in a test using RTX 2070 Super, there’s an 18% increase in performance. frame rate in 4K DLSS performance mode, up to a 29% increase in DLSS quality mode.

Individual adjustments to optimized settings only make small differences, but add them up and the overall difference can be quite significant.
Settings optimized for PC Console Equivalent Parameters
Ambient Occlusion Medium Medium
Motion blur Medium Medium
Draw distance Medium Medium/High Mix
Contact the Shadows Has no importance Medium
Depth of field Medium Medium
Volumetric lights Medium Medium
Screen Space Reflections Medium Medium
Skylights Medium Medium
Textures Ultra Ultra

The fact that we can 100% match console settings allows us to compare different PC graphics cards and compare them to the PlayStation 5 release in a performance-limited scene. With an exact match of settings, the RTX 2070 Super is the closest GPU I own that matches the PlayStation 5 release. I also found that the game favors Nvidia GPUs more than their AMD counterparts, as the RTX 2060 Super is unusually faster than the RX 5700, while the RTX 3080 performs significantly better than the RX 6800 XT.

Throughout this generation – so far, at least – we’ve noticed how close the performance of the PlayStation 5 is to the theoretically more powerful Xbox Series X, but A Plague Tale: Requiem definitely favors the Microsoft machine, with a 25% performance increase in measurable scenes. (i.e. those that fall below the frame rate ceiling). That’s greater than the nearly 20% difference they have in terms of compute, but lines up almost perfectly with the advantage the Series X has in terms of raw memory bandwidth: 560 GB/s for the Preferred GPU RAM on Series X versus 448 GB/s on Playstation 5.

The big question surrounding A Plague Tale: Requiem on consoles was whether Asobo could trade pixels for performance, offering a 60fps mode. I think this is possible, barring some CPU limitations I’ve noticed in-game. The RTX 2070 Super can deliver console settings at native 1080p, but scenes with lots of characters on screen are heavy on CPU resources, so I think a consistent 60fps wouldn’t be possible on consoles – but could still work well if you’re prepared for 50-60fps in places and absolutely if you have a display with support variable refresh rate (VRR).

Optimized settings help, but Asobo himself brought a number of optimizations to the game with his recent patch. Here are some snapshots showing how the PS5 and PC are both benefiting from the studio’s work.
Average frame rate Percentage differential
PlayStation 5 (v-sync, 40fps mode) 32.51 100%
Radeon RX5700 25.36 78.0%
GeForce RTX 2060 Super 28.12 86.5%
GeForce RTX 2070 Super 33.74 103.8%
GeForce RTX 2080Ti 47.70 146.7%
Radeon RX 6800 XT 56.26 173.1%
GeForce RTX 3080 61.26 188.4%
GeForce RTX 4090 121.19 372.8%
GeForce RTX 4090 + DLSS 3 162.56 500.0%

It’s rare that we can get an exact match between PC and consoles. It’s always interesting to see how a fixed platform like a console matches up with the ever-changing lineup of PC graphics hardware, and it seems the correlation between consoles and PC GPUs remains pretty much where it’s been since. launch, with Sony and Microsoft boxes delivering performance broadly equivalent to RTX 2070 Super or RTX 2080, within a few percentage points. The RTX 4090 score shows what the state-of-the-art PC looks like with a very impressive gain. For the DLSS 3 result, note that this uses frame generation in combination with the console equivalent settings – there is no DLSS 2 scaling included in the frame rate result.

The comparison between the PlayStation 5 GPU and the RX 5700 is also interesting. Both have a similar architecture in terms of rasterization, both have 36 compute units, but due to clock speed differences, we’re looking at 7.9 TF for the AMD card versus 10.3 TF on the Sony console. In short, the RX 5700 has 77% of the computing power of the PlayStation 5 GPU and in my tests we get a close match with 78% of the performance – a margin of error difference.

We’re still waiting for the ray tracing fix for the PC version – although the .ini file suggests that RT may be limited to ray tracing shadows only, which would be a fairly limited implementation – but in the meantime it looks like Asobo spent a lot of time optimizing the game with great effect. Performance is much improved on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and it’s also good to see that these are genuine optimizations as opposed to, say, noticeable feature removal.

Likewise, it’s great to see that the PC version of the game also benefits from the same measure – if you haven’t played the game yet, it’s worth checking it out, and if you’re playing on PC, you’ll get both the benefits of Asobo’s optimization work and the boost of optimized settings too!

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