The down and dirty on performance of Titanfall 2
Our predictions mostly rang true, in that the older engine that’s been increasingly modified and made efficient is good for all GPUs. Despite being DirectX 11 only, the rendering pipeline is optimized enough that DX12 or Vulkan and their more efficient asynchronous compute isn’t explicitly needed. We did notice that it tends to use not more than three cores, active most on one, so a strong single-threaded CPU does help.
We tested by continually running through the first level which involves a lot of foliage and has you both on foot and in your Titan. There is some variation, as there always is with those games without a built-in benchmark, but it should be relatively minimal. The AI is good, but didn’t change tactics drastically during our run through.
At 1080P Titanfall 2 is playable on near anything. With a good, strong CPU you can use down to an AMD R7 370 and still enjoy the game. ~30 FPS actually feels alright given the pace of the game, even during intense moments that frame rate is acceptable. Of course it really comes down more to preference, but if your resources are limited, even lower-end, less expensive GPUs such as the GTX 960 and R7 370 can power the game.
Increasing the resolution shows us that again, both AMD and NVIDIA are limited only by the resources at their disposal for churning out polygons and textures. With that they list is nicely stacked according to that. The Titan X Pascal edition is far ahead of everyone, of course. What’s interesting is how potent and fast the R9 Fury X is. It seems that Fiji was such a departure with the inclusion of HBM that drivers are taking quite some time to truly mature. Just like Hawaii before it, the Fiji cards continue to maintain their position as their top-end card despite being older. Titanfall 2 is more than playable on a wide range of cards all the way down to the GTX 960. I wouldn’t really recommend R7 370 unless you plan on turning down some effects. At the maximum it just won’t play it at great enough speeds.
NVIDIA’s Titan X Pascal continues to show that it’s a single card 4K capable monster. Things run incredibly smooth on it, though at a very prohibitive price. Barring that the GTX 1080 is acceptable as are the Fiji-based AMD cards. The R9 380X and GTX 970 get relegated to a more cinematic experience that’s almost slideshow like in appearance. The action can get quite fast, so that may be considered too slow for most. Some games may work with 24P, but not an FPS of this caliber. That said, 4K is actually playable on even the RX 480, though barely so.
Respawn Entertainment really did an outstanding job with the Source engine. It’s updated and patched to hell and back but it’s still very viable for good looking games. It looks great, it plays great on nearly anything and is really a good example of what optimization looks like. It seems to scale linearly based on the actual resources available to the game. That and VRAM does make a difference, though it’s not quite as important here due to the less than massive textures and other requirements of the game. More is better, but better managed is even better.
Even at 4K can you have a decent experience with the RX 480, older GTX 980 and of course the GTX 1060. It’s just recommended that you turn down shadow quality and AA to really get the best framerates.
For 1080P we recommend at least a GTX 970 or an R9 380X be used for the best possible experience.
For 1440P you’d be served very well by a GTX 970 or an RX 470 with Ultra details enabled. Those are recommended at this resolution
For 2160P we recommend you use at least an R9 Fury or a GTX 980 Ti or 1070 for the best possible experience.