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

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
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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

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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.