Following swiftly in the footsteps of PES 2018 yesterday, FIFA 18's PC demo is now out for everyone to give it a go. Having seen Konami make an impressive jump to the revamped Fox Engine for PES 2018, we were eager to see how EA Sports planned to trump it with its latest yearly iteration. Aside from having oodles of official licensing and player likenesses, FIFA 18 also has the talents of Cristiano Ronaldo to assist in improved player animations. Let's see how those changes have affected performance with our first FIFA 18 PC performance benchmarks.
FIFA 18 Graphics Settings
Exactly the same graphics settings as last year, FIFA 18 shows glaring signs of a re-tread. They are pretty pared down graphics options but there is at least an option for an unlocked frame rate, as well as MSAA. On the DirectX front, you can opt to switch between DirectX 11 and DirectX 12. I could discern no visual differences, as well as no significant performance changes. Take your pick, it doesn't really make a difference.
As with PES, this pre-game launcher is the only place you can change FIFA 18's graphics settings. If you want to tweak presets or the resolution, you'll have to close the entire game down and run it from scratch. Annoying, but not a problem once you've settled on your desired graphics settings.
FIFA benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on Radeon R7 370 2GB | Intel i7-5820K | 16GB DDR4
For our benchmarks, we took an average frame rate from a 5-minute half of football in FIFA 18 we used an AMD Radeon R7 370 equipped with 2GB video memory. It’s backed up by 16GB DDR4 memory and an Intel Core i7-5820K CPU.
As you may have spied in the graphics settings above, FIFA 18 also comes with an MSAA option. This a fairly intensive method of antialiasing and results in a much crisper image. However, it's more demanding that the usual FXAA, SMAA or MLAA, yet much less demanding than SSAA, which essentially renders at a higher resolution.
FIFA 18 Radeon R7 370 1080p, 1440p Benchmarks
(Click to expand)
Graphics Preset 1080p 1080p MSAA x4 1440p 1440p MSAA x4 Low 214 220 153 154 Medium 144 146 119 121 High 109 110 98 100 Ultra 83 87 71 76
I decided to test what impact MSAA has on performance and the result surprised me. I went back and tested multiple times and found the same answer - performance is marginally improved with MSAA x4 enabled. Your guess is as good as mine on that front, but it definitely helped with the image quality. I'm at a bit of a loss as to how this has come about, to be honest, but my advice would be to definitely enable it.
Aside from this, you can see the performance of FIFA 18 is typically excellent. I think FIFA 18 just about has better graphics than PES 2018, and certainly looks more authentic to the televised experience. FIFA 18 looks better than PES 2018, yet it also runs better as well, achieving far in excess of 60 frames per second on Ultra, at 1440p, with 4x MSAA. FIFA 18 runs very well on PC, par for the course when it comes to EA Sports' series.
Advantage FIFA 18 when it comes to performance, but which makes for the better version of the beautiful game? We'll have our verdicts for you soon.