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Sea of Thieves PC Performance Breakdown And Most Important Graphics Options
By Jon Sutton on March 20th, 2018 at 12:28pm - original article from game-debate

Ahoy there maties, Sea of Thieves has set sail today on PC. Rare's return is co-op pirating across the high seas, featuring plenty of the studio's trademark charm. Here's every graphics setting in Sea of Thieves PC benchmarked and tested for the Frames Per Second performance hit. Using the chart below you can find out just how demanding each setting is. Along with this, we've given priority scores based on how important we believe it is to enable these graphics options.

Sea of Thieves System Requirements

Sea of Thieves Graphics Options

Sea of Thieves Video Settings

Sea of Thieves Graphics Settings

Quite a trim selection of graphics options I'm sure you'll agree. There are just the five to pick, each of which has five different options - Low, Medium, High, Very High and Ultra. Or, as Rare charmingly puts it - Cursed, Common, Rare, Legendary and Mythical.

Sea of Thieves Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

For the benchmark results below we used a GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G, an Intel Core i7-5820K processor, and 16GB DDR4 memory.

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

Sea of Thieves Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

 

Sea of Thieves Graphics Settings

Shadow Quality

Improving shadow quality requires more video memory will affect the performance of both the CPU and GPU. The visual impact of this setting is noticeable, and cranking it up to Ultra does result in fairly improved visuals.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 3/5

(Slide mouse cursor over image to compare)

Shadow Detail Ultra Sea of Thieves Shadow Detail Low Sea of Thieves

Model Detail

Changes how quickly objects drop to a lower quality. Higher values may reduce popping but make the game run slower. If you're looking out for texture pop-in, you're going to see it in Sea of Thieves even on Ultra. It's more prominent on Low but it was never enough to be hugely distracting during my tests. However, it's low performance impact means you may as well dial Model Detail up as high as you can get it.

Performance Impact Battles - 1/5

Priority - 2/5

Sea of Thieves Model Detail Ultra Sea of Thieves Model Detail Low

Texture Detail

Increasing texture quality requires a graphics card with a large amount of memory, and it is also recommended that you have a fast hard disk when using the highest detail to avoid texture popping. Setting it too high can cause severe performance problems.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 2/5

Texture Detail Ultra Sea of Thieves Texture Detail Low Sea of Thieves

Water Detail

Water detail affects the quality of waves, ripples, and reflections. It will affect both CPU and GPU performance. Without a doubt the single most important graphics setting in Sea of Thieves, Rare has worked wonders with the water visuals and physics. On Ultra it can look staggering, and unfortunately much of its wonder is lost at lower settings. Getting this graphics setting up as high as you can get it should be your absolute priority, even if that means taking a hit on the resolution.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 5/5

Water Detail Ultra Sea of Thieves Water Detail Low Sea of Thieves

Lighting Detail

Lower quality lighting improves GPU performance, but may have a significant negative effect on image quality. I personally struggled to see the visual impact this setting was having without squinting at images side by side, so considering it can impact frame rates by around 6%, it may be something you want to dial down.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 2/5

Lighting Detail Ultra Sea of Thieves Lighting Detail Low Sea of Thieves

Sea of Thieves Low vs Ultra Graphics Comparison

Ultra Sea of Thieves Low Sea of Thieves
Sea of Thieves Ultra Sea of Thieves Low
Sea of Thieves Ultra Sea of Thieves Low