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The Division 2 Performance Breakdown And Most Important Graphics Options
By Jon Sutton on March 1st, 2019 at 03:48pm - original article from game-debate

In case you somehow missed it, the open beta for Tom Clancy's The Division 2 went live today. This is a chance to go hands-on with the co-op loot shooter for four days in one final test ahead of its March 15th launch.

With such a short time period to go until The Division 2 is actually out, this beta test likely provides some great insight into the sort of performance we can expect at launch. 

We've put together a Division 2 PC performance guide to help you achieve the perfect balance between great visuals and high frame rates. We've benchmarked each and every one of The Division 2's lengthy list of graphics options.

Using the chart below, you can find out just how demanding each graphics option is in TD2. demonstrating the percentage drop in frame rates when turning the graphics setting from Low to Ultra. This can provide an at-a-glance look at which graphics settings affect the frame rate the most in Tom Clancy's The Division 2.

Together with this, we've given priority scores based on how important we believe it is to enable these graphics options for the optimum PC gaming experience with Division 2.

The Division 2 System Requirements

For the benchmark results below we used a PNY GeForce RTX 2060 6GB XLR8, an Intel Core i7-5820K processor, and 16GB DDR4 memory. The tests were performed running a block around the White House during the daytime, taking average frame rates.

The Division 2 Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

The further right the bar goes, the more demanding the graphics option is. Down below the chart we've also provided priority ratings. Graphics settings with high priority and low performance impact are recommended to enable first. Those with low priority are deemed luxury graphics options.

The Division 2 Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

What are the most demanding graphics options in The Division 2?

It comes as little surprise to see Resolution Scale is one of the most demanding graphics options in The Division 2. We usually consider this a video setting rather than a graphics option. Unlike a lot of games, it only scales from 25-100%, so it doesn't actually allow you to scale beyond your render resolution. The performance cost is equal to the resolution bump and you should be aiming for 100% resolution scale. If you're still struggling with the frame rate then either drop your resolution or use Resolution Scale to drop it in smaller chunks.

In terms of the proper graphics options, Volumetric Fog is the most demanding setting, and by some distance. Turning Volumetric Fog to Ultra can result in frame rate dips close to 30%. I initially wrote this off as being unimportant as Volumetric Fog effects are typically quite rare to see during gameplay. However, The Division 2 is absolutely filled with the stuff depending on the time of day so you will need to adjust your settings for stable frame rates while fog is on-screen.

The other biggie is Shadow Quality. This is typically a fairly demanding graphics option but does result in higher resolution shadows that greatly improve image quality. However, depending on how you scale it in conjunction with Spot Shadows and Contact Shadows, you may be able to turn this to Medium or High without a huge frame rate hit in The Division 2.

One final thing to point out is that there's no dedicated antialiasing setting whatsoever in The Division 2 at this point. It uses TAA but there's no way to tweak it, which is odd considering how in-depth the rest of the settings are.

The Division 2 Graphics Settings Priority

Shadow Quality

Set the level of quality of shadows for objects in the scene. Primarily affects shadow resolution.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 4/5

Spot Shadows

Set the number of spotlight shadows that can appear onscreen.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 2/5 

Spot Shadow Resolution

Set the level of resolution on shadows created by spotlights.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 2/5 

Contact Shadows

Set the quality of contact-shadowing of direct lighting for objects in the scene, making objects feel grounded rather than floating. 

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 4/5 

Resolution Scale

Adjusts the resolution at which the scene renders. Lowering this graphics setting reduces the rendered resolution and increases performance. Raising the setting increases the rendered resolution and decreases performance.

Performance Impact - 5/5

Priority - 5/5 

Sharpening

Focus or soften all elements on-screen.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 4/5 

Particle Detail

Particle Detail sets the quantity and quality of particles emitted by particle systems in The Division 2. The higher the setting, the more particles are present in the scene. For example, flicking embers from a fire.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 3/5 

Volumetric Fog

Thos sets the rendering quality of fog volumes. The higher the setting, the better the fog quality. 

Performance Impact - 5/5

Priority - 3/5 

Reflection Quality

Set the rendering frequency and resolution of global scene reflections produced by large scene objects, such as skyscrapers, mountains, etc.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 3/5 

Local Reflection Quality

Set the rendering frequency and resolution of local scene reflections produced by objects nearby.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 4/5 

Vegetation Quality

Set the level of quality for vegetation in TD2.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 4/5 

Sub-Surface Scattering

Turn on or off the transmission of light through translucent objects. Most obvious on the skin of characters.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 2/5 

Anisotropic Filtering

Enhanced the image quality of textures on surfaces that are at oblique angles relative to the camera.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 3/5 

Parallax Mapping

Provides textures with a sense of depth without additional geometry. This is applied to places like brick walls, giving the appearance of 3D brickwork from a 2D texture.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 2/5 

Ambient Occlusion

Set the quality of self-shadowing from ambient lighting for objects in the scene. This dictates how a step, for example, casts a shadow on the step below it.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 4/5 

Depth of Field

This setting turn on or off the simulation of a camera's range of focus. Objects outside the range of focus are blurred.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 1/5 

Object Detail

Object Detail adjusts the geometric complexity of in-game objects. The higher this setting is, the more detailed the objects become. 

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 4/5 

Extra Streaming Distances

Increases the distance at which objects are rendered in. Turning this setting up uses your memory and HDD resources.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 3/5 

Lens Flare

Turns on or off the simulation of the internal reflections and scattering of light caused by a camera lens' optical characteristics. This one comes down to a matter of personal preference rather than a definitive visual improvement.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 0/5 

Vignette Effect

This one took a little while to figure out but this causes light bleed on the edges of the image. Again, personal taste for this as it has little bearing on either performance or quality.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 0/5 

Water Quality

Water Quality, er, sets the quality level for the water graphics. From my time with the beta there isn't actually a great deal of water actually in The Division 2, and it doesn't look fantastic whichever setting you have it on. 

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 2/5 

Chromatic Aberration

A divisive graphics setting, Chromatic Aberration in The Division 2 only applies to the UI elements, lending them a slightly out-of-focus look.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 0/5 

Projected Texture Resolution

Sets the resolution size of the textures in The Division 2. This will be dictated by the amount of available VRAM on your graphics card.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 4/5 

High Res Sky Textures

Simple enough, this refers to the skybox. Turn it on for high resolution, turn it off for standard resolution. The difference is fairly negligible though.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 2/5 

Terrain Quality

Sets the quality level for terrain graphics in The Division 2.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 4/5 

 

Overall performance in The Division 2 seemed pretty great, even at this beta stage. The RTX 2060 was averaging frame rates of 80-100fps with the visuals maxed out at 1080p. 1440p/Ultra at 60fps also seems to be perfectly achievable. We'll be sure to have more on The Division 2's PC performance shortly.division 2 nb