Borderlands 3, one of the biggest launches of the year, has arrived today, although it's been far from plain sailing. There have been reports of performance struggles, DirectX 12 woes, and all sorts of issues on top of that pesky Epic Games Store exclusivity which will put a few off.
Handing over $60 is never easy, particularly if you're unsure of your performance. Here we've assimilated data based on our BL3 benchmarks, performance reports, and user-submitted benchmarks for Borderlands 3.
This provides a guide to what sort of performance you can expect in Borderlands 3 if you want to max out its graphics settings, depending on your graphics card. There are external variables such as CPU to account for, but these benchmark results are assuming the graphics card is the bottleneck.
Borderlands 3 benchmarks are available for 1080p, 1440p and 4K resolutions across a complete range of GPUs from AMD and Nvidia's previous three graphics card generations.
There are two red vertical lines for each bar that indicate 30 frames per second and 60 frames per second. If a graphics card scores below 30fps in a benchmark it’ll be red, if it’s between 30 and 60 it’s yellow, and anything 60 frames per second or higher is green.
All of this data is also viewable on Borderlands 3's game page, as well as on an array of other AAA PC titles. You can also head to the page of just about any graphics card from the past three generations and see plenty of extensive in-game benchmarks, such as the GeForce RTX 2060 Super.
Last but not least, you can also pit two cards head-to-head to compare their gaming performance directly, such as the GeForce RTX 2070 versus the AMD Radeon RX 5700.
Borderlands 3 1080p/Ultra Graphics Card Benchmarks (Average FPS)
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What's immediately noticeable here is that Borderlands 3's recommended specs are absolutely not high enough to play at 1080p/Ultra with satisfactory frame rates. Gearbox suggest either a GeForce GTX 1060 or a Radeon RX 590, which hit averages of 41 fps and 45.5 fps respectively. Turn off that volumetric fog and it may just be doable but these graphics cards are more suited to High/Medium if you want to hit a locked 60 fps in BL3.
In terms of which graphics cards can hit the elusive 1080/60 on Ultra in Borderlands, Nvidia's entire GeForce RTX 20 series can do the job, as can AMD's top-end models such a the RX Vega 64, the Radeon VII, and the Radeon RX 5700 series. It's an exclusive club though, and Borderlands 3 is actually quite a demanding game overall.
Borderlands 3 1440p/Ultra Graphics Card Benchmarks (Average FPS)
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Take the high up to 1440p and you're in rarefied company if you can play Borderlands 3 at 1440/60 on Ultra. Just five graphics cards can manage this, and they're all on the wrong side of $500. Ultra's just a target though and all of the graphics cards with yellow results should be able to run Borderlands 3 at 60 frames per second provided they dropped a few graphics settings (or presets). Anything from the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and down is really pushing it though, and these graphics cards are much better suited to 1080p.
Borderlands 3 4K/Ultra Graphics Card Benchmarks (Average FPS)
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You should probably only be considering running Borderlands 3 at 4K screen resolution if you've got an absolute monster of a PC. Ultra will hit any system hard, even those with a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti/ Running in SLI or CrossFire could do the trick though, depending on how good Borderlands 3's multi-GPU support is.
We would imagine 4K/High is the sweet spot for the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, although we'd probably be a little bit hesitant to play Borderlands 3 on 4K at all considering the hefty frame rate hit. It's a bit of an odd turn of events really as Borderlands 3 doesn't look like a pixel pushing powerhouse. Here's hoping Gearbox is already busy with BL3 PC performance optimisation.
So we hope you enjoy exploring this new GPU FPS data and as ever we’re really keen to hear if you’ve got any great suggestions for new features. You can find plenty more of these performance comparisons across game and graphics card pages.