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Resident Evil 7 PC Performance Breakdown And Most Important Graphics Options

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Resident Evil 7 is terrifying, but the PC graphics options need not be. In total there are 19 different graphics settings which can be changed in Resident Evil 7, and each of these has several options within it. Not all graphics options are created equal however. Some are much more demanding than others, while some of the least demanding options can have the greatest impact on overall visual quality.

If you want to squeeze out extra performance then there’s plenty to mess around with. The obvious question however, is what do all of these settings do? Well, we’ve got you covered there. 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. In addition, be sure to check out our Resident Evil 7 PC Low Vs Ultra Graphics Comparison Sliders to see the overall difference.

 

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

Resident Evil 7 Graphics Options Performance Breakdown

The further right the bar goes, the more demanding the graphics option is. If the bar is left of centre, this option actually improves frames per second in Resi Evil 7 when enabled.

 

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Resident Evil 7 Graphics Settings

Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion applies to the contact shadows where two objects meet. It's quite a subtle feature but it lends an additional layer of depth and realism to the environments. AO's impact is slightly limited in Resident Evil 7 because the environments are so dark in the first place that shadows are already being cast in the majority of places where contact shadows should exist, while it's also unusually expensive. Tread with caution.

Performance Impact - 5/5

Priority - 3/5

Antialiasing

Resident Evil 7 comes with a bunch of post-process anti-aliasing affects such as FXAA and SMAA. All of its forms of antialiasing seem to work by blurring the edges, leading to a muddier image quality. It's therefore a toss-up between a slightly out of focus image or aliasing.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 3/5

Bloom

Another one which definitely comes down to taste, Bloom makes bright lights bleed out into the surrounding area. You may find it a little strong for your tastes, but it does help with dynamic images.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 1/5

Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic Aberration is a real love it or hate it graphical setting. It is a form of distortion designed to make the image look out of focus, mimicking bad cameras. It doesn't look too bad in Resident Evil 7, along the lines of its implementation in Alien Isolation, so simply turn it off or on depending on your tastes. It has practically no impact on FPS.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 2/5

Depth of Field

An effect similar to Motion Blur, Depth of Field distorts anything which is out of the player's focus. Pick up a can and look at it, for example, and everything in the background will distort. It's designed to replicate human vision.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 2/5

Dynamic Shadows

Dynamic Shadows are shadows which are calculated in real time rather than pre-baked. For example the shadow your player character casts when standing in front of a light source. Ordinarily this can be quite taxing, but in Resident Evil 7 it has a negligible performance impact.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 5/5

Effects Rendering

Literally the rendering of special effects such as sparks. Its a graphics setting used sparingly in Resident Evil 7: Biohazard so it's unlikely you'd notice its absence greatly.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 2/5

Lens Flare

Someone call J.J. Abrams, he wants his lens flare back. A controversial graphics setting, Lens Flare replicates bright light sources refracting off a camera lens. This lends a filmic vibe to the image quality. It's another graphics setting which doesn't definitively make Resident Evil 7 look better.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 1/5

Mesh Quality

Don't let the name fool you - Mesh Quality is all about draw distance. Turning this up renders objects at a greater detail when further away. Without this enabled objects in the distance can be rendered very simplistically with low-res textures and polygonal models. In our testing in the demo, RE VII's environments are so small that this no impact on frame rate. This may change at a later stage in the game.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 3/5

Motion Blur

Not to everyone's tastes, Motion Blur simulates camera movement. If you are struggling with poor performance this can paper over stuttery frame rates. Normally it doesn't have an impact on FPS, but it will shave 2.2% off your frame rate in RE7.

Performance Impact - 1/5

Priority - 1/5

Reflections

Reflections affects the reflections cast on solid surfaces and water. It is separate from screen space reflections in that it affects water sources such as fountains and the sea.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 3/5

Rendering Method

Rendering Method lets you choose between Normal and Interlaced. In a nutshell, if you enable Interlaced it alternates between rendering half the lines of pixels on screen for each frame. This halves the load on the GPU and can in some instances double the frame rate. If you struggling with FPS in Resident Evil 7, enabling Interlaced rendering should be your first port of call. You will suffer slightly with image quality but this is made up for many times over with the performance boost.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 5/5

Resolution Scaling

Resolution Scaling is an incredibly demanding setting because it is essentially performing its own version of upscaling. The most demanding graphics option in Resident Evil 7 PC is Resolution Scaling. Set it to 1.25 for example and you are rendering a 1080p image at 2400 x 1350. I don't recommend you set Pixel Density above 1.00, while anything below is going to severely hamper image quality. Resolution Scaling also seems to be off in that at 4K the 1060 could pull in 30 FPS average, while setting 1440p to 2.0 Resolution Scaling dropped it all the way down to 6 FPS, despite allegedly rendering less pixels.

Performance Impact - 5/5

Priority - 5/5 (Set at 1.0)

Shadow Cache

The effect of Shadow Cache is going to greatly depend on how much VRAM you have available. If you have plenty then more shadow render details are stored in your GPU, easing the load on your card. If you have limited video memory however, this could in fact increase render times.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 3/5

Shadow Quality

Pretty straightforward this one. Shadow Quality increases the resolution of shadows in Resident Evil 7. Set to Very High and they will appear crisp and sharp. Set to Very Low and they will appear blocky.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 4/5

Subsurface Scattering

This setting generally has an impact on the skin quality of characters. As humans we don't necessarily perceive skin as totally opaque. Flesh can appear slightly translucent, particularly in comparison to solid surfaces. Subsurface Scattering attempts to replicate this, making faces look softer and more realistic, yet just as murderous.

Performance Impact - 3/5

Priority - 4/5

Texture Filtering

A gaming staple by now, Texture Filtering affects the sharpness of textures towards the edge of screen. Textures you're looking at straight on will normally look fine, but when you look at them from an angle they can look blurred and messy. Texture Filtering, or Anisotropic Filtering, sharpens these textures up and leads to a cleaner image.

Performance Impact - 0/5

Priority - 4/5

Texture Quality

Texture Quality affects the resolution of Resident Evil 7's textures. The higher the texture quality, the more VRAM used on your graphics card. Both performance and visual impact were fairly negligible however.

Performance Impact - 2/5

Priority - 3/5

Volumetric Lighting

I'm a huge fan of Volumetric Lighting, yet it's also unfortunately one of the most demanding graphics options in Resident Evil 7. In essence this allows for more realistic lighting, showing individual beams of light shining through some blinds, for example. It can be used to great effect to render smoke, fog, or dust, and it is particularly prevalent in Resident Evil 7.

Performance Impact - 4/5

Priority - 4/5

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