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Doom Eternal PC performance: the best hardware for higher FPS while splitting skulls

id makes another game that runs well on almost anything

Doom Eternal's Empire of Sin

Doom Eternal is one of those games we always knew was going to run well. Id Software has an excellent track record in this regard (providing we ignore Quake Champions, as I generally try to do), with the previous Doom (2016) performing incredibly well considering its graphical fidelity. So we already expected great Doom Eternal PC performance.

Well, the fact that we already suspected as much doesn’t make it any less true: Doom Eternal runs really well, and on pretty much every resolution, too. Which is handy, because you get the best experience from the sheer amount of running and gunning in the game when you’re playing at a silky-smooth frame rate.

It looks like Doom Eternal is using the Vulkan API, which was only one of two API options in the previous Doom (2016) – the other being OpenGL 4.5. Many users reported much better results using Vulkan in Doom (2016) than using OpenGL, so this might go some way towards explaining the stellar performance that Doom Eternal is capable of. We’ve tested exactly how much this game is capable of, and what hardware is needed to keep those frames flowing.

Because Doom Eternal has no built-in benchmark, we splatted demons in one of the starting levels, doing each run in as consistent of a manner as possible given the enemy AI, also making sure there were enough explosions and skull splats to really give our hardware something to work with. Nvidia FrameView was used to capture average and minimum (99th percentile) frame rates.

For the settings, we went for something middle-of-the-road. High but not crazy high. Here’s the full breakdown:

Setting Value
Display & Video
Enable HDR Off
Field of view 90
Motion blur Off
Advanced
Overall quality High
Sharpening 33
Film grain 25
Resolution scaling mode Off
Depth of field On
Depth of field anti-aliasing On

Outside of its general performance, Doom Eternal had very few hiccups. Menus loaded quickly and were responsive, maps loaded quickly, and there was no stuttering. The one problem we had was with a 4GB version of AMD’s RX 5500 XT. When we tested this GPU playing Doom Eternal, it simply didn’t run anywhere near as well as it should have, considering how this specific GPU performs in other games. The 8GB version that we tested, however, ran just fine.

To see how your PC will run Doom Eternal you can compare your specs to the Doom Eternal system requirements.

What is the best graphics card for Doom Eternal?

The best graphics card for Doom Eternal, at least in our tests, was the RTX 2080 Super. The green team still takes the win with its 2080 Super, the best graphics card when it comes to sheer game performance aside from the ludicrous RTX 2080 Ti, but not taking into account the hole such a GPU leaves in your wallet. With some semblance of a budget, however, the RX 5700 XT is the best price-to-performance GPU for playing Doom Eternal by a mile.

Best 1080p graphics card for Doom Eternal

Good news for those of us still on 1080p monitors: Doom Eternal hits 60fps just fine on high settings at 1080p with all of the graphics cards we tested. Given that, if 1080p is your thing, for playing Doom Eternal it really would make sense to go for the cheapest option. This means that, for 1080p, Nvidia’s GTX 1650 Super is best when comparing its price to its performance.

If you’re gaming on a high refresh rate and aiming for frame rates of over 100, however, AMD’s RX 5700 XT remains a better option, because the GTX 1650 Super’s minimum frame rate dipped down to 82fps, while the 5700 XT only dropped to 159fps.

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Best 1440p graphics card for Doom Eternal

Doom Eternal still holds up at 1440p, with one notable exception. You see, it has a very strict VRAM limit for adjusting settings and doesn’t allow you to change any settings that would put you over your GPU’s VRAM threshold. This ultimately boils down to not being able to run the game at 1440p on high settings with a 4GB card – the game simply won’t let you. The only way you can run Doom Eternal at 1440p on a 4GB 1650 Super is by turning the texture quality down.

With that out of the way, out of our remaining options, the RX 5700 XT clearly reigns supreme at 1440p. It beats Nvidia’s similarly-priced RTX 2060 Super and still manages to hit a consistent 150fps without running up the cost of an RTX 2070 Super or RTX 2080 Super. If you’re only aiming for the 60fps mark, however, the RX 5500 XT (8GB) might be your best bet. Because it has 8GB of VRAM, Doom Eternal lets it run at 1440p (unlike the GTX 1650 Super), and in our tests it reached an average of 81fps and a minimum of 63fps. This means that, on a 60Hz 1440p monitor, the RX 5500 XT shouldn’t drop below its maximum refresh rate at maximum resolution.

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Best 4K graphics card for Doom Eternal

The best 4K graphics card for Doom Eternal is – drum roll – AMD’s RX 5700 XT. Yep, this GPU just keeps on giving. Even at 4K on high settings, not only did this card give us a steady 80fps in-game, but it also managed to only drop 1 frame below 60 at its minimum, making for a buttery-smooth experience on any 4K 60Hz monitor. All without breaking the bank. The RTX 2060 Super is a very close runner-up to the RX 5700 XT here, though.

Of course, this isn’t the whole story, because not all of you will be satisfied with 80fps. If you’re wanting to go the whole hog, then there’s nothing else for it: you’ll have to go for Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Super, which hits a solid 105fps average at 4K and whose minimum frame rate is 5fps higher than the RX 5700 XT’s average. Yeah, you’ll just have to go for the 2080 Super. What a shame. All those frames and all that power. I have no idea how you’ll cope.

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Best settings to increase FPS in Doom Eternal

At the risk of sounding like a broken record: Doom Eternal runs really, really well for a new triple-A game. But not everyone is on high-spec current-gen hardware, and even the best optimised games sometimes need a little TLC to get running smoothly on older or lower-end hardware. We’ve tested the game on low, medium and high using the GTX 1650 Super at 1080p.

As you can see, the biggest improvement in frame rate is gained when going from high to medium settings. Going from medium to low doesn’t give too much of a gain in frame rate, but does decrease visual fidelity by a fairly large margin. The visual difference between low and medium settings is much greater than the difference between medium and high, especially when it comes to lighting.

The best way to increase your fps in Doom Eternal, then, is to drop the preset down from high to medium settings. And if you aren’t liking the texture quality on medium, you can always put the preset on medium and then change the textures to high – this might give you the best shot at decent graphics without too much of a drop in frame rate.

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