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Close to the Metal Ep. 50: How well does your system run ‘Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds’?

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In just a few short months, Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds has taken the PC gaming world by storm, and it is not hard to see why. The heart-pounding 100 player brawl plays out in short bursts of exciting, close-call gameplay, in between long stretches of loot gathering, strategic positioning, and running. That said, the game is still in Steam Early Access and has a long road ahead of it when it comes to mechanical and performance optimization — we want to know how well the game is currently running on your home machine.

How well does @PUBATTLEGROUNDS run on your home system? Results discussed tomorrow on #PlayerUnknownsBattlegrounds

— Digital Trends (@DigitalTrends) July 24, 2017

In our testing, we found that even mid-range graphical hardware was capable of holding solid frame rates in-game, albeit with plenty of CPU overhead, thanks to an Intel Core i7-6950X and 16GB of RAM. That is not exactly a typical system, so we paired it up with a few different GPUS. The GTX 1080 Ti was capable of crushing it at 1080p, pulling in well over 100 frames per second, regardless of quality settings.

The story was a bit different on our mid-range hardware. Throwing a GTX 1060 in the same system brought the frame rate at 1080p down to 67 frames per second, with the settings at ultra. It only went up from there, reaching 124 frames per second with the settings turned down to very low.

Not that we would recommend using the very low preset. There are only a few individual settings that really affect performance drastically and turning everything down as much as possible makes the game look horrible, without a commensurate bump in frame rate. Instead, most users are better off turning down the shadow settings to low. It provides a solid boost to the game’s render rate, with a minor concession that shadows take on a chunkier look.

We will discuss the results of the latest reader poll, as well as the current state of performance and optimization in Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, on this week’s episode of our computing podcast Close to the Metal

Close to the Metal is a podcast from Digital Trends that takes a deep dive into computing and PC gaming topics. Each show, we’ll focus in on one topic, and leave no stone unturned as we show off the latest in hardware and software. Whether it’s the latest GPU, supercomputers, or which 2-in-1 you should buy, we break down the complicated jargon and talk about how user experience is affected in the real world. Please subscribe, share, and send your questions to We broadcast the show live on YouTube every Tuesday at 1pm EST/10am PST.

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