Settings & IQ

Recommended Settings

A GTX 1060/6GB is recommended for 1920×1080 at 60 FPS or higher, while a GTX 1080 can mostly handle 4K at some reduced settings, but the game is very scalable for lesser GPUs on lower settings at 1920×1080.

Recommended Specs:

Processor: Intel Core i7 3770 3.4 GHz or AMD or better

Memory: 8 GB RAM

Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960 or AMD Radeon R9 280X or better

Let’s look at settings and image quality (IQ).  There are about 20 settings that can affect game performance.  Here are our some of our options and the highest settings that we used.

Image Quality & Settings

Resident Evil 7 doesn’t have overall Low, Medium, High, Very High, and Ultra settings. Instead, a player is given a choice of adjusting 18 different settings individually.  The game will make suggestions as to what settings to lower by providing a ‘default’ setting.  However, it tends to lower settings too far.  A NVIDIA graphics card owner may also choose to use the GeForce Experience to suggest optimal settings, and NVIDIA has offered some suggestions in their Resident Evil 7 graphics and performance guide.

Now let’s look at a series of screen shots taken from the same two places beginning with the highest settings and progressing through several other setting options.  Make sure to open these images full sized into a separate window or tab for a much easier IQ comparison.

Highest Settings (including HBAO+ and FXAA+TAA)

Captured with a GTX 1080 at 3440×2160 with highest settings. including HBAO+ & FXAA+TAA
Captured with a RX 480 at 1920×1080 with highest settings. including HBAO+ & FXAA+TAA
Captured with a GTX 1080 at 1920×1080 with highest settings. including HBAO+ & FXAA+TAA

Low – all lowest settings

As with all the following comparison images, first at 3440×2160 and then at 1920×1080:

Lowest Settings at 3440×2160
Lowest Settings at 1920×1080

As you can see, Low settings look decent even if the lighting is pre-baked and a little washed, out but the detail is still good even if shadows are weak.  And with setting on all-low, RE7 will play on a toaster – well, a GTX 1060-3GB that struggles to maintain 40 FPS at maxed settings at 1920×1080 will fly with over 130 FPS!

Highest settings – Low Texture/Texture Filtering settings

Highest settings except Low Texture/Texture Filtering at 3840×2160
Highest settings except Low Texture/Texture Filtering at 1920×1080

Texture Filtering or Anisotropic Filtering sharpens textures and leads to a cleaner image while Texture Quality affects the resolution of the game’s textures. The higher the texture quality, more VRAM is used by the graphics card.  In the above images, we maxed out all of the settings but left the Texture settings on their lowest so that vRAM is less impacted.  And our GTX 1060/3GB now gets at least an additional 10 FPS over maxed out settings with very high texture settings.

Lowering textures settings are a good place to start after lowering shadows to look for performance if your card has less than 6GB of vRAM, but leave Texture Filtering on.

Highest Settings but No Ambient Occlusion

Highest Settings but No Ambient Occlusion at 3840×2160
Highest Settings but No Ambient Occlusion at 1920×1080

Ambient Occlusion (AO) affects the contact shadows where two objects meet and it lends an additional layer of realism to the environment.  However, Ambient Occlusion will take a large performance hit when it is enabled – perhaps up to 30 percent of the total framerates.  Because RE 7 is so dark, AO is a setting that can be turned off, but if it can be applied, it adds significantly to the immersion.

Highest Settings but with SSA0 instead of HBAO+

Highest Settings but with SSA0 instead of HBAO+ at 3840×2160
Highest Settings but with SSA0 instead of HBAO+ at 1920×1080

 If HBAO+ is too demanding for the chosen video card, SSAO is a good step back that will give about ten percent more performance.  

Highest Settings – plus 2 times resolution scaling (SuperSampling)

Highest Settings – plus 2 times resolution scaling (SuperSampling) at 1920×1080
Highest Settings – plus 2 times resolution scaling (SuperSampling) at 3840×2160

The highest settings with Resolution Scaling 2.0 (SuperSampling) is a real performance killer.  It may be best to try it perhaps at 1920×1080 with a GTX 1080 for playing, or just for that killer screenshot.  It can be enabled also with a TITAN XP.  When resolution scaling is used at 2 times, it completely eliminates the blurriness that using FXAA, SMAA or FXAA+TAA cause.  However, using FXAA+TAA gives the best images with the camera in motion as the crawling and shimmering is apparent by not using TAA.  AA is not that important to still screenshots, but it is very helpful with the camera in motion.

Other Settings 

Depth of Field (DOF) blurs the images which are out of the player’s focus.  It is a cinematic type of rendering which adds to the game’s atmosphere in attempting to replicate (and exaggerate) human vision.  However, it has a strong performance impact by being turned on.  Volumetric Lighting and Shadow Quality also affect performance significantly but turning them off hurts the realism of the visuals.  

Let’s look at our Test configuration on the next page.

2 COMMENTS

    • Turning off Shadow Cache will tend to increase the performance of cards with 4GB or more of vRAM and in other instances decrease performance with less. With 4GB of vRAM, toggling Shadow Cache can go either way depending on the card. It was left on in this review for consistency.
      If you have less than 4GB of vRAM, you will not want to play with maximum settings anyway, but the tests were all run at the same settings for consistency. I expect performance results to change with further driver memory optimizations by both AMD and Nvidia, and perhaps with another game patch.

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