PC to play Warzone 2: tested 26 boards and 16 CPUs!

We tested multiple processors and graphics cards to find out!

Call of Duty Warzone 2 has been a benchmark in PC builds for multiple reasons. One is its popularity, which is aided by being a free-to-play game, and the other is that it is hardware-intensive, making the game quite a challenge to run, especially for the demanding competitive gaming audience.

We tested the game on multiple hardware trying to understand how Warzone interacts with the various components, be they processors, graphics cards and RAM. And Activision’s game packs a lot of challenging things together, like large maps, lots of players in the same game, and because it’s a competitive game, players will want it to run at high frame rates and without crashing or stuttering, all to ensure they have the best chance to win.

For those who want practicality, a recommendation we can bring is… the Xbox Series S. You can play with keyboard and mouse, it has a good level of performance and graphics, and you don’t need to watch the rest of the movie. Furthermore, with the help of Save with Adrenaline and also of our Whatsapp and Telegram groups, every now and then there is a cheap promotion. But if you’re like me, you prefer higher screen refresh rates, ultrawide display format and all the other freedoms of the PC world, let’s move on to our tests!

The big problem with testing a multiplayer with large amounts of players is that it’s difficult to create a testing methodology. Each game is different from the previous one, and the actions of other players greatly affect system performance.

Unlike the first Warzone, we have something that can help us – Call of Duty Modern Warfare II has a benchmark, and since it’s built on the same engine as Warzone 2, it would make this test tool an interesting reference. But since Modern Warfare and Warzone 2 are quite different, especially when it comes to map size, we did a first round of comparisons. And the result was as follows:

We have two different scenarios. For graphics cards, the benchmark is heavier than average gameplay. This is easy to understand when we look at the benchmark – many extra effects occur in a short amount of time, showing an extreme and rare scenario that occurs in a match. In my opinion, this validates the test: it shows the worst possible case, so using it as a reference will ensure we’re recommending a video card that will get the job done, even when the message is too much.

As for the processor, we have the complete opposite. Warzone 2 is much heavier. With a huge map, with more than 100 players and even bots, the CPU load is much higher than the small map, less geometry and characters in the benchmark. And we only ran one test, which was enough to convince us it’s not a reference:

Video Card

So with that in mind, we put a ton of graphics cards into the COD Modern Warfare 2 benchmark. We tested it at three resolutions, with a preset on Basic mode, with a focus on performance for competitive gameplay, and FidelityFX CAS enabled. to improve sharpness. The result is below:

At 4K, using the competitive setting, you can drop down to the RTX 3080 12GB and average around 100fps. Recalling that it is possible to achieve this resolution on more modest cards using resources such as Nvidia DLSS and AMD FSR, but since our focus is on the competitive side, and the lowest latencies and sharpest visuals possible, we are using cards without these technologies which make the biggest benefits in action-adventure games, focusing on single-player, better graphics, and less emphasis on competitiveness.

We have an absence: AMD Brasil has recalled the Radeon RX 7900 XT and XTX, and unlike other cards, they are not available in the collection due to this unavailability. As was the case in Intel’s ARC analysis, where we didn’t have a Radeon RX 6600 XT for comparison, we now also miss the company’s current flagship for new items.

As a stopgap, we have our battery analysis results from the test, with the benchmark run at ultra, where it’s clear that even at 4K and Ultra both RDNA3 will meet our criterion of tackling the game with an average of at least 100fps.

By taking our gamer recommendations to 1440p, Radeon starts to clearly distinguish itself. The first card to hit anything in the 100fps range is already one of the more affordable models, the Radeon RX 6600. Intel’s ARC can also handle this resolution well, while Nvidia will only deliver our yardstick from the RTX 3060 Ti.

And finishing in Full HD, we have the GeForce RTX 3050 coming close, while the Radeon RX 6500 XT also starts to get closer to the performance region we aim for. A Radeon RX 580 is also playable with this game but, in our opinion, the RTX 2060 or higher is a better fit. Both for the greater performance margin, and for our restrictions in relation to the RX 6500 XT, which we have already complained about in the specific video about it.

Processor

With the processors we had to use another methodology: the game. We landed in the busiest regions of the map – usually in cities with lots of players around – and averaged out how much performance the processor maintained in that play session. The result is much lower than what Hardware Unboxed showed in a video months ago, which had several models above 200fps, which shows us how much processor performance fluctuates depending on where you are on the map, and also how many people have neighbor.

Unlike our paced test, Australian site Peperaio preferred a quieter region of the map. There is no perfect test here, we had more variation due to more players affecting gameplay, while the downside to the Hardware Unboxed test is that it used a lighter setting. Since we have favored conservatism, as in the case of using the benchmark for video cards, we have also used this criterion of using the worst possible scenario for the processors.

The result is that only the best products manage an average of 150fps or more, while good models will deliver an average of 120fps, as is the case with the 12400F or the Ryzen 5 5600X. Again, the criterion of looking for 100fps as a basis leaves us with the options of the Ryzen 5 3600 or the Core i5-11400 as reference models to start from.

But considering that there is a good chance that you play with other things in parallel, such as Discord or even streaming gameplay, the processor is certainly time to improve well and give more headroom, ensuring a more stable experience with the game.

RAM memory

The amount of RAM needed to run Warzone 2.0 brought a few surprises to our tests. Starting from the quantity, it seems that 8GB is feasible again, but there is something else that has had a big impact in the tests: the dual-channel. While there are many games run fine in 16GB single memory configuration, Warzone also 16GB but only one module had a big performance loss compared to 16GB with two memory. 8GB of RAM was doable even with dual-channel, and to our surprise, we were even able to play games with 4GB of RAM acceptably. I mean, acceptably around 60 seconds, which is how long it takes for the game to crash when memory is that low.

This dual channel impact is nothing new to us. In the PC Baratinho video with COD Modern Warfare 2 we noticed that single-channel was having a very negative influence on Core i3 performance. With a larger map, Warzone 2.0 intensifies this bottleneck.

While it’s possible, we obviously won’t recommend 8GB for our machine to play Warzone. Before long we see the PC allocating all of this 8GB, indicating that a slightly longer gaming session, or even running anything in parallel, can quickly cause performance to become unstable.

the machine to play

For those who want the best cost-effectiveness and don’t want the Xbox Series S, we have conducted a survey of parts that are affordable and still within the performance criteria that we have verified during the battery of tests. Considering the cost of the components and their performance, our Warzone 2.0 machine has the following basic specifications:

– AMD Ryzen 5 5500 processor – R $ 649
– 2x8GB DDR4 memory @3200MHz – R$ 2×189
– A520 motherboard – BRL 588
– AMD Radeon RX 6600 graphics card – R$ 1859
– 512GB SSD – 250 BRL
– Source 550W – BRL 340

Total: BRL 4,064

Obviously we always recommend putting more leeway on top of these recommendations, and given Warzone’s specs, I’d mostly focus on the processor, considering something stronger like a Ryzen 7 5800X3D or a Core i5-13600K, for example.

How about this tutorial? Did you like the tests? Be sure to comment your thoughts, as well as any future games you’d like to see in a similar format!

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