Before we move onwards into the conclusion it is handy to know how much graphics memory the game requires in a preferred resolution. You'll notice that 2GB graphics card are sufficient and that's the number this game has been aiming on. A graphics card with 2 GB of graphics memory minimum is really recommended by us. Should you have less available and run into performance issues, the easiest way out preventing frames from being swapped back and forth in that frame buffer is to select lower quality settings or disable AA levels.
Above you can see a wide variety of in-game selectable quality modes @ 2560x1600. We switch in-between the image quality modes (Low to Very HIGH) to monitor frame buffer utilization. As you can see we are hovering at the 1 GB of graphics memory even with SSAA enabled starting at High quality mode settings. The measurement shown above is fairly similar and applicable for 1920x1080/1200 and 2560x1600.
Overall the advise is simple enough, we recommend you to have a graphics card with 2 GB of graphics memory when using High to Very HIGH image quality modes. Please keep in mind though that memory utilization will vary a bit per level, it's not a very precise thing to measure. As such take these values as an indication, not a precise measurement. Anyway, 2GB minimum for your graphics card, but surprisingly, 1GB is what this game will eat in most scenarios, nice.
Summing it up
All modern mainstream and better graphics cards starting at mid-range will run the game at Full HD (1920x1080) in combo with Normal or HIGH settings really well. For mid-range the 7800 series from AMD and the GTX 660 series from NVIDIA will offer truly nice value for money and that's where we as PC gamers need to be.
And yes, as our FCAT results confirm with what we notice on-screen, the game can and will stutter here and there. That also makes this an excellent game title to include in our graphics card reviews benchmark suite, to see if future driver and game updates will slowly root our the small stutters.
If you need a little more icing on top of the cake then the GeForce GTX 670 is great, while on the competition's side the Radeon HD 7950 Boost editions being very price competitive as well -- single GPU wise. From there upwards you pay the price for premium products and the value for money ratio slowly is killed off. At 2560x1600 with Very High Quality settings the more high-end cards currently available can manage decent enough, but SSAA would likely not be an option. Please do bear in mind that our tests are based on averages, so YES there will be times your FPS drops to 25 fps in big fights and explosions, even with GTX 680, R7970 or a GTX Titan.
I also want to point out, all cards used today are reference cards with reference clocks. As you guys know AIC/AIB partners mostly offer factory overclocked or factory faster clocked products. That by itself can shift performance per card or brand upwards another 10% -- just so that you guys know okay? We use Windows 7 64-bit SP1 all patched up. Each card runs on the same PC with the same operating system clone. GeForce cards use the latest 320.14 Beta (download) and for AMD Radeon graphics cards we used the latest 13.5 Beta build 2 driver (download). Both NVIDIA and AMD have recommended these drivers to use with this particular game.
As always, we hope you enjoyed this little soire of measurements. Please do enable VSYNC in game. Last and final note, as always with these guides, this article was rushed a little as such it still is pending a grammar check. So forgive me the a-typical mistakes.
Update : Small tip from our forum user S.t.a.l.k.e.r : It should be noted that there is currently a bug (Either in the game or in the software) that can cut your FPS by more than 50% and GPU usage by the same if you are running Logitech Gaming Software (For Keyboards like the G19, G15 and other Logitech devices). Disable the LCore.exe process before running the game.
Update 2: We strongly recommend you to update the game. The latest patch of the game increases performance for AMD Radeon cards with roughly 6 to 8% overall, as well as some fixes have been applied. We have been able to verify the performance enhancement with a R7970 GHz edition.
Update 3: Since it makes a substancial performance difference we re-benchmarked all radeon card based on the latest patch. Also GeForce GTX 660 Ti has been added.
Metro Last Light VGA Graphics Benchmark performance test In this review slash article we'll look at Metro Last Light VGA Graphics benchmark performance with roughly 20 graphics cards. The new and popular title is interesting from a graphics point of view. This review will cover all these basics and then more so you know what choice to make either graphics card or in-game settings wise.