Graphics memory usage and conclusion
Graphics memory (VRAM) usage
How much graphics memory does the game utilize versus your monitor resolution with different graphics cards and respective VRAM sizes? Well, let's have a look at the chart below. The listed MBs used in the chart are the maximum measured utilized graphics memory during the test run.
Graphics cards at the 4GB marker will be sufficient up-to 1080p, but the game eats more with Extreme quality settings, we recommend Ultra quality mode anyway. As such in the higher resolution, realistically if you have it available we'd close in at 5~6GB used. Up to Full HD (1920x1080) any 4 GB graphics card of modern age will do the job well. We'd advise 6 GB will still be sufficient for 2560x1440. If you want to play Ultra quality with Ultra HD as preferred monitor resolution, 8GB is advised.
DirectX Raytracing and NVIDIA RTX
As mentioned in the introduction, this is an NVIDIA title, and they've been all over the developer to get RTX ON supported. It is nice to see DX-R / RTX mode included. Currently, NVIDIA offers Raytracing High and Ultra modes. We've had a very hard time noticing any difference, and as such recommend RTX high should you use it. DXR itself is very hard to actually spot but moreover softens shadows and creates more scening (darker atmosphere) scenes. The problem with such details is that you need to stand still really, in a fast moving/pacing game details can quickly outrun you. RTX On you'll spot in the water reflections and atmospheric light effects, train tracks that properly bounce reflections. Granted though, while we need to look very hard to find the difference, it does look nice.
DLSS, unfortunately, due to a bug in the benchmark software we cannot apply DLSS, A4 Games is working on a fix and we'll add results as soon as possible. It however will work in-game.
Right, it is time to conclude things. Metro: Exodus is a terrific game in terms of gameplay and atmosphere. When the game starts the graphics feel dated, but the more you advance with changing environments you'll start to really like the graphics quality (just not in all scenes). This mainly is due to the fact that the same game engine has been reused and brought up to snuff into the year 2019. Ultra or Extreme modus? Ultra, by all means .. Ultra. The extreme modus does not bring in any extra image quality other than making things difficult. And even at Ultra mode, you'll quickly be pushing things as the game is hard on any GPU. Some actually might have to drop to an even lower mode. We tested DX12 mainly, as there is no reason that we can see for DX11 mode. Being an NVIDIA supported title, the RTX crowd gets the joy of Raytracing and DLSS. Raytracing wise, aside from dark RTX scenes we did need to look hard to be able to spot a difference, that is the brutal truth.
Please let me reiterate that we have used the internal benchmark of the game to measure performance, you can find the executable in the game directory to replicate results yourself and match them up with ours. Overall the benchmark seems to be a good notch tougher than your average game scene. That said, the reality is also that Metro Exodus will vary in FPS quite a lot depending on the scene you play in. As such the benchmark results represent the harsh and hard to render scenes much better than the overall framerate of the game (which is higher by a fair degree).
Once it'll get fixed DLSS is a nice extra bonus, of course, AA nice at little to no rendering cost. If you have a go in the game, please do make sure you have installed the latest compatible graphics card driver. For the GeForce GPUs the 418.91 WHQL drivers are out for you to grab and for AMD, the Radeon Adrenalin 19.2.1 driver will suffice. What a nice captivating game.