Putting everything on Ultra is a PC first mistake, and it’s time to learn how to save resources to gain FPS in your games

Imagine the situation: you have a new, shiny and beautiful PC, and when you decide to play the game, you see the visual options and jump to the pool to put everything in Ultra, or the highest possible graphic quality. This is a mistake that we have all made, me the first. When we compare the PC with the consoles, especially for those who wage the “console war”, we do so by keeping an eye on the qualities that this platform offers us. They exist, without a doubt, but it is time to talk about why setting everything to Ultra when playing is a bug.

It is something that I have been thinking about for a long, long time because, as I have said, I have “suffered” it. When I had a modest PC I looked at the segment that separated from the High to Ultra ojiplático options. He thought, “I wish I could put it on and have a sublime gaming experience.” That “intrusive thought” still comes to me, but it is not recommended. The settings in High are exceedingly good.

Reasons not to put a game on Ultra

It’s time to get to the heart of the matter and talk about why I don’t consider playing Ultra be the best option. For this I want to flag this text with the phrase from the Sapphire company and that says “ultra configuration is for screenshots, high is for the game”. This, as a mantra when playing, is crucial.

With that said, let’s go with 6 reasons for which You shouldn’t even think of going from High to Ultra:

  1. Are tiny improvements and hard to see that affect, as a general rule, the sharpness of the shadows, the draw distance or the ambient occlusion.
  2. Some games do not offer significant changes from High to Ultra. Cyberpunk 2077 or Hitman 3, for example, do not offer any improvements.
  3. games move. It’s a no-brainer, but the movement, the constant amount of animations and “accelerated” moments make it almost impossible for us to dwell on minutiae.
  4. Is preferable a frame rate stable to better graphics, especially in competitive games. Suffering a drop in FPS in a shooter like Warzone 2.0 you can “sink” a game.
  5. Put more stress on the GPUwhich increases frame latency.
  6. Depends on the game optimization. Some PC ports are improved console versions to a certain extent. The game may not add anything beyond “High”, but it should include the “Ultra” option because we assume that this setting should be on PC.

In fact, let’s do a test with Dead Island 2 and Hogwarts Legacy:

Image of Dead Island 2 (Dambuster Studios)

Image from Hogwarts Legacy (Avalanche Software)

Could you tell which version is with Ultra and High graphics? What is very difficult? Dead Island 2 in Ultra is the image of the leftwhile in Hogwarts Legacy it is the right. Both are set to both High and Ultra at 1440p resolution. no FSR or DLSS added, that is, with the native resolution to get the best representation possible.

Get more FPS in Dead Island 2 for PC with four "silly" from the graphics settings tab

What you should know about graphics settings

Building a PC based on reaching Ultra as standard is crazy. Budget can be shot to the stars when many recent graphics cards can tackle graphics at High with ease for less money.

texture quality

It is as simple as any option that you will have on PC, but if you do not want the game to offer a “flat” experience, it is advisable to “love it”. As a general rule the effort is taken by the GPU and above 6 GB of VRAM, they are ready to “suffer” with this setting. In the tests we have done with an RTX 3060 Ti, Dead Island 2 consumes 6.1 GB of VRAM in UltraMeanwhile in Half stays in 4.3GB. If your budget is limited by the graph, it is an expense that you should assume.

  • Consumes a lot of VRAM resources
  • A high resolution texture is not much use when playing in low resolution

Antialiasing or post-processing

There are many options that, unless they explain it to you in a simple way, their name does not make things clear. This is one of them. For you to take into account, Antialiasing offers image processing to smooth edges of models, surfaces and almost any object in the game. This directly attacks the “Sawtooth“.

  • Usually, FXAA+TAA goes more than well
  • Look at the protagonist’s hair or the leaves on the trees: when those details look good, you don’t have to turn up the smoothing anymore


It is not so common nowadays either, as many games add this relief effect within the quality of the meshes, but there are others that do add it independently. Add depth and geometry to the playing surfaces. For example, turning off tessellation can cause the floor to look like a flat texture, where the stones are a JPG and not a volume element.

Mesh quality or modeling

The first name is more obsolete, but some classic games call 3D modeling as “mesh quality“. The higher the quality of the mesh, the higher the polygon count and the more detailed the objects (characters or items on the stage) will be. Turning the settings all the way down or even setting to Medium offers a few poor finishes in many games. Also, it doesn’t usually consume much on PC.

Ambient occlusion

Hard not to recommend “tinkering” with this option. It offers a richer, more realistic and complete technical finish. Provides a realistic simulation from any object that blocks ambient light from different sources, adding realism to 3D gaming by mimicking light from the real world. This means that it contributes volume to the scene where the objects do not seem to be placed just because they are, but are part of the sequence and the game world. It’s hard to explain, but here’s a comparison.

What Is Ambient Occlusion

Image from GPUMag


The first and most important thing is that you do not touch this option too much, but do not dismiss it. Like the last one we will see, the shadows in the middle should not pass, nor should they go down. Its consumption directly affects the RAM and the PC VRAMbut at the bottom it gives a super pixelated effect that we would not like to see.


The latter is more personal, but they follow the logic of “if you can, the visual effect is very good”. Bad vegetation affects the game world like few others, and it is that low settings not only cut the vegetation on the ground, which generates very ugly images in games like The Witcher 3, which are beautiful and rural at base; as well as some poor trees and? out of tune. Trust me, it can break the whole experience.

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It should be noted that if you have one of those PCs that backs down, a real beast capable of moving everything that comes its way, play ultra if you want. There are even gamers who have no problem assessing the performance cut in favor of a better visual experience. I have sometimes done it. You know, the community is not homogeneous and this it is not an imposition.