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Below Minimum: Tetris Effect - Quick performance analysis

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tetris_effect.jpg.75e90404cd15ee45af1356c2248fe22f.jpg

*Thanks to Enhance for providing a review copy of Tetris Effect.

Tetris Effect, powered by Unreal Engine 4, renders Tetris with a never-before-seen degree of visual spectacle. Thankfully, it does not require much GPU power to reach a locked frame rate of 60 FPS. On a GTX 1080 + i5-4690K combo, I was reaching frame rates in the range of 130-150 FPS maxed out at a resolution of 2560x1440 (along with usage of the game’s built-in resolution scaler, set to 120%).

The minimum GPU recommended by Enhance is a Nvidia GeForce GTX 750 Ti. As curiosity got the better of me, I chose to test the game with an even lower-powered setup:

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3 2200G 3.5GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • SSD: 120 GB
  • iGPU: Radeon Vega 8
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit

I tested performance, and eventually turned most down, in pursuit of a locked frame rate of 60 FPS.

The game has seven major graphics options, with levels ranging from lowest to highest:

  • Rendering Scale: 50%-200%
  • Texture Filtering: Off, Aniso x2, Aniso x4, Aniso x8, Aniso x16
  • Shadow Quality: Off, Very Low, Low, Medium, High, Epic
  • Anti-Aliasing: FXAA 0-6
  • Bloom Quality: Off, Very Low, Low, Medium, High, Epic
  • Particle Volume: Min, Normal, High, Max
  • Particle Size: Maximum, Large, Medium, Small

Initially, I tested the game at the highest settings (albeit leaving the rendering scale at 100%), with a resolution of 1920x1080. Initially, when the screen is fairly empty (i.e.no tetriminos on screen, and no background particles), a frame rate of around 105-110 FPS is achieved. As the screen got filled with around six lines of teriminos and slight background effects, performance dropped to around 60-70 FPS. By the time the screen was filled with tetriminos and background particle animations (a position where most of the gameplay will take place), the performance tanked to the mid-20s to low-30s (with input timing being impacted by the lowered performance).

arhRWp5.png

Afterwards, I dropped the rendering scale to 80%. When the screen was empty at the start, frame rates ranged from around 125-139 FPS. However, once gameplay progressed, performance mirrored that of 100% rendering scale, dropping to around 60-70 FPS, and finally back to the mid-20s to low-30s.

wbnESJ9.thumb.png.a7758405d12f10585e6eb581cb342b04.png

Finally, I dropped the all the settings to their lowest level and set the rendering scale to 70% (as low as I felt would still preserve a worthwhile degree of clarity). With these settings, frame rates started at around 170 FPS. As gameplay progressed, frame rates dropped to around 110 FPS, nearly double the performance of the game at maximum settings with a 100% resolution scale. As the stage was finally filled with tetriminos and background particles, performance ranged from 55-70FPS.

M40FKNr.thumb.png.21119ac3d65ec1358af62eb97c3633a5.png

As my testing found, it is more than possible to have a smooth and playable Tetris Effect experience using hardware way below the recommended minimum specifications after some tweaking in the graphics options. Even at low settings, the rendering scale is set high enough to preserve the aesthetic of Tetris Effect.

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