Baldur’s Gate 3 PC Optimization and Benchmarks

Here are the best settings for Baldur's Gate 3, optimized for your PC!

Baldur’s Gate 3 is one of my favorite games of all time. The sheer replayability, dialogue, hidden areas, quests, and varied outcomes easily make it a 1000-hour adventure (multiple playthroughs). BG3 is a big step up from Larian’s previous project (Divinity Original Sin 2), playing more like a third-person RPG than a tabletop. While the initial areas are forgiving on most PCs, the third and final act set in Baldur’s Gate (the city) can be brutal on even high-end computers. Let’s look at the different graphics settings in Baldur’s Gate 3 and how they affect performance.

Baldur’s Gate 3 PC System Requirements

Baldur’s Gate 3 has fairly modest PC system requirements. On the lower-end, you need Intel’s 10-year-old Core i5-4690 or AMD’s Bulldozer-based FX 8350 CPU alongside the Maxwell-era GTX 970 or the RX 480 with 4GB or higher VRAM. You’ll also need 8GB of system memory and 150GB of SD storage for a smooth experience and quick loading times.

Minimum System Requirements

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit.
  • CPU: Intel i5-4690/AMD FX 8350.
  • Memory: 8 GB.
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 970/AMD RX 480 (4GB+ VRAM).
  • Storage: 150 GB SSD space.

Recommended System Requirements

  • Operating System: Windows 10 64-bit.
  • CPU: Intel i7 8700K/AMD Ryzen 5 3600.
  • Memory: 16 GB.
  • GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2060 Super/AMD RX 5700 XT (8GB+ VRAM).
  • Storage: 150 GB SSD space.

The recommended system requirements include the Core i7-8700K or AMD’s Ryzen 5 3600 and the GeForce RTX 2060 Super or the RX 5700 XT. The system memory requirements rise to 16GB and the graphics memory to 8GB.

Source: Larian.

Our Test Bench

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-13900K.
  • Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Hero.
  • Cooler: Lian Li Galahad 360.
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090.
  • Memory: 16GB x2 DDR5-6000 CL30.
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM1000e.

We tested Baldur’s Gate 3 in Act 3 in the “Lower City” section near one of the ports with all 10+ companions in the party.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Resolution Scaling & Graphics Presets

Baldur’s Gate 3 is heavily CPU bottlenecked even on a powerful computer like ours. The Ultra quality setting nets roughly the same average frame rates at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K (just short of 100 FPS). The 1% lows are, however, notably lower at 4K.

Interestingly, the performance difference between 4K Ultra and 4K Low is only 10-12%. We’re likely CPU-limited considering how many NPCs roam the streets of Baldur’s Gate.

Models, Distance, and Level of Detail

Baldur’s Gate 3 has four different graphics settings that control the level of detail (LOD) of the NPCs and the game world. This usually involves increasing or decreasing the polygon count, and the CPU workload.

Model Quality is one of the most taxing graphics settings of Baldur’s Gate 3. The High option reduces performance by 10-15%, but “Medium” barely impacted the framerates in our case.

While “Model Quality” controls the mesh complexity of character models, “Detail Distance” and “Instance Detail” control how far different objects are visible in the game world and at what distance they disappear from your view. Both have a mild to moderate impact on performance, with “High” being 5-6% slower than “Low.”

Animation Level of Detail” controls the complexity of character animations. Higher quality options make the interactions more intricate and elaborate. It has a nominal impact on performance, tanking the framerates by only 5% at “High.”

Shadow Quality, Ambient Occlusion, and God Rays

Shadow Quality is another setting that has a modest impact on performance. Going from “Ultra” to “Low” granted us just 3 additional FPS, while “Medium” performs similarly to “High.”

Dynamic crowds make the in-game NPCs more diverse, Ambient Occlusion (AO) applies soft shadows to crevices, edges, and corners, while God Rays adds volumetric light shafts to windows and other light sources.

“Dynamic Crowds” is the most taxing of these three settings, chipping 4-5 FPS off your framerates. Ambient occlusion costs roughly 1-2 FPS similar to “God Rays,” slightly lowering the lows.

Texture Filtering, Clouds, and Fog Quality

Texture filtering improves the clarity and detail of textures in the distance and oblique to the screen. Anisotropic Filtering 16x is 4-5% slower than the lowest options (2x and Trilinear). Like many other settings, the lows are more affected than the averages.

Cloud Quality is one of the settings that won’t much affect your experience in Baldur’s Gate 3. Higher quality options make the clouds more dynamic and 3D, while their lower counterparts make them seem blocky and 2D. The “Ultra” quality option reduces performance by 4-6%, while “High”, “Medium” and “Low” perform roughly the same.

The impact of “Fog” depends on your location in the game world. In most areas, the performance impact varies from 4-6% at “Ultra.”

Anti-aliasing, DLSS, FSR, and Upscaling

Baldur’s Gate 3 features AMD FSR 1, FSR 2, and NVIDIA DLSS 2. The first is a spatial upscaling technology that uses on-frame data to boost performance. The other two utilize temporal frame data (across different frames) to reconstruct lower-resolution images. Frame upscaling isn’t useful in Act 3 as you’re heavily CPU bottlenecked due to the sheer NPC density.

SMAA (Subpixel Morphological AA) is the most efficient, barely affecting performance but fails to smooth our thin objects like character hair, weapons, and vegetation. TAA and DLAA perform similarly but the latter is better at retaining detail.

Baldur’s Gate 3 CPU Bottlenecks

Unsurprisingly, Baldur’s Gate 3 is heavily CPU bottlenecked with a GPU-Busy Deviation of 26% at 4K “Ultra.”

4K Ultra TAA
4K Medium TAA

High and Medium exhibit similar figures, but the “Low” preset increases the GPU-Busy deviation to ~41%. This implies that the frametimes are 41% higher than the GPU-Busy times.

4K Low TAA
1440p Ultra TAA

The CPU bottleneck intensifies at 1440p and 1080p, increasing the GPU-Bust deviation to 52% and 58%, respectively. In case you were wondering, “Model Quality” and “Cloud Quality” have the highest impact on CPU usage.

1080p Ultra TAA

Baldur’s Gate 3 VRAM Usage

Baldur’s Gate 3 uses up to 8GB of graphics memory at 4K Ultra. The same settings utilize <7GB at 1440p and 1080p. Lowering the settings to “Medium” reduces the memory usage to <6GB, while “Low” consumes just over 5GB.

Baldur’s Gate 3 Optimized Settings for Low-End, Midrange, and High-End PCs

Graphics SettingsHigh-End PCMidrange PCLow End PC
Texture QualityUltra (for 12GB)Ultra (for 8GB)Ultra (for 6GB+)
Model QualityHighMediumMedium
Instance DistanceHighHighMedium
Distance DetailHighHighMedium
Animation DetailHighHighMedium
Fog QualityUltraHighLow
Cloud QualityUltraMediumLow
Ambient OcclusionOnOnOn
God RaysOnOnOn
Shadow QualityHighHighLow
Dynamic CrowdsOnOnOff
Texture Filtering16x AF8x AF2x AF
High-end (4K)Mid-range (1440p)Low-end (1080p)
CPUCore i7-13700K/Ryzen 7 7800X3DCore i5-12600K/Ryzen 5 5600Less than: Core i5-11400/Ryzen 5 3600
GPURTX 4070 Ti /RX 7900 XTRTX 4060 Ti/RX 7700 XTLess than: RTX 4060/RX 7600
Memory32GB (dual-channel)16GB (dual-channel)Less than: 16GB (dual-channel)


Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have been writing about computer hardware for over seven years with more than 5000 published articles. Started off during engineering college and haven't stopped since. Find me at Hardware and PC Opset. Contact:

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