People who play Call of Duty on PC even somewhat seriously are some of the biggest frame chasers in the gaming community.
In multiplayer and in Warzone, having a 10-15 frames per second advantage over your enemies can be a massive advantage with latency and the ability to make micro-adjustments to your aim and movement.
Tuning your PC and having higher-end specs is a big deal for people on the CoD grind, but in fairness, if you’re prepared to play for a bit of fun at lower frame rates and less graphical fidelity, Modern Warfare III looks like it will run on even very low-end hardware.
For more specificity, graphical requirements for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III on PC can be divided into four categories: minimum specs, recommended specs, competitive specs, and ultra 4K specs, so let’s break those down a little.
Minimum System Requirements for Modern Warfare III
This Minimum Spec is the “potato” class of PC that Activision and Sledgehammer Games suggest will “run” the game… how playable you’d consider this will be is up to you. With the “Minimum” you’ll get to play the Campaign, presumably Zombies, other modes like Ground War, and Warzone.
Again, how well that will play on a spec like this remains to be seen, but I imagine it likely won’t be great.
|System Requirements||Minimum – Multiplayer Only||Minimum|
|CPU||Intel Core i3-6100 or AMD Ryzen 3 1200||Intel Core i5-6600 or AMD Ryzen 5 1400|
|Video card||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 / GTX 1650 or AMD Radeon RX 470||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 / GTX 1650 or AMD Radeon RX 470|
|Storage space||SSD with 79GB available (34GB if COD HQ already Downloaded)||SSD with 149GB available (78GB with COD HQ and Warzone already Downloaded)|
Recommended, Competitive and Ultra 4k System Requirements for Modern Warfare III
The Recommended Spec is the tier where you can consider that your frame rate will be “ok” at 1080p and low-quality settings, this will perform at a tier comparable to last-generation consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One.
It’s interesting to see Sledgehammer and Activision bundle “Competitive” and Ultra 4K together, but it does make some sense.
“Competitive” players will often have incredibly high-end machines and play on 1080p low settings to try and max out their hardware pushing frames.
For the 4K Ultra experience, this class of PC is going to let you play the game with all the visual nice-to-haves at a higher than 60FPS and consistently. It was announced that MWIII will support Nvidia’s DLSS 3 at launch, so if you have an Nvidia 40-Series card, you’ll be able to take advantage of that to get higher frame rates with upscaling while salvaging from visual fidelity – this should make it easier for people who want to play 4K and get 120FPS on their 40-Series card (think 4070 and above) happy.
|System Requirements||Recommended||Competitive / Ultra 4K|
|CPU||Intel Core i7-6700K or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X||Intel Core i7-8700K or AMD Ryzen 7 2700X|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080Ti / GTX 3060TI or AMD Radeon RX 6600XT||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 / RTX 4070 or AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT|
|Storage Space||SSD with 149GB available (78GB with COD HQ and Warzone already Downloaded)||SSD with 149GB available (78GB with COD HQ and Warzone already Downloaded)|
But these are just baselines and depending on drivers and a variety of other factors, your mileage may vary.
The Modern Warfare III PC Performance War Rages
One of the fascinating aspects of the PC hardware battle for Modern Warfare II in 2022 was the dominance of the latest AMD GPUs over the high-end Nvidia cards.
Normally, the Nvidia 4090 is the “king of the hill” in all things performance-related, but initially, it got stroked by the AMD 7900XTX flagship card. It genuinely wasn’t even close in terms of pure rasterization results.
Nvidia managed to claw some of that back with driver optimizations and working with Activision studios Beenox and Infinity Ward, but still, the AMD cards outperformed – when compared with their Nvidia “peer”, the AMD cards were considerably higher performing.
Early indications from the Modern Warfare III Beta would suggest that this lead will continue… which makes sense. Modern Warfare III is essentially running on a slightly modified and lightly updated version of last year’s Modern Warfare II game engine and AMD and Nvidia are still on the same generation of GPUs.
If You’re In The GPU Market Now… What Should You Do?
Normally for gamers buying new GPUs, the choice is pretty clear, buy the best Nvidia card you can afford or look for good deals with the “peer” AMD card. If you’re a Call fo Duty player though and that’s your primary gaming use case, this situation is a bit more confusing.
Do you grab a 7900XTX for US$980 – US$1050 or do you spend US$1700+ for the “better” 4090 that will get lower FPS in MWIII? If your main game is CoD, you’d be hard-pressed to spend US$1200+ for a 4080 which is just an inferior card to the 7900XTX in terms of performance.
With Treyarch delivering the next Call of Duty in 2024 and likely using the same, slightly updated engine as Sledgeghammer is for Modern Warfare III and new GPU generations not coming until early 2025, it’s a tough choice for gamers in the GPU market.