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PC build for Metro Exodus: the parts you need for 60 fps

So, you’ve been in love with the Metro series ever since the first game and you’ve made a promise to yourself to play Metro Exodus no matter what. I don’t blame you. It’s a visually stunning game adapted from an equally cool series of novels. It’s also only one of two games available currently available that supports ray tracing. But, how does Metro Exodus stand up performance wise?

If you’re the kind of person that needs to play the most graphically demanding games on at least ultra at 1440p, a high-end gaming PC is the way to go. Even without ray tracing enabled, Exodus sucks as much power as it can out of your GPU, which means don’t pay attention to any of the minimum system requirements if you want to run this game at anything higher than 1080p on low and still keep a smooth 60 fps. It’s also worth noting that if you are not running an RTX graphics card, then there aren’t as many graphical settings you can change, but not by much.

If you’re thinking about building a new PC for Metro Exodus, or are curious as to how your current rig might perform while playing it, here’s what you can expect from a few different builds. 

Budget: 1080p low

If you want 30 fps or higher, we recommend a GTX 1060 or RX 570. You can get up to 100 fps with a GTX 1060, but the resolution ends up being closer to 720p if you set the shading rate to 50 percent, so turn that to 100 percent and the performance drops about 30 percent. Overall, playing Metro Exodus on low can boost framerates up to 70-80 percent, compared to the highest settings. Pairing one of those graphics cards with a Core i3-8100 or better and 8GB of RAM will ensure proper support for smooth gameplay despite the low graphics setting. 

Midrange: 1080p high/ultra

An RTX 2060 will barely break 60 fps at 1080p on high/ultra, but thankfully it’s the most affordable option in the RTX 20-series. It also has slightly better performance than the GTX 1070, so if you want your rig to be able to Metro Exodus with ray tracing turned on, upgrading to the RTX 2060 could be a good investment that won’t leave you eating too many ramen noodle cups until the next payday. (It retails for about $350.)

Enabling RTX effects is only possible if the Quality setting is at medium or higher, so that’s another reason we recommend putting the RTX 2060 into this mid-range build. DLSS can boost performance 20-30 percent, at the cost of image clarity, and so far we haven't been overly impressed with the result.

If you end up going with an unlocked processor, a matching motherboard like Gigabyte’s Gigabyte Z370P D3 or MSI’s X470GPLUS would be good options, depending on your choice of Intel or AMD.

High-end: 1440p high/ultra

At 1440p on high, you'll need at least an RTX 2080 to break 60 fps. According to our performance analysis, an RTX 2080 Ti can almost but not quite manage 60 fps at 4K high. Unless you plan on buying a Titan RTX, peak performance tops out at 1440p on high/ultra for a Metro Exodus-focused PC build.

You can turn ray tracing off to instantly get a boost in performance, but leaving the setting on high drops framerates about 30 percent while ultra drops framerates about 40 percent. Turning the DLSS on at the some time will counteract some of that performance loss, however, it can only be enabled at 1440p and above for the RTX 2080/2080 Ti, or 1080p and above for the RTX 2060/2070.

For high-end PCs, we recommend sticking with a 1440p 144Hz display with G-Sync or FreeSync, as the resolution is easier to run and the higher refresh rates also help. Current hardware isn't cut out to handle Metro Exodus at 4k, especially not with ray tracing, and without multi-GPU support you can't do better than a single GPU.

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When Joanna's not writing about gaming desktops, cloud gaming, or other hardware-related things, she's doing terrible stuff in The Sims 4, roleplaying as a Malkavian, or playing horror games that would give normal people nightmares. She also likes narrative adventures.