Currently Starfield is capped out at 30fps on console and there is no “performance mode” that lowers graphical fidelity and raises the frame rate. In theory, could you run a performance mode on Xbox Series X? Digital Foundry built a “Frankenstein’s console” to find out.
In an attempt to recreate the specs of the Series X as closely as possible, Digital Foundry used the AMD 4800S Desktop Kit and replaced the GPU with the RX 6700. While there is no real equivalent to the Xbox’s RDNA 2 core, the RX 6700 has similar stats to the PS5’s GPU. According to Digital Foundry, the PC is not an exact match for the Series X (or the PS5), but does duplicate some of the architecture quirks of the Xbox’s CPU and has similar horsepower to current consoles. All that was left was to tune the graphical settings to the Series X.
First, running Starfield at 4K resolution with FSR 2 enabled (but no dynamic resolution scaling) did occasionally show 60fps. However, that was only in the game’s more enclosed environments. Space travel ran at 35 to 50fps, while most of the rest of the game was around 30 to 40. Then, DF tried lowering the resolution to 1440p, similar to the Xbox Series S. With this resolution, Starfield ran at a minimum of 40fps and much more of the game ran at 60fps. According to DF, this suggest that Bethesda could introduce a 40fps mode for 120Hz display; Variable Rate Refresh screens might also benefit from the addition of such a mode.
While the frame rate is currently locked at 30fps on console, it is consistent. Regardless of Starfield’s performance, the game is very popular. The sci-fi epic recently broke Steam’s concurrent player record.
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