Activision has released the single-player campaign of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for those that have pre-ordered the game. Powered by IW engine 9, it’s time now to benchmark it and see how it performs on PC.
For this PC Performance Analysis, we used an Intel i9 9900K with 16GB of DDR4 at 3800Mhz, AMD’s Radeon RX580, RX Vega 64, RX 6900XT, NVIDIA’s GTX980Ti, RTX 2080Ti, RTX 3080 and RTX 4090. We also used Windows 10 64-bit, the GeForce 522.25 and the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 22.10.2 drivers.
Infinity Ward and Beenox have added a lot of graphics settings to tweak. PC gamers can adjust the quality of Textures, Shaders, Tessellation, Shadows, Particles, Ambient Occlusion and more. And while there is no support for any Ray Tracing effects, the game supports NVIDIA DLSS, Intel XeSS and AMD FSR 1.0. Not only that, but there is an option to compile shaders before starting the game, which completely eliminates all potential stutters.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 does not feature any built-in benchmark tool. Therefore, for both our CPU and GPU benchmarks, we used the following area. This area appeared to be quite demanding, so it can give us an idea of how the rest of the game runs.
In order to find out how the game scales on multiple CPU threads, we simulated a dual-core, a quad-core and a hexa-core CPU. Without Hyper-Threading, our simulated dual-core system took more than 7 minutes to load the level (and when it did, it had MAJOR stutters). Thus, we can safely say that it’s unplayable on that system. When we enabled Hyper-Threading, we witnessed an average of 70fps at 1080p/Extreme Settings. However, there were still numerous stutters which resulted in a very choppy experience.
What’s interesting here is the octa-core and simulated hexa-core results. This is the first time we see such performance differences between the HT and the non-HT versions of these systems. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is one of the few games that can take advantage of more than 8 CPU cores/threads. And, thanks to these amazing multi-threading capabilities, an old CPU like the i9 9900K can push framerates higher than 180fps.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 does not also require a high-end GPU for gaming at 1080p/Extreme. After all, our AMD Radeon Vega 64 was able to offer a smooth gaming experience. However, we should note that this game runs best on AMD’s hardware. This is the first time we see such a tremendous performance difference between the RTX3080 and the RX 6900XT. We’re talking about more than 40fps at 1080p/Extreme.
At 1440p/Extreme, our top four GPUs had no trouble at all running the game with more than 60fps. Again, pay attention to the performance of the AMD GPUs. The Vega 64 is 60% faster than the GTX980Ti. And as for 4K/Extreme, the RTX3080, RX 6900XT and RTX4090 were able to provide a constant 60fps experience.
Graphics-wise, COD: MW2 looks amazing. The environments look great and the game’s lighting system is quite advanced. The character models are also among the best we’ve seen. As said before, the game does not feature any Ray Tracing effects. However, it does look incredible. Add to this the fact that it can run on a wide range of PC configurations, and you got yourselves a really optimized title. My only gripe here is the limited view distance. Even on Extreme settings, there are noticeable pop-ins of distant objects. Given how optimized this game is, it would make sense to add a more intense/heavy LOD setting to address these issues.
All in all, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 runs incredibly well on PC. In fact, this is one of the most optimized PC games we’ve seen in 2022. Yes, the game does require a phone number and an Internet connection. And yes, it doesn’t have Ray Tracing. However, it runs silky smooth on a wide range of PC configurations. Not only that, but it looks amazing, and can take advantage of more than eight CPU cores/threads.
John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities. Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved – and still does – the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the “The Evolution of PC graphics cards.”