Hogwarts Legacy: Detail Tuning – Which graphics options cost the most performance?


Hogwarts Legacy is the first big hit of 2023. You can find our extensive technology test here, but now it’s all about the individual graphics options that are hidden in the extensive menu. We did the test to find out which setting costs the most performance and where a clever combination can easily get 15 percent or more performance. The author’s private system is used for all comparisons, which consists of an overclocked Intel Core i7-13700K, 64 GiByte RAM and a Geforce RTX 4090 upgraded for this tuning part. Too much high end you say? Don’t worry, because the comparison of the individual graphic presets below is “only” about the percentage influence and this should be similar on other systems. All observations were made around the large open world, in forests and cities, while the benchmarks to determine each option’s performance were made in Hogsmeade. Further details can be found below, now the interesting comparison pictures come first.

Anti-aliasing: TAA and DLAA in comparison

TAA Low vs. TAA High vs. DLAA

The following applies to this and all following comparisons: Please use the full-screen comparison to be able to better recognize the sometimes minimal differences. We have displayed an OSD for each image in the top left where you can read the fps.

For the anti-aliasing comparison, you should direct your gaze to the large tree in the upper center of the image. It is filigree details like these that can optically enhance the TAA or DLAA. When the TAA is low, the branches and leaves tend to be blurry, while when the TAA is high they are much more visible. DLAA also runs slightly faster than TAA because the Geforce tensor cores are used. At this point it is otherwise not worth switching from TAA high to low, the performance gain is tiny.

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Upsampling Comparison: DLAA vs DLSS vs FSR 2.0 vs XeSS vs FSR 1.0 vs NIS

All upsampling variants in comparison

DLAA, base

There are rarely so many possibilities for upsampling in one title. With the help of the RTX 4090, we’re able to try all the options. Here, too, we recommend using the full-screen comparison. Although we are within the CPU limit, the power consumption of the graphics card in the OSD at the top left shows how large the savings and thus the efficiency gain are. In the best case, you can use an upsampling method of your choice to achieve an image that looks (almost) just as beautiful and has more fps than before. Also, some video memory is saved when you use upsampling. This can be helpful, especially for graphics cards with less than eight gigabytes of memory. It is striking that Intel’s solution, XeSS, still seems to have some problems when it comes to shadows. DLSS saves the most, hardly surprisingly, with the RTX 4090. Which overall picture do you like the most? Let us know in the comments.

Graphics Presets: Tried all options from Ultra to Low

Graphic preset complete

All details Ultra #1

Maximum detailsMinimal details

In particular, the viewing distance up to which objects in the game world are drawn visibly for the player is noticeable in the comparison images. A whole tent disappears. The shadows also lose their richness of detail and range from “you can see every leaf” to “pixel mud”. Nevertheless, if you would like more fps, you can already get around ten percent if all options are reduced from ultra to high. The visual difference between these two presets is small, as the pictures show. We experience a bigger cut from high to medium, but the fps can be increased by a whopping 20 percent starting from ultra. If you turn the details to the minimum, you will get around 35 percent better performance. Hogwarts legacy

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option Preset fps P1 fps %-Profit
Base Ultra 88.9 57.3
effects High 93.6 61.0 5.29%
Middle 94.4 63.4 6.19%
Low 94.7 63.7 6.52%
material High 87.1 56.4 -2.02%
Middle 88.0 57.8 -1.01%
Low 88.6 58.9 -0.34%
Fog High 88.6 57.0 -0.34%
Middle 89.5 57.6 0.67%
Low 89.8 59.5 1.01%
Heaven High 88.1 56.2 -0.90%
Middle 89.5 57.3 0.67%
Low 89.6 61.2 0.79%
leaves High 88.3 59.0 -0.67%
Middle 89.4 59.3 0.56%
Low 89.8 60.3 1.01%
post processing High 92.6 59.9 4.16%
Middle 97.2 60.8 9.34%
Low 97.7 61.3 9.90%
The shade High 88.1 57.1 -0.90%
Middle 88.6 60.2 -0.34%
Low 88.8 62.7 -0.11%
textures High 88.6 58.1 -0.34%
Middle 86.8 53.6 -2.36%
Low 81.4 52.3 -8.44%
sight distance High 90.5 60.3 1.80%
Middle 90.9 60.8 2.25%
Low 91.5 61.9 2.92%
population High 88.1 56.8 -0.90%
Middle 88.3 57.1 -0.67%
Low 88.5 58.8 -0.45%

The table breaks down what experiences we could make when changing the individual graphics options. As mentioned above, the CPU scene in Hogsmeade is used, but in UHD, so we are at a GPU limit, as are many players who want more fps in Hogwarts Legacy. Three options have emerged that alone can add up to more than 15 percent fps: the effects, the post-processing and the viewing distance. However, it is also incomprehensible to us how some options at lower levels even cost performance. We checked the value for the low textures three times. Unfortunately, we cannot explain this to ourselves and call on you to carry out experiments yourself. We would be very interested in your results. On this basis, we recommend that you reduce the quality of the effects, the post-processing and the viewing distance by one level for more fps.

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Ray tracing comparison: Optical brilliance that is expensive

Raytracing comparison

Ray-traced reflections, Ultra

Ray tracing improves the optics to an extent that is particularly expensive. But this allows for a wealth of detail that can add that certain something to a title like Hogwarts Legacy. If you can afford it and have installed the right graphics card, you will get respectable results on the Ultra and High levels. The reflections, for example, look almost identical on high, but are around ten percent more economical. From the middle level, the reflection becomes rather blurred and on low you can’t really see what is being reflected. It is similar with the shadows. These are very noticeable and sharp on Ultra, while progressively fading at the lower levels and barely noticeable on Low.

RT Shadow UltraRT Shadow High

We noticed a special feature between ultra and high. The finest shadows cast in the hair and face of our lovely student are only shown with the ultra level. However, these shadows cost around ten percent of the fps. However, we think it’s worth the upgrade. What do you mean?