Computing

Hogwarts Legacy PC: Optimal Configurations, Ray Tracing, DLSS, and More

Hogwarts Legacy, the highly anticipated video game set in the enchanting world of Harry Potter, offers a visually stunning experience. However, achieving smooth gameplay can be challenging. To help you optimize performance and enhance your gaming experience on PC, I have compiled a list of the best settings for Hogwarts Legacy. Additionally, I will delve into the topics of ray tracing, upscaling, and the game’s demanding RAM requirements.

The Best Settings for Hogwarts Legacy

Quality presets in Hogwarts Legacy on PC
Image used with permission by the copyright holder

Hogwarts Legacy provides a benchmark feature that automatically suggests settings based on your system hardware. However, it is advisable to fine-tune the settings yourself. After exploring the magical world of Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, I discovered the optimal settings for Hogwarts Legacy:

  • Effects quality: High
  • Material quality: Medium
  • Fog quality: Medium
  • Sky quality: Low
  • Foliage quality: Medium
  • Post-process quality: High
  • Shadow quality: Medium
  • Texture quality: Low
  • View distance quality: Medium
  • Population quality: Medium

At first glance, the quality settings in Hogwarts Legacy may seem indistinguishable. However, upon closer examination, you will notice subtle differences. For example, the Ultra preset introduces more atmospheric fog, which imparts a sense of mystery to Hogwarts. Additionally, adjusting the population quality setting affects the density of characters, making the game feel more vibrant while impacting GPU and CPU performance.

Quality of a rug in Hogwarts Legacy
Image used with permission by the copyright holder

You will also observe that the game prioritizes objects closer to the camera. Consequently, I recommend reducing the texture quality and material quality settings. Lowering these settings can alleviate stuttering and performance issues, particularly if your video memory is strained.

Hogwarts Legacy System Requirements

Hogwarts Legacy boasts ambitious system requirements, especially if you desire maximum graphics fidelity. The minimum specifications call for an Nvidia GTX 960 and an Intel Core i5-6600 processor, enabling you to play the game at 720p with 30 frames per second (fps) using the Low graphics preset. However, to enjoy a more immersive experience at 1080p with 60 fps, you will need a more powerful system, such as an Intel Core i7-8700 and Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti. Notably, the Intel Arc A770 graphics card is recommended, showcasing its suitability for this title.

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For playing the game at 1440p, both the Ultra and Ultra 4K requirements suggest either an Intel Core i7-10700K or an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X. The GPU requirements differ, with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti recommended for 1440p and the AMD RX 7900 XT for 4K resolution.

It is worth noting that as you surpass the 720p mark, Hogwarts Legacy becomes increasingly demanding. Therefore, to fully immerse yourself in this magical world, you will need a high-performing gaming PC. Furthermore, the game’s RAM requirements stand out: a minimum of 16GB is necessary, while the developer recommends 32GB for resolutions above 1080p. Hogwarts Legacy falls into the category of games with elevated RAM demands in 2023.

Do You Really Need 32GB of RAM for Hogwarts Legacy?

Initially, there was some commotion when it was reported that Hogwarts Legacy required 32GB of RAM. Traditionally, 16GB has been considered more than sufficient for PC gaming. However, Hogwarts Legacy challenges this notion.

The game consumes a significant amount of system and video memory, especially as you increase the resolution. While 16GB of RAM is adequate for 1080p gaming, I strongly recommend upgrading to 32GB if you plan to play at higher resolutions. A higher resolution, coupled with other background processes, such as Windows services, can quickly exhaust memory resources. For instance, at 4K resolution, the game consumed nearly 15GB of system memory, emphasizing the need for more RAM.

Video memory usage is also a concern. With ray tracing enabled at 4K, the game utilizes approximately 13GB of video memory. Consequently, should your system approach its video memory limit, expect significant stuttering and performance issues in Hogwarts Legacy.

It is possible that future driver updates from Nvidia and AMD may address these memory usage challenges. At present, Intel is the only manufacturer to release an official driver with Hogwarts Legacy support. AMD and Nvidia drivers are eagerly awaited.

How to Address Stuttering in Hogwarts Legacy on PC

Stuttering in Hogwarts Legacy can generally be attributed to insufficient video memory. As mentioned earlier, the game consumes a substantial amount of memory, and running out of video memory results in severe performance drops. To mitigate this issue, you can try the following solutions:

  1. Enable hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling in Windows settings. Navigate to the Settings app, select Display, and then Graphics. Choose “Change default graphics settings” and activate the Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling option. Remember to restart your PC after making this change.
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Ray-traced reflections in Hogwarts Legacy
Image used with permission by the copyright holder

  1. Flush your shader cache and adjust its size. For Nvidia users, access the Nvidia Control Panel and navigate to Manage 3D settings. Under the Global settings tab, set the Shader cache size to Unlimited. Note that this will occupy more space on your hard drive, so if storage is limited, allocate at least 10GB for the shader cache.

AMD graphics card users cannot adjust the shader cache size. However, you can clear the cache by opening AMD Software, going to Settings, selecting Advanced under the Graphics tab, and clicking on Reset shader cache.

Additional settings adjustments, as suggested by a Reddit user, may also yield positive results. While I have not personally tested these changes, you may consider experimenting with them. Ensure you back up any modified files in case you wish to revert to the default settings.

Ray Tracing in Hogwarts Legacy

Ray-traced shadows and ambient occlusion in Hogwarts Legacy
Image used with permission by the copyright holder

Hogwarts Legacy supports ray tracing in three forms: ray-traced reflections, ambient occlusion, and shadows. Each setting can be toggled individually, with an overall quality slider available for all effects.

Unless you possess a high-end system, it is advisable to disable ray tracing. While it enhances visual realism, the performance impact is substantial. Even with an RTX 4090 graphics card, activating ray tracing with the Medium quality preset resulted in a significant performance decrease.

Ray tracing provides improved shadow and ambient occlusion effects. The ray-traced version boasts sharper shadows and additional depth due to indirect shadow casting, as exemplified by the chair shadow in the screenshot above.

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Ray-traced reflections are noticeable on reflective surfaces, but they are not pervasive throughout the game. Thus, I recommend keeping them disabled unless your hardware can comfortably handle the added demand.

Upscaling in Hogwarts Legacy

DLSS, FSR 2, and XeSS in Hogwarts Legacy
Image used with permission by the copyright holder

Hogwarts Legacy offers multiple upscaling options, including Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), AMD’s FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR), and Intel’s Xe Super Sampling (XeSS). Each option has its own variations.

The game supports FSR 1 and 2, as well as Nvidia DLSS and Nvidia Image Scaling (NIS) for Nvidia GPU owners. However, NIS and FSR 1 noticeably reduce game quality, making them less desirable choices.

Among the available options, DLSS and FSR 2 offer excellent results. If you have an Nvidia RTX GPU, I recommend utilizing DLSS, as it provides superior image quality. Otherwise, FSR 2 is a viable alternative. Though XeSS, Intel’s upscaling tool, is competent, it falls slightly short of AMD’s FSR in terms of sharpness.

Hogwarts Legacy PC: Optimal Configurations
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

An exception should be made for owners of Intel Arc A750 or A770 graphics cards. These GPUs feature dedicated cores that accelerate XeSS, offering a faster version optimized for Hogwarts Legacy. If you possess an Intel GPU, I recommend using XeSS.

In terms of performance, DLSS holds a slight advantage among the three upscaling options. Notably, DLSS Frame Generation, available only with compatible RTX 40-series GPUs, provides a significant performance boost.

Conclusion

Optimizing your gaming experience in Hogwarts Legacy requires careful consideration of various settings and configurations. By following the recommendations outlined in this article, you can improve performance, address potential issues, and enhance the visual quality of the game. Enjoy exploring the magnificent world of Hogwarts!


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