BioShock Infinite: Graphical Preset Comparisons & Performance Tips

BioShock Infinite is out in some parts of the world, and it may well be everything fans of the series were hoping for. Early reviews of the game are in, and no one who’s played the game even appears remotely disappointed with what Irrational Games has to offer in the skybound adventure.

In any case, BioShock Infinite is optimized to play on the PC—better even than its console counterparts—and it offers a wide variety of graphics options for players with the hardware capabilities to run the game at its finest.

But first and foremost, here’s what you’ll need to get the game up and running. Note that the requirements aren’t too steep, so older computers should have no problem running the game.

Minimum Specs
OS: Windows Vista Service Pack 2 32-bit
Processor: Intel Core 2 DUO 2.4 GHz / AMD Athlon X2 2.7 GHz
Memory: 2GB
Hard Disk Space: 20 GB free
Video Card: DirectX10 Compatible ATI Radeon HD 3870 / NVIDIA 8800 GT / Intel HD 3000 Integrated Graphics
Video Card Memory: 512 MB
Sound: DirectX Compatible

Recommended Specs
OS: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit
Processor: Quad Core Processor
Memory: 4GB
Hard Disk Space: 30 GB free
Video Card: DirectX11 Compatible, AMD Radeon HD 6950 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560
Video Card Memory: 1024 MB
Sound: DirectX Compatible

For the best experience, Nvidia owners are recommended to download the 314.22 drivers, which are optimized for BioShock Infinite. Pick those up here.

Graphics Options – Basic Settings

Once you’ve gotten the game up and running, you can modify the game’s graphics settings through the options menu. Keep in mind that you won’t have to watch the intro videos more than once, as you’ll be able to skip them the second time onward by pressing any button as they play.

Most of the following basic options are self-explanatory. Notable basic settings are as follows:

Graphics Quality – You can choose between “Preset” and “Custom”. Setting this option to “Custom” will allow you greater control over the game’s advanced graphical settings.
Quality Level – Preset graphical options. If you don’t feel like messing around with the game’s graphical options, you can choose from Very Low to Ultra.
Lock Framerate – Better known as enabling v-sync, this setting is best set to “off” as it reduces the game’s responsiveness. Turning it on will reduce screen tearing.
Field of View – Allows you to increase the game’s FOV to be 15 percent narrower or wider. Your mileage may vary.
Art subtitles – Turning this on will display a translated version of the text while you look at writing on any critical object in the world.
Graphics Options – Advanced Settings

To toggle the game’s advanced graphical settings, you’ll have to set the Graphics Quality to “Custom”.

Antialiasing – Smooths jagged edges on objects. Heavy performance hit.
Texture Detail – Goes from “Very Low” to “Ultra”. Performance is dependent on available memory on your graphics card.
Texture Filtering – Also known as anisotropy, the highest setting offers 16x Anisotropic and trilinear filtering on all textures. Shouldn’t take a performance hit on newer graphics cards.
Dynamic Shadows – Goes from “Off” to “Ultra”. The higher settings use DX11 shaders, with high resolution contact-hardening dynamic shadows. Heavy performance hit.
Postprocessing – Normal post processing shows all the scenes in the game the way its developers intended. “Alternate” uses a different depth-of-field effect.
Light Shafts – Also known as “god rays”, Light Shafts are a pretty neat effect.
Ambient Occlusion – Allows every object in the game to cast a shadow generated by ambient lighting. Big performance hit.
Object Level of Detail – Allows objects a long distance away to maintain their details.

Graphical Preset Comparisons
Very Low
Very High

For previous graphics comparisons and performance tips, check out our guides for Crysis 3 and Tomb Raider.

Check out even more Bioshock Infinite unlockables, collectibles, and easter eggs.

Bioshock Infinite: Console vs. PC Comparison Video

Bioshock Infinite: How to Unlock 1999 Mode with the Konami Code

Bioshock Infinite: Voxophones Locations Guide

Bioshock Infinite: Telescopes & Kinetoscopes Locations Guide

Bioshock Infinite: Infusion Upgrades Locations Guide

Bioshock Infinite: Easter Eggs Guide

Get the complete tour of Columbia with Game Front’s Bioshock: Infinite video walkthrough. After experiencing the story, stick with us as we update the Bioshock Infinite cheats list with collectible locations, secrets, achievement guides and much more.

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3 Comments on BioShock Infinite: Graphical Preset Comparisons & Performance Tips


On March 25, 2013 at 1:14 pm

With out being able to make the pictures bigger, all i can see is a shadow difference. Everything looks high def if you shrink it enough


On March 26, 2013 at 12:03 am

I’m using the GTX 560(non-Ti) with small overclock(though I’m not sure if it makes any difference…) with Intel 2500k @ 4GHz and 8 Gigs 1600MHz RAM and 7200 RPM HDD. I just played about 45 mins of Infinite and I’m loving it!

I’m trying to figure out what good settings or optimizations are for my rig.. I had most settings other than shadows(which is at low) at medium but even that caused me to dip in performance.. I use v-sync on because I can’t stand screen tearing.
I guess I’ll do the benchmark later.


On March 26, 2013 at 11:01 am

I’m running i7 860 @3.4, 8gigs 1600MHz RAM, 570 GTX and I’m mostly locking 60fps with all High settings except shadows at med I think. Performance with Nvidia’a latest 314.22 drivers seems to be pretty good. The only thing that drives me bonkers is always trying to solve the ‘hitching’ or sudden drop in frames. It will go back to 60 but after a couple seconds. Not sure if its a texture streaming issue or something with my system that’s bottle-necking or what… This is also with using Nvidia’s adaptive V-sync. I’ll try not using ANY v-sync at all and see…