Meet the Stars of Tomorrow


In the logicalincrements guide, if you were to hover over the name of any tier, you will get a small description, along with a sample performance in some popular games.

Example: This is now what you will see when mousing over the “Entry” tier.


Below is the same tier using the old rating system.


The way we calculated the old performance ratings was based on the following table:


We looked at the FPS across various common resolutions, and graded tier performance accordingly.

The old grading was quite lenient: A setup that could produce just 20 FPS at 1680×1050 would get a star. And the resolution only went up to 2560×1440, so the priciest tiers could easily get a full 5 stars for all games.

We are updating to a new system for our star rating, and it is going to be much, much harsher. For a start, we are replacing CoD:BO2, BF3 and Crysis 1 for CoD:Ghosts, BF4 and Crysis 3 respectively. While Ghosts does not have significantly higher graphics than BO2, BF4 and Crysis 3 are both much more demanding than their predecessors. We are also dropping the 1366×768 resolution, and adding 4K instead.

The new star chart looks like so:


The gradient for the new system is smoother, which means that you will rarely get a case where going up by one tier would change the star rating by more than one star.

The combination of higher resolution, and newer games, means that even the $3k builds no longer max out all games, since that would mean getting 60+ FPS on Crysis 3 at 4K resolution, which requires 3 or 4 Titans. 3 or 4 Titans is beyond the realm of most mortals at the moment, so we expect that our current system will last for a while before we need to make it even harsher.

The effect of the changes per game is as follows:

LoL: Because it is an easy game to run on most hardware, LoL only lost about half a star on average.

Dota 2, WoW, CoD:Ghosts: Lost an average of one star each.

BF4: Lost about 1.5 stars. Even the priciest tiers only get 4 stars nows.

Crysis 3: The hardest hit game, lost an average of 2 stars.

For a simplified meaning of the new star rating:

0 stars: This setup cannot play this game well.

0.5 stars: This setup can play this game tolerably, on low settings and resolution

1-2 stars: This setup can play the game at 1600×900 resolution.

2-3 stars: This setup can play the game at 1920×1080 resolution.

3-4 stars: This setup can play the game at 2560×1440 resolution.

4-5 stars: This setup can play the game at 3840×2160 (4K) resolution.

Please note that the guide has 16 tiers. With 6 games at 4 different resolutions, that meant that we need nearly 400 different benchmarks. While we were able to find the majority of benchmarks stats needed, some were not available (example: Ghosts does not yet support 4K). If a specific benchmark was not available, we extrapolated from benchmarks of similar cards/settings.

Please feel free to give feedback on our choice of new games and new resolutions.


  • SanScat

    Just to clarify, these stars are based on performances at ultra settings, correct?

    • n

      i was wondering the same thing

      • Matthew Zehner

        I believe so, yes.

  • dieshire_

    Since I’m not a picky player and I just need something to run, would getting a ‘Modest’ Grade computer running at 800 x 640, how much higher would the rating go?

    • Matthew Zehner

      I am not exactly sure of your question, honestly. But running at a lower resolution will increase performance quite a bit over the 1600×900 monitors. However, the change and playability will vary depending on the game.

  • Angelo Perera

    So by saying it can play the game at 1600×900 resolution etc, does this mean at a locked 60fps, or just a playable 30fps or something? And just to confirm, these are all done at maxed out settings, correct?

    • Matthew Zehner

      The frame rates that we used are listed in the new chart! And yes – it is definitely done on maximum settings.

  • MittensKazotsky

    Are these numbers from the games on max settings in their respective resolutions?

    • Star rating is for High or Max settings, depending on reviewers. Mostly it’s maxed out except for extremely demanding features (e.g. Hairworks and stuff).

  • MittensKazotsky

    Are these numbers from the games on max settings in their respective resolutions?