Activision’s biggest money making franchise Call Of Duty , has gained another successor called COD: Ghosts. This is the tenth Call of Duty title in the last thirteen years (don’t quote us on that) and it is also a next gen game. When a game is called a next gen, people accept that the game will be better looking than anything previously seen and also better optimized.

As you know next gen games will have much stronger and faster CPUs and GPUs in use , so for a multiplatform title like Call Of Duty Ghosts, great optimization for processors and graphic cards is a must. Even if Call Of Duty: Ghosts isn’t exactly a next gen game excellent optimization is still expected considering that this is not Activision’s first COD title for PC.

We do not play Call Of Duty at all, so you will not find any notes about gameplay, single player and multiplayer features etc. But we must note that bad optimization was seen the first moment we walked into the game.

Mouse acceleration in Call of Duty Ghosts is one of the worst issues we have ever encountered in any PC game. At first we thought it was a mouse issue, after changing various mouse devices we established that the problem is the game itself. Mouse acceleration was, and still is, so awful that we thought about dropping the benchmark for this game, since it was almost impossible to move around. If you move your mouse by just a little (in order to aim or just adjust your movement) you will be thrown by 30-60 degrees more than what you would expect. Now this problem does not happen all the time, but around 30% in most cases (which is still a lot!).This instantly gave as an idea of how “good” this game was optimized and ported to PC (Yeah right!).

With such horrible mouse acceleration this game is almost unplayable, and although we found hundreds of threads around the internet concerning these issues, Activision and Infinity Ward haven’t  responded and didn’t release a patch while we were testing . However at the time of writing there has been a patch released that reduced mouse acceleration , we can confirm that mouse acceleration is still there but not to that big of an extent as before. I mean what is the use  of a first person shooter game if you can’t aim and move properly?

Also, just as we finished the tests and charts, AMD has released new drivers that improve performance in COD: Ghosts, and as in our  Batman Arkham Origins benchmark, we had to redo the AMD cards. We are honestly considering of making a separate page dedicated for late AMD drivers in every future benchmark, since this is really starting to be ridiculous.


System Requirements


Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8200 2.66 GHZ / AMD Phenom X3 8750 2.4 GHZ or better
  • RAM: 6 GB RAM
  • HDD: 40 GB HD space
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTS 450 / ATI Radeon HD 5870 or better
  • Sound: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
  • DirectX: 11
  • Internet: Broadband Internet connection and Steam and Online Multiplayer


Recommended System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 – 680 @ 3.6GHz
  • RAM: 8 GB RAM
  • HDD : 40 GB HD space
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 @ 4GB
  • Sound: DirectX compatible sound card
  • DirectX: DirectX 11
  • Internet: Broadband connection and service required for Multiplayer Connectivity. Internet connection required for activation.


Call Of Duty Ghosts Screenshot


We rarely comment on system requirements recommended by the developer or publisher but GPUs recommended in the Minimum specs are something to think about. We all know that Infinity Ward and Activision worked closely with Nvidia in developing this game but we must say that the Radeon 5870 is 2x faster than the GTS450. We were also surprised that minimum RAM recommended for this game is 6GB which is also something we find to be weird, because if you do not have at least that amount of GB in your system you wont be able to play the game. A 64-bit operating system is also a must , and a GPU that has 4GB of video ram as well if you want to play at highest settings. If we didn’t know that these specs are for COD:Ghosts we would thought that they were for Crysis 4 or something…

These are the settings at which we tested the game:

COD Advanced Video Settings


Benchmark Test Systems

CPU i7 4770Ki5 4670Ki3 4340
FX 8350FX6300FX4300
Motherboard Gigabyte 990FXA-UD5Asus Gryphon Z87
RAM 2x 8GB@ 2133 Mhz Kingston HyperX Beast : KHX21C11T3K2/16X
HDD/SSD 2 x Intel 520 Series 240 GB
GPU GTX770 4GB , GTX6607970GHZ Edition, 7870 GHZ Edition
Monitor Shimian QH270-IPSMS 2560x1440p 27″
PSU Thermaltake ToughPower XT 775W
OS Windows 8.1


 COD : Ghosts GPU Benchmark


2560×1440 Image Quality Extra


COD Ghosts 2560x1440 Benchmarks for GTX770 , 7970ghz , gtx660 and hd7870


With the new drivers AMD cards perform slightly better, the 7870 is on par with the GTX 660, however although the 7970 GHz Edition did have a minor boost in terms of performance it still trails behing the GTX 770 by 15-20%.

 COD gameplay


1920 x 1080 Image Quality Extra


COD Ghosts 1920x1080 Benchmarks for GTX770 , 7970ghz , gtx660 and hd7870


The same thing happens here, AMD will need to rework their drivers. Nvidia beats AMD in the 1920 x 1080p resolution as well. We must say that we are more than confused with such poor performance from all of these cards considering that the graphics in COD: Ghosts are “not that big of a deal” in the best case scenario. The game does look better than its predecessors, but nothing can justify such enormous  GPU power required to play this game at the highest settings. The COD: Ghosts maps are small, with below average textures, and we cannot but think that this game is completely unoptimized when it comes to utilizing GPU power. GPU usage on all of the cards was 99% all of the time but again we have no idea where all of those frames have gone to.

Call of Duty Ghosts Average Frametimes

We also measured the Frametiming in order to give a more accurate benchmark performance review.


Frametimes 2560 x 1440


COD Ghosts 2560x1440 Frametimes


Nvidia wins here once again. Frametiming with the GTX 660 and GTX 770 is much more acceptable than with AMD cards. Although the 7970 GHz edition does perform badly , the 7870 performance can be described as horrible .

Cod Ghosts Graphics Detail



Frametimes 1920 x 1080


COD Ghosts Frametimes 1920x1080


At 1920 x 1080 the difference between cards is less noticeable but its still there. The GTX 770 still does it better, but the Radeon 7970 GHz Edition is quite close, and we cant say that you would notice differences between these 2 cards when playing at this resolution. The margin between the GTX 660 and HD7870 is also quite small, but the GTX 660 does win in this round as well. It is obvious that AMD cards do better at the 1920 x 1080 than what they did at 2560 x 1440.

COD CPU Benchmark


2560×1440, GTX 770 4GB


COD Ghosts Cpu Benchmark  2560x1440


Although this is a kind of “next gen” game , COD:Ghosts doesn’t require a top of the line CPU, as you might expect. All of the CPU’s give more or less the same performance. Intel’s CPU as you see give slightly better min fps compared to AMD’s . The i3 and i7 give pretty much the same performance, same thing goes when you compare the FX 8350 and FX 4300.


Cod Ghosts Image Quality


 1920 x 1080 GTX 770 4GB


Call of Duty Ghosts Cpu Benchmark 1920x1080


 CPU Usage

As you know the bigger the frame count the bigger the work load for the CPU, and in these situations the difference between slower and faster CPUs tends to be bigger, in COD this is not the case. Its quite opposite to be frank. This is the same behavior that we saw while benchmarking Battlefield 4, the game is programmed to properly utilize 4 cores/threads, if you have a CPU with 8 cores or threads with games like these you will get worse performance than with a quad core processor. It is a valid question whether you really need optimization for an 8 core/thread CPU since the game doesn’t have any features that would require such complicated optimization. As you can see Intel’s CPUs perform around 10% better than the AMD FX line-up in the minimum FPS department, the rest are pretty much the same within a margin of error.

To give you a better perspective of how CPU optimization works in this game here is a graph that shows average CPU usage for all CPU’s:


Call of Duty Ghosts Average Cpu Usage


As you can see COD:Ghost isn’t a very CPU intensive game at all, any quad core CPU can handle this game with ease.

Call Of Duty System Memory Usage


Cod Ghosts Average System Memory Usage


This memory usage has been achieved on a full 22 player server , we couldnt reach any higher than this. We didn’t play the campaign so we cannot say how big memory usage is in that department but we can confirm that you do not need 6GB or even 8Gb in order to play this game as stated. You just need it to start the game (That dumb error message that doesn’t allow you to play the game if you have less) .


Cod Ghosts In Game


COD: Ghosts GPU Memory usage


If GPU performance was something to think about , we were truly blown away when we started monitoring  video ram usage.


2560 x 1440


Call of Duty Ghosts Average Gpu Usage 2560x1440


Almost 4GB of RAM that the game uses while playing at 2560 x 1440. Shock is not the word that can clearly  explain the state of our mind when we saw this, since there isn’t a single reason for this game to use more than 2 GB (even 1 GB should be enough) but 4GB is just pure chaos.

This is the first game that we have ever seen that uses 4GB at 2560x 1440. Crysis 3 and Battlefield 4 use around 2,7 GB (at the highest possible settings) with 10x better visuals, just to give you something to compare it with.


1920 x 1080

Cod Average Gpu Memory Usage 1920x1080

Again even at 1920 x 1080 this hog of a game will eat every single MB of video memory that you have, and although that isn’t the case with slower cards such as the GTX 660 and 7870 where VRam usage was more or less acceptable that certainly isn’t the case with the GTX 770 and 7970 GHz Edition. The VRam usage is all over the place, leaving us wondering if the results are accurate.

Since we know there is going to be a lot of eyes staring at these graphs in disbelief, we made a screenshot.


COD Ghosts High Vram Usage


We didn’t have the GTX Titan on hand when we benched COD: Ghosts , because if we did we wouldn’t be surprised that this game would eat up all 6 GB with ease .




This is unacceptable! A multiplayer game with very small maps and with graphics that haven’t been improved much over the past few years shouldn’t be this demanding, not by a long shot. Nvidia recommends the GTX 780 for those who want to play on 4K monitors, but when you look at VRam usage you will see that the 3GB that the GTX 780 has will not be enough for 4K monitors, not even close.

How could people at Activision and Infinity Ward permit themselves such extreme negligence while optimizing this game. One thing still does come to our minds, Activision and Infinity Ward have been campaigning for a while now about how their game will be demanding in terms of hardware requirements. This was some kind of a response to DICE’s and EA’s system requirements where the GTX 660 and 7870 were recommended GPUs.


Cod Ghosts Multiplayer


Apparently, marketing your game as demanding in terms of hardware requirements (and if its demanding, graphics must be awesome, right?) was a way for Activision to counter to EA AND DICE’s BF4, since if it is more demanding the graphics and textures must be better looking than in Battlefield 4 right? Wrong.

We can only speculate why they made this game so unoptimized, but we are getting some ideas. First of all Infinity Ward and Activision kept system requirements and optimization the same as before, you wouldn’t need a 7870 to run this at the highest possible settings at 60 fps. In that case we do not think that Nvidia would have any interest in promoting this game since all they want to do is sell more cards. If the game uses a 6 year old engine, why would anyone buy new cards to play COD: Ghosts when he can do that with an old one as well? Well I guess they found the way to make it more demanding after all, although as we said before we don’t have a clue to where all this GPU power is going. Also we find it very, very strange the requirement of a 64-bit operating system and 6GB of ram just to be able to run the game adding  to this horrible mouse acceleration and get the idea of how Infinity Ward and Activision care about their PC users.

We cannot but think that this game has been artificially made to be so demanding so it could be marketed as a game that visually offers more than the competitors.

Some patches have come, some issues have been “kind of” fixed, but what about those poor souls who wanted to play COD:Ghosts and whose PC doesn’t meet the required specs, although it is more than capable of running the game? Does Activision even care? Well someone still does care, for all of those who do not have 6 GB of RAM, some enthusiasts have managed to hack the game and enable computers with less than the required 6GB to run the game. Guess there is still hope for humanity.

Make sure to subscribe to our news letter in order to get notified about our future benchmarks.

COD Advanced Warfare is now out check out our benchmark.

See Pricing

If you have any questions about the benchmark please ask in the comment section below and I will be glad to answer.

About The Author

"I love the smell of fresh hardware in the morning..."