After hitting a whopping 25 million players within the first week and crossing 50 million players within a month of release, Apex Legends is shattering player-count-milestones one after the other. For comparison, Epic Games’ Fortnite touched this milestone only after 16 weeks!
Respawn Entertainment's take on the hot Battle Royale genre is arguably one of the best ones out there. And that's saying something when considering the plethora of developers who seem to be targeting this genre after the runaway success of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG).
However, Apex Legends' eye-catching graphics do take a toll on PC hardware. Especially when using older hardware. If you're looking to upgrade your PC to get the best possible performance in Apex Legends without breaking the bank, we're here to give you a hand with full build recommendations.
Choose Your CPU carefully: i7 vs i5 Performance Comparison
When going Intel, this is a question that every gamer inevitably ends up asking: Do I need an i7? Using an i7 does give you a frame rate boost, but only in certain scenarios.
If your system is limited by CPU, then you’d see substantial improvements when opting for a 9th Generation Intel Core i7 over an i5. The only scenario where a system is limited by CPU, or is CPU-bound, is when you use an extremely powerful GPU to play games at relatively lower resolutions and/or graphics settings (an RTX 2080 Ti at 1080p resolution, for example).
However, since most gaming remains firmly GPU-bound, which is limited by the GPU you're using, an i5 will do the job without a hitch when it comes to games like Apex Legends.
So, what performance can you expect? For a CPU comparison, we take a system built around an Nvidia RTX 2060.
Here, you can see the CPU having virtually no effect on the FPS you get at WQHD (Ultra quality settings). On the other hand, at FHD (Ultra) the disparity between the CPUs starts to become a bit more pronounced.
Nonetheless, always keep this in mind – if you have some wiggle room in your budget, it is always better to go for a better GPU than a CPU. Why? Because you’re more than likely to enjoy much better performance that way.
9th Generation Core i5: Best Value for Apex Legends?
Considering the disparity between prices compared to the disparity between performances, we’d say that an Intel Core i5 is one of the best value processors you can buy to enjoy Apex Legends to the fullest.
These CPUs are capable enough to power both Full HD Monitors as well as premium WQHD monitors. Moreover, their price-performance ratio makes them an irresistible option for those who’re on the lookout for value buys.
Recommended PC Build and Expected Performance for Apex game
So, now say you’re ready play Apex Legends with Core i5, what kind of configurations you will need to run your game smoothly?
Basically you can have a look of the minimum PC system requirements for Apex Legends from EA website. Here we’ll cover two PC builds to you– valuable Epic Gaming PC and the other high-end recommended – the Legendary Gaming PC that will match up with Apex Legend's PC system requirements.
The Epic Gaming PC build
|CPU: Core i5-9400F | Motherboard: B360M MORTAR | Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 1660Ti VENTUS XS 6G | Monitor: Optix MAG271CR
When using the GTX 1660 Ti at Full HD, you can make full use of a 144 Hz monitor with just a few graphics tweaks in Apex Legends. In a competitive game, the lower input lag and enhanced fluidity will most definitely give you an edge over your opponents.
MSI's Optix MAG271CR Gaming Monitor features a gorgeous curved panel, stunning color gamut, spectacular bezel-less design, a Full HD resolution, and a fluid 144 Hz refresh rate – all the ingredients needed to grant you a premium gaming experience with the hardware we chose for this build.
The MSI B360M MORTAR motherboard boasts the feature-set needed to extract the most out of the Intel Core i5 9400F processor. Not only does it look great in any PC build but it also helps your hardware stay cool with an excluded thermal design – extended heatsink. Also, the B360M MORTAR boasts dual M.2 slots for your SSDs to ensure faster loading times for your games and applications.
The Legendary Gaming PC Build
|CPU: Core i5-9600K | Motherboard: MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE AC | Graphics Card: GeForce RTX 2060 VENTUS 6G | Monitor: Optix MAG271CQR
If you can stretch your budget a little, you can enjoy Apex Legends at the stunning, much-desirable WQHD resolution. What's more, if you can manage to get the RTX 2060, you can push past 100 FPS to make optimum use of a 144 Hz monitor and get a fluid gaming experience even at WQHD. Of course, you’ll need to make a few graphics tweaks (turn off a few settings) to achieve this.
The unlocked Intel Core i5 9600K needs a decent Z390 motherboard to get the most out of it. You should ideally overclock your CPU to make sure that your hardware is performing to the limit.
MSI’s Opitx MAG271CQR Curved Gaming Monitor grants you all the features you need to enjoy gaming with this build and more. While the superb WQHD resolution (1440p) ensures that your games look stunning every step of the way, the 144 Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time allows for a smoother, more fluid gaming experience.
We recommend the MPG Z390 GAMING EDGE AC as it grants the most bang-for-buck when it comes to a full-featured ATX motherboard. Its enhanced thermal design with an extended heatsink allows for excellent overclocking capabilities – ensuring that you seldom run into heating issues like thermal throttling.
Apex Legends Expected GPU Performance with Intel 9th Generation Core i5 and Core i7 Processors
Still not sure what performance you can expect with a certain PC setup that you’re considering? Our extensive testing should help make your purchase decision much easier.
▼Apex Legends Performance at Full HD Resolution
As expected, at Full HD, the disparity in performance between an i5 and i7 is evident from the RTX 2060 FPS results.
If you’re looking for a budget gaming build and don't mind turning down graphics settings to get past 60 FPS, the GTX 1050 Ti and Core i5 9400 configuration will serve you well. However, do keep in mind that lower minimums (46 FPS) will cause your FPS to dip at times.
For those looking to push past 100 FPS to make full use of a 144 Hz display, we recommend the GTX 1660 Ti + Core i5 9400 build. In fact, if you turn your graphics settings down enough, you can push to close to even a steady 144 FPS.
▼Apex Legends Performance at WQHD Resolution
Again, as we predicted earlier, the performance disparity between the i5 and i7 almost vanishes at WQHD when using an RTX 2060 graphics card. In this case, there's no point of considering the GTX 1050 Ti because the game won't be playable. Our recommendations for this resolution are an RTX 2060 + Core i5. Since a Core i7 doesn't offer much of a performance boost, you should try getting a better graphics card instead of a better processor if you do have some wiggle room in your budget.
A RTX 2070 + Core i5 soundly thrashes the RTX 2060 + Core i7 when it comes to performance in Apex Legends, and as a matter of fact, also in most other games you’ll play. Considering that this performance difference comes at almost the same price, going for the RTX 2070 instead of splurging on an Intel Core i7 is a no-brainer for gamers everywhere.