Should You Turn Tessellation On or Off? Does It Affect FPS?

Tessellation in computer graphics is a technique used to add geometric detail to 3D models in real-time rendering. In simpler terms, it’s a way to make objects and surfaces in a game or application look more detailed and realistic.

This is achieved by dividing the original, less detailed polygonal model into smaller pieces, adding more vertices, and then smoothing the surface between these new vertices. The result is a more intricate and visually appealing object or environment.

Does Tessellation Affect FPS Performance?

In low and average-resolution monitors, tessellation can decrease your framerates by ~15% when you turn it on, though, the difference in FPS between normal, high, and very high tessellation levels is minimal. In higher resolutions, the performance goes down by ~25%.

Below you can see the enormous difference that tessellation makes in terms of image quality. You can notice the extra edges that it adds to objects.

It’s advised to turn Tesselation ON as long as your PC can handle it.

And here is the impact that it has on your framerates:

Tesselation performance comparison chart

As I mentioned above, tessellation is very unique and highly depends on your resolution. You can see the difference between 1680 x 1050 and 2560 x 1600.

From normal to very high, there isn’t much of a change in terms of performance so if you can afford to use Medium, you might as well go all the way up to Very High.

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Tessellation Significance in Gaming

Tessellation has become increasingly important in the world of gaming, primarily due to its ability to significantly enhance visual fidelity. Some of its key benefits in gaming include:

  1. Improved Geometry Detail and Realism: Tessellation allows game developers to create characters, objects, and environments with intricate details, such as wrinkles on clothing, fine texture on surfaces, and complex terrain features. This level of detail enhances the overall gaming experience.
  2. Enhanced Surface Smoothness: Tessellation can make curved surfaces appear smoother and more organic by adding additional vertices where needed, reducing the blocky appearance of low-poly models.
  3. Realistic Terrain and Environment Representation: As you saw in the image above, tessellation is used to create lifelike landscapes with detailed terrain, realistic water surfaces, and dynamic environmental features like rocks and vegetation.
  4. Future-Proofing Graphics: As gaming hardware evolves, the demand for higher-quality visuals also increases. Tessellation provides a way for games to remain visually appealing on the latest hardware by leveraging its capabilities to deliver better graphics.

Final Thoughts

While Tessellation may challenge your hardware, the rewards in terms of visual richness and immersion are immeasurable.

As you venture into the boundless worlds of gaming, let it be your guide, enhancing the ordinary into the extraordinary and enriching your gaming journey. If you ask me, what we’ve seen is that the trade-off is definitely worth it.

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Lampros Koukis
Lampros Koukis

I am Lampros, co-founder of I am passionate about gaming, technology, and computers. I have been involved in that industry for about 15 years. I have been a tech writer for the last 5 years so I am bringing to you guys the expertise and knowledge I have gathered through the years.

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