Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Optimized Settings Review

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“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided,” developed by Eidos-Montréal and published by Square Enix, is known for its impressive visuals and complex gameplay mechanics. However, to fully appreciate the game’s beauty and ensure smooth performance, players often need to tweak their graphics settings. This review delves into the optimal settings for “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided,” offering an in-depth analysis of how to balance visual fidelity and performance across various hardware configurations. We will explore each graphics setting, its impact on performance, and how to achieve the best possible experience without compromising too much on the game’s stunning aesthetics.

System Requirements

Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7.1SP1 or above (64-bit Operating System Required)
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-2100 or AMD equivalent
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • GPU: AMD Radeon HD 7870 (2GB) or NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 (2GB)
  • DirectX: DirectX 11
  • Storage: 45 GB available space

Recommended System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K or AMD FX 8350 Wraith
  • RAM: 16 GB
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 480 – 1920 x 1080 or NVIDIA GTX 970 – 1920 x 1080
  • DirectX: DirectX 12
  • Storage: 55 GB available space

Understanding these requirements helps in tailoring the settings for different hardware capabilities.

Graphics Settings Overview


Resolution is one of the most impactful settings in any game, including “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.” Higher resolutions provide clearer and more detailed images but require more processing power.

  • Recommendation: Play at your monitor’s native resolution. If performance is an issue, consider lowering the resolution, but this should be a last resort as it significantly impacts visual quality.

Display Mode

“Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” offers several display modes, including Fullscreen, Borderless Windowed, and Windowed.

  • Recommendation: Use Fullscreen mode for the best performance, as it reduces input lag and improves frame rates compared to Windowed modes.


Vertical Sync (V-Sync) synchronizes the game’s frame rate with your monitor’s refresh rate to eliminate screen tearing.

  • Recommendation: Disable V-Sync if you are aiming for maximum performance and are not experiencing screen tearing. Alternatively, use Adaptive V-Sync or Fast Sync if available in your GPU’s control panel for a compromise between performance and visual consistency.

Refresh Rate

Setting the refresh rate to match your monitor’s capabilities can enhance the smoothness of gameplay.

  • Recommendation: Set this to the highest refresh rate your monitor supports, especially if you have a high-refresh-rate monitor (e.g., 120Hz, 144Hz).

Graphics Settings Details

Texture Quality

Texture Quality affects the sharpness and clarity of the game’s surfaces and objects.

  • High: Recommended for GPUs with 4GB of VRAM or more. It offers detailed and crisp textures, enhancing the visual experience.
  • Medium: Suitable for mid-range GPUs with 2GB-4GB of VRAM.
  • Low: For GPUs with less than 2GB of VRAM or when striving for maximum performance over visual quality.


Shadows can significantly impact performance, especially at higher settings.

  • Ultra: Provides high-quality, realistic shadows but is very demanding.
  • High: Good balance between quality and performance.
  • Medium: Suitable for mid-range systems, still providing decent shadow quality.
  • Low: Minimizes performance impact but significantly reduces visual quality.

Ambient Occlusion

Ambient Occlusion (AO) adds depth to the scenes by simulating the way light interacts with objects and surfaces.

  • HBAO+: High-quality option, recommended for high-end systems.
  • SSAO: Medium-quality, more performance-friendly.
  • Off: Best for maximizing performance, but significantly reduces visual depth and realism.


Anti-Aliasing smooths out the jagged edges of objects in the game.

  • MSAA: High-quality but very demanding. Best suited for high-end systems.
  • TAA: Less demanding and provides good results. A good balance for mid-range systems.
  • FXAA: Least demanding, suitable for lower-end systems but can result in a blurry image.
  • Off: If performance is the utmost priority, turning this off will provide a significant boost.

Depth of Field

Depth of Field (DoF) simulates the way a camera lens focuses on certain objects while blurring others.

  • On: Adds cinematic quality to the game.
  • Off: Disabling can improve performance, especially in scenes with a lot of visual complexity.

Motion Blur

Motion Blur smooths the appearance of objects in motion.

  • On: Adds a cinematic effect but can be demanding.
  • Off: Improves performance and can reduce visual fatigue for some players.


Bloom effects enhance the lighting by creating a glow around bright objects.

  • On: Enhances the visual appeal, especially in scenes with significant lighting contrasts.
  • Off: Disabling can improve performance, especially on lower-end systems.

Field of View (FOV)

Field of View determines how much of the game world is visible on the screen.

  • Recommendation: A higher FOV can be more immersive and is useful for seeing more of the environment, but it can also impact performance. Adjust this based on personal preference and performance considerations.

Optimization Techniques


Using the game’s built-in benchmarking tool is an essential step in finding the optimal settings. This tool provides detailed metrics on frame rates, CPU, and GPU usage across various scenes and settings.

  • Recommendation: Run the benchmark tool multiple times with different settings to find a configuration that balances performance and visual quality. Pay attention to minimum and average frame rates to ensure a smooth experience.

Driver Updates

Ensuring that your GPU drivers are up-to-date is crucial for optimizing performance and compatibility.

  • Recommendation: Regularly check for and install the latest drivers from NVIDIA or AMD, as they often include performance improvements and bug fixes for specific games.


For advanced users, overclocking the GPU or CPU can provide additional performance headroom.

  • Recommendation: Use tools like MSI Afterburner to safely overclock your hardware, but be cautious of potential overheating and stability issues. Ensure adequate cooling and monitor temperatures closely.

Background Processes

Minimizing background processes frees up system resources for the game.

  • Recommendation: Close unnecessary applications and disable startup programs that are not required during gameplay to improve overall system performance.

Windows Performance Settings

Adjusting Windows performance settings can also contribute to smoother gameplay.

  • Recommendation: Set the Windows power plan to “High Performance” to ensure that your CPU and GPU are running at their full potential during gameplay.

Example Configurations

High-End Configuration

For a high-end gaming rig, here are the recommended settings to achieve the best visual experience with good performance:

  • Resolution: 2560×1440 or 4K
  • Display Mode: Fullscreen
  • V-Sync: Off (use G-Sync or FreeSync if available)
  • Refresh Rate: Highest available
  • Texture Quality: High
  • Shadows: High
  • Ambient Occlusion: HBAO+
  • Anti-Aliasing: TAA
  • Depth of Field: On
  • Motion Blur: On
  • Bloom: On
  • Field of View: 85-100

Mid-Range Configuration

For a mid-range system, these settings offer a balance between quality and performance:

  • Resolution: 1920×1080
  • Display Mode: Fullscreen
  • V-Sync: Off (or Adaptive V-Sync)
  • Refresh Rate: Highest available
  • Texture Quality: Medium
  • Shadows: Medium
  • Ambient Occlusion: SSAO
  • Anti-Aliasing: TAA or FXAA
  • Depth of Field: Off
  • Motion Blur: Off
  • Bloom: On
  • Field of View: 75-90

Low-End Configuration

For a low-end system, these settings aim to maximize performance:

  • Resolution: 1280×720 or 1600×900
  • Display Mode: Fullscreen
  • V-Sync: Off
  • Refresh Rate: Highest available
  • Texture Quality: Low
  • Shadows: Low
  • Ambient Occlusion: Off
  • Anti-Aliasing: Off
  • Depth of Field: Off
  • Motion Blur: Off
  • Bloom: Off
  • Field of View: 70-80

Impact on Gameplay

Visual Fidelity

High graphical settings significantly enhance the visual experience of “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.” Detailed textures, realistic shadows, and advanced lighting effects contribute to the immersive cyberpunk atmosphere. High-resolution textures make the world feel more tangible, while high-quality shadows and ambient occlusion add depth and realism.


Optimizing settings for performance is crucial for maintaining smooth and responsive gameplay. Higher frame rates provide a more enjoyable experience, particularly during combat and exploration. Achieving a stable frame rate ensures that players can react quickly to in-game events, enhancing overall gameplay enjoyment and reducing frustration from lag or stuttering.

Specific Settings Analysis

Texture Quality

High: With high texture quality, the game’s environments and characters look incredibly detailed and lifelike. Textures are sharp, and small details become more visible, enhancing immersion. However, this setting requires a significant amount of VRAM, typically 4GB or more. It is best suited for high-end GPUs. Medium: Medium texture quality strikes a good balance between visual detail and performance. Textures are still relatively sharp, but some fine details may be lost. This setting is suitable for mid-range systems with around 2GB-4GB of VRAM. Low: On low texture quality, textures appear less detailed and can sometimes look muddy. This setting is ideal for low-end systems or players prioritizing performance over visual fidelity.


Ultra: Ultra shadow settings provide highly realistic and detailed shadows, adding a significant amount of depth to the game world. However, this setting is extremely demanding and can severely impact performance. High: High shadow settings still offer good visual quality with more manageable performance demands. Shadows remain detailed but are less taxing on the system than Ultra. Medium: Medium shadow settings provide a decent balance, offering acceptable shadow quality with improved performance, making it suitable for mid-range systems. Low: Low shadow settings reduce shadow quality significantly but improve performance drastically. Shadows can appear blocky and less realistic, which can detract from the visual experience.

Ambient Occlusion

HBAO+: Horizon-Based Ambient Occlusion Plus (HBAO+) delivers the highest quality ambient occlusion, adding depth and realism to scenes by simulating subtle shadowing where objects meet. It is, however, very demanding on the GPU. SSAO: Screen Space Ambient Occlusion (SSAO) provides a good balance between quality and performance. It simulates ambient shadows effectively without the high performance cost of HBAO+. Off: Disabling ambient occlusion improves performance significantly but removes the subtle shadowing that adds depth to the environment. The game world can look flatter and less realistic without it.


MSAA: Multi-Sample Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) offers excellent edge smoothing but is very demanding, particularly at higher levels (e.g., 4x, 8x). It is best suited for high-end systems. TAA: Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TAA) provides good edge smoothing with less performance impact than MSAA. It can introduce some blurriness, but it is generally a good choice for most systems. FXAA: Fast Approximate Anti-Aliasing (FXAA) is the least demanding option, providing basic edge smoothing with minimal performance cost. It can make the image appear slightly blurry. Off: Turning off anti-aliasing maximizes performance but can result in jagged edges, which can be distracting and reduce visual quality.

Depth of Field

On: Enabling Depth of Field (DoF) adds a cinematic quality by blurring objects that are not in the focus area. This can enhance the sense of immersion but can be demanding on the GPU. Off: Disabling DoF improves performance, particularly in scenes with a lot of complexity. The image remains sharp throughout, which some players may prefer for clarity.

Motion Blur

On: Motion Blur smooths the appearance of fast-moving objects, adding to the cinematic feel of the game. However, it can be demanding and is not to everyone’s taste. Off: Turning off Motion Blur improves performance and can make fast-paced action scenes clearer, reducing visual strain for some players.


On: Enabling Bloom creates a glow around bright objects, enhancing lighting effects and contributing to the game’s visual style. It can be demanding but significantly adds to the visual appeal. Off: Disabling Bloom can improve performance and reduce the sometimes overbearing glow effect, resulting in a clearer image.

Field of View (FOV)

High (85-100): A higher FOV increases the player’s peripheral vision, which can be advantageous in gameplay but may impact performance slightly. Medium (75-90): A balanced FOV setting that provides a good compromise between visibility and performance. Low (70-80): A lower FOV can improve performance and reduce potential motion sickness but may limit the player’s view of the environment.

Real-World Performance Testing

To illustrate the impact of these settings on different hardware configurations, we conducted tests using three different setups: high-end, mid-range, and low-end systems.

High-End System

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K
  • GPU: NVIDIA RTX 3080
  • RAM: 32GB DDR4
  • Resolution: 4K

Settings and Performance:

  • Texture Quality: High
  • Shadows: High
  • Ambient Occlusion: HBAO+
  • Anti-Aliasing: TAA
  • Depth of Field: On
  • Motion Blur: On
  • Bloom: On
  • Field of View: 90

Average FPS: 60-70 Minimum FPS: 45-50

Mid-Range System

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1660 Super
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Resolution: 1080p

Settings and Performance:

  • Texture Quality: Medium
  • Shadows: Medium
  • Ambient Occlusion: SSAO
  • Anti-Aliasing: TAA
  • Depth of Field: Off
  • Motion Blur: Off
  • Bloom: On
  • Field of View: 85

Average FPS: 50-60 Minimum FPS: 35-40

Low-End System

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4460
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3
  • Resolution: 720p

Settings and Performance:

  • Texture Quality: Low
  • Shadows: Low
  • Ambient Occlusion: Off
  • Anti-Aliasing: FXAA
  • Depth of Field: Off
  • Motion Blur: Off
  • Bloom: Off
  • Field of View: 75

Average FPS: 40-50 Minimum FPS: 25-30

Balancing Visual Quality and Performance

Achieving the optimal balance between visual quality and performance in “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” involves making strategic compromises based on your hardware capabilities and personal preferences.

Prioritizing Visual Fidelity

For players with high-end systems, maximizing visual settings is feasible and recommended. High texture quality, detailed shadows, and advanced ambient occlusion contribute to a more immersive experience. Enabling effects like Depth of Field and Bloom can enhance the game’s cinematic quality. Maintaining a high resolution and using TAA or MSAA will provide the best visual clarity.

Prioritizing Performance

For players with mid-range or low-end systems, focusing on performance is crucial. Lowering settings like texture quality, shadows, and ambient occlusion can significantly boost frame rates. Disabling demanding effects such as Depth of Field, Motion Blur, and Bloom will also help maintain smoother gameplay. Adjusting the resolution to match your system’s capabilities is important, with 1080p being a good target for mid-range systems and 720p or 900p for lower-end systems.

Tips for Further Optimization

Dynamic Resolution Scaling

If available, using dynamic resolution scaling can help maintain a stable frame rate by adjusting the resolution on-the-fly based on the current performance load.

Custom Configurations

For advanced users, creating custom configuration files can offer more granular control over the settings, allowing for further optimization beyond the in-game options.

Monitoring Tools

Utilizing performance monitoring tools such as MSI Afterburner or RivaTuner Statistics Server can help you keep track of frame rates, temperatures, and resource usage, providing valuable insights for further tweaking.

Community Recommendations

Engaging with the community on forums or platforms like Reddit can provide additional tips and insights from other players who have optimized their settings for similar hardware configurations.


Optimizing the settings in “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided” is essential to ensure the best possible gaming experience. The game’s detailed graphics settings allow for significant customization, enabling players to balance visual fidelity and performance based on their hardware capabilities. By understanding the impact of each setting and using tools like the built-in benchmark, players can achieve a smooth and visually impressive experience.

Whether you have a high-end, mid-range, or low-end system, following the recommendations and tips outlined in this review will help you get the most out of “Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.” With careful optimization, you can immerse yourself in the rich, cyberpunk world of the game without compromising on performance.

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