About the new versions of unreal 4

Hi I have read that version 4.26 of unreal offers less framerate / performance than the previous one, what I want is to make a game that offers the best possible optimization, should I use an older version of Unreal?, or what do you recommend? ?

Does every version of Unreal improve quality a bit at the cost of performance?

I want a game that works perfectly on a gpu like mine, with a gtx 970, without raytracing.

No idea if the older versions have better performance, but I would still highly recommend using the latest version of UE4.