Previously a PlayStation 4 exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn launches on PC tomorrow and players will be happy to see that there’s an in-game benchmarking tool to see how things run on their systems.
The visual component of the benchmark is a fly-through of Meridian, the largest city in the game that is populated with many NPCs. Walk into the city during regular gameplay and you will definitely see a performance hit and some slowdown, so it’s a good option for this test.
After running the benchmark, which takes around three minutes, you’re given a results screen. We’re not sure what “score” that you’re given entails but the FPS numbers are what most people will care about.
You can see in our run of the benchmark and the results screen after that we ran this particular test on the “original” preset. When the minimum and recommended specs for this game were revealed in July this preset was the focus, with minimum supposed to bring in 30 FPS and recommended 60 FPS.
Original is just this game’s name for the medium preset, with camera based anti-aliasing and motion blur on.
We played Horizon Zero Dawn on a mid-range desktop with a Ryzen 5 3600, AMD RX 580 8 GB (stock speeds for the pair) and 16GB of 3200MHz RAM. The RX 580 8GB is the exact card that the developers have in the recommended spec for the AMD side of things.
As mentioned in our review performance in the game was a bit mixed, not just because of the quality of the port, but also because of drivers and patches.
We played most of the game on the latest Radeon full release: 20.4.2. At the time AMD had not released drivers for Horizon Zero Dawn, but that changed recently with the optional drivers 20.8.1.
On top of this, just yesterday, the developers rolled out a day one patch to help performance even further along.
Using the benchmark here are our results for the various setups throughout playing the game before release. Medium is the aforementioned “original” present, while High is a preset in the game called “favour quality”.
Before day one patch + Radeon 20.4.2 stable release
- Medium: 58
- High: 53
After day one patch + Radeon 20.4.2 stable release
- Medium: 55
- High: 50
After day one patch + Radeon 20.8.1 optional release
- Medium: 58
- High: 52
As you can see the benchmark average FPS really don’t tell the full story. In playing with the new drivers and the day one patch we can report that, overall, the game did feel a notch smoother, but there wasn’t a big jump in performance that we would have hoped.
When you play the game in the public launch tomorrow we do recommend using the 20.8.1 drivers if you are using an AMD card. If you meet or exceeding the recommended specs you can expect a good enough experience that will hopefully be patched to be better in the future.
All that being said we highly recommend giving the Digital Foundry video below a watch. It covers much more hardware and reports that things can look rather dire depending on your PC and what setting you choose.