Forza Horizon 3 PC Performance Review

Conclusion

Forza Horizon 3 PC Performance Review

Conclusion

As one of PC's first Xbox "Play Anywhere" titles, you would expect that Microsoft would be putting a lot of effort onto the games PC release. While Forza Horizon 3 does offer a lot of key features like Wheel support, 21:9 resolution support and the wide range of graphical options it is simply not optimised well for those with older GPU hardware and requires and enthusiast grade CPU to run at a steady 60FPS.    

Performance wise, we do see a huge drop in framerate when moving to our last generation Nvidia and AMD GPUs and the game is CPU bound in a system with an overclocked i7 6700K CPU, which is something that is pretty shameful for a modern PC game. The lack of SLI and crossfire support is also a huge disappointment, though the game is reality is much more CPU limited than GPU limited. 

To put things simply, we expected a little better from Forza Horizon 3, especially when the game costs £49.99 at launch for the base version. Hopefully, this game will have a few of these performance issues fixed with future patches, but right now anyone using an older system should avoid this game if they expect a 60FPS experience.   

A lot of GPU performance can be gained by reducing the game's MSAA and some CPU performance can be gained by reducing the game's geometry levels, but even then the game will not run at a solid 60FPS for some.  

Outside of the game's performance issues on some hardware Forza Horizon 3 does shine, offering support for ultra-wide displays and a surprising number of steering wheels at launch, but the game does lack the consistency performance wise to recommend at the price of £49.99. Right now the Xbox One disk based version of this game is available for cheaper than the digital version for PC/Xbox One at retail, which is another thing about this PC version which is questionable. Why does this price premium need to exist? 

If you are a racing fan with a modern gaming system or a Forza fan that would really like to play the latest release on PC this game will be worth purchasing, though please bear in mind that those with older or low-end systems will likely need to run the game at a capped 30FPS which is very disappointing for a PC release. If Turn 10 can decrease the CPU requirements for this game 60FPS gameplay could be much more achievable, but for now this is a game that is easy to run but difficult to run well. 

In a lot of ways the PC port of Forza Horizon 3 is refreshing, with rebindable wheel, gamepad and mouse/keyboard controls, support for modern display resolutions and a detailed graphical options menu. Sadly the game's performance is a little disappointing, especially for those who use older hardware or want to play at a constant 60FPS at ultra settings. 

All-in-all the PC release of Forza Horizon 3 is a lot better that what we have seen with Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and Quantum Break, but hasn't quite met our expectations for what a full price AAA PC release should be. 

 

You can join the discussion on Forza Horizon 3's PC version on the OC3D Forums

 

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Most Recent Comments

28-09-2016, 16:29:19

Darkdayzzz
To put things simply, we expected a little better from Forza Horizon 3, especially when the game costs £49.99 at launch for the base version.


1- EVERY new game costs that price honestly....so saying that really doesn't work imho.

Also my 4gb760 and i7-4790k I get around 45-50fps on high with a mix of ultra at 1440p....not sure if im doing something magical or not.... just my own testing is all.Quote

28-09-2016, 16:33:34

barnsley
Excluding the city area I have a relatively steady 60fps running on [email protected] 1440p. I've probably got about 30ish hours in the game already thanks to my preorder.

TBF at the rate they are going, it'll be pretty solid before you know it. Most of the bugs that I could produce pre launch had been patched it seems. I guess going into the game with a low expectation of the port helped me.Quote

28-09-2016, 16:57:02

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkdayzzz View Post
To put things simply, we expected a little better from Forza Horizon 3, especially when the game costs £49.99 at launch for the base version.


1- EVERY new game costs that price honestly....so saying that really doesn't work imho.

Also my 4gb760 and i7-4790k I get around 45-50fps on high with a mix of ultra at 1440p....not sure if im doing something magical or not.... just my own testing is all.
You do make a very valid point, most AAA releases cost £40 or more these days on PC, though the non-digital/Xbox version can be purchased for cheaper. This is a clarification that I should have made better in the review.

It is pretty easy to gain extra GPU performance in this game, especially if you disable MSAA. CPU performance is where there can be problems, making it difficult to get a steady 60 in some areas.

I do believe that with some further work to reduce CPU usage that the game would be an almost perfect PC port. Sadly the standard needs to be somewhere and right now the standard most PC gamers set is 60FPS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnsley View Post
Excluding the city area I have a relatively steady 60fps running on [email protected] 1440p. I've probably got about 30ish hours in the game already thanks to my preorder.

TBF at the rate they are going, it'll be pretty solid before you know it. Most of the bugs that I could produce pre launch had been patched it seems. I guess going into the game with a low expectation of the port helped me.
I hope that we will soon be getting a CPU patch for the game, as that would pretty much fix the only real issue with this game's PC version.

The performance on older hardware can be forgiven somewhat by how easy it is to gain extra GPU performance by turning off MSAA, though it is worth noting that the Xbox One version uses 4x MSAA.Quote

28-09-2016, 18:58:55

russler
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkdayzzz View Post
To put things simply, we expected a little better from Forza Horizon 3, especially when the game costs £49.99 at launch for the base version.


1- EVERY new game costs that price honestly....so saying that really doesn't work imho.

Also my 4gb760 and i7-4790k I get around 45-50fps on high with a mix of ultra at 1440p....not sure if im doing something magical or not.... just my own testing is all.
£49.99 is hardly standard pricing (xbox copy on amazon £41.99) thats 16% more than a copy that can be re-sold, the bigger issue though is its £49.99 on Microsoft store only, so thats a price thats unlikely to change for a loooong time, with sites like cd keys ive never payed full rrp price for any new game and im sure im not the only one.Quote

28-09-2016, 21:19:05

dryii
I have a GTX 1080, but still run the i7-2600k (at stock speed) with 16GB RAM. This is the first game I've encountered which pegs my CPU at 100%, while the GPU rarely goes over 65%. Overall the game does run smooth on Ultra at 1440p. I do hope they can make some coding changes so my GPU is better utilized and I get a higher FPS (low 40's, peaking in the 50's right now).Quote
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