Halo Reach PC Performance Review with AMD Ryzen APU Testing

Conclusion - What can be improved?

Halo Reach PC Performance Review with AMD Ryzen APU Testing

Halo Reach PC Performance Review with AMD Ryzen APU Testing - Conclusion

A few years ago, PC gamers were convinced that the Halo series would never return to PC. Microsoft had locked the series to Xbox hardware, giving PC users little hope of ever playing the game, at least outside of emulation. 

Now, things have changed. Halo: The Master Chief Collection has arrived on PC, and after Reach, we can look forward to Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 4 and Halo ODST coming to the platform. Even Halo: Infinite is due to receive a PC release, making Halo 5 the only game in the series to not be announced for Windows PC.  

With the PC release of Halo: Reach, 343 Industries promised to deliver 60FPS support, an unlocked framerate option (which they admit isn't perfect), adjustable FOVs, mouse/keyboard support and enhanced visuals over the game's Xbox 360 version. In this regard, Halo Reach is a huge win for Microsoft, though this doesn't mean that the game is perfect. 

Halo: Reach ran at 30FPS on Xbox 360, making the game's 60FPS framerate support on PC a huge upgrade. That said, a lot of PC gamers demand higher framerate caps and an unlocked framerate option. While Halo: Reach supports an unlocked framerate, we do not recommend that anyone uses it. From our experience, unlocked framerates are less stable in Halo Reach, causing unwanted glitches, animation issues and feelings of input lag. Locking the game to 60FPS felt smoother and more responsive, making it the best way to play Halo Reach. 

Performance-wise, Halo Reach almost too easy to run on modern hardware, making it unfortunate that the game lacks support super-sampled resolutions by default. Even graphics cards like AMD's RX 580 and Nvidia's GTX 1060 can handle 4K 60FPS framerates, making the inability to super-sample the game from 4K to 1080p unfortunate. Resolution scale options are available in Fullscreen Windowed mode, but it lacks options over 100%. Some LOD settings also appear to scale with resolution, making Halo: Reach's lack of FOV options even more disappointing. 

When it comes to Halo: Reach's FOV sliders, we also notice that aircraft were unaffected by the game's Vehicle FOV setting. This will make flying the game's UH-144 Falcon a challenge for those who enjoy wider field of view options, though at least land vehicles act as expected with wider FOV options selected. Hopefully, this issue will be patched soon. 

Looking at Halo: Reach's graphical options, only three presets are available, which can be forgiven for a game that's designed for a fixed hardware platform like the Xbox 360. Most PC gamers will be playing Halo Reach using its enhanced settings, as the performance hit isn't that high in most cases. Halo: reach is already easy to run on PC and the graphics upgrade is very noticeable at higher resolutions. 

On the topic of performance, Halo: Reach presented us with an excellent opportunity to try out some "how low can you go" testing. Basically, we wanted to see if we could run Halo: Reach at 4K 60FPS on integrated graphics hardware. This is why we tested AMD's Ryzen series APUs on page 5. Through this testing, we found that AMD's Ryzen APUs were more than capable of 1080p 60FPS gameplay in Halo: Reach, which is excellent news for low-end PC gamers. 

Our only annoyance with Halo Reach was the game's inability to launch using the Windows 10 Store or Xbox App (fix detailed here), and the game's instability with unlocked framerates. We experienced one crash during our testing, a crash that we couldn't replicate. In all, this PC port is good, especially given the game's low pricing. 

With the affordability of Xbox Game Pass and the low pricing of the game on Steam, there is no excuse not to play Halo Reach on PC if you have any interest in it. All modern gaming PCs will be able to run the game with ease, while also delivering better visuals and framerates than the Xbox 360 original. You can't really ask for more than that. 
 
You can join the discussion on Halo Reach's PC performance on the OC3D Forums
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Most Recent Comments

06-12-2019, 03:53:15

Warchild
I strongly recommend you guys get this via Xbox game pass.

So far I have found this service the best one available. Just when you think PC titles are worth it, you only have to jump on your xbox to see the library open up even further.

Halo MCC
Outer World
Gear/4/5

etc

Reach has horrid fps when unlocked as mentioned already in the article (good job mark!), but my god these games are just amazing. First person shooter in their simplicity and yet so good.

I need to look at the FoV myself, i did not notice the same limitations you had, but perhaps that is something skewed from the start for me since I use a widescreen at 3440 x 1440Quote

06-12-2019, 06:38:29

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Warchild View Post
I strongly recommend you guys get this via Xbox game pass.

So far I have found this service the best one available. Just when you think PC titles are worth it, you only have to jump on your xbox to see the library open up even further.

Halo MCC
Outer World
Gear/4/5

etc

Reach has horrid fps when unlocked as mentioned already in the article (good job mark!), but my god these games are just amazing. First person shooter in their simplicity and yet so good.

I need to look at the FoV myself, i did not notice the same limitations you had, but perhaps that is something skewed from the start for me since I use a widescreen at 3440 x 1440
The problem I had was only for that one vehicle, but it could be a simple bug. I don't have an ultrawide screen to test here to see what difference it makes.

Yeah, Game Pass is great, especially for the money that you pay for it right now. The value of Game pass alone will help Xbox a lot next-gen.

I'm surprised how well Reach holds up at high resolutions. Great models for all the main characters, well, at least for their armour (The Faces!!!!!!!! Ugh). Lots of detail that isn't really seen on the old Xbox 360 versions. Not bad for such an old game.Quote
Reply
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