Monster Hunter: World PC Performance Review
Published: 14th August 2018 | Source: Steam Store Page | Price: |
There is no getting around it, Monster Hunter: World is a demanding game on PC. This fact is unsurprising, given the title's performance on PS4 and Xbox One, though it is clear that many PC gamers expected better from the game's PC release.
On Standard PS4 consoles, Monster Hunter: World runs at around a resolution of 1080p at framerates that are often below 30FPS, presenting users gameplay that would be considered sub-par for most PC user. Even with more advanced PS4 Pro and Xbox One X consoles, 60FPS remains unachievable, which means that PC users will likely need to make a few compromises to play the game at a stable 60+ FPS framerates.
As a console port, PC gamers will be glad to know that Monster Hunter: World features an unlocked framerate option and is fully playable with keyboard and mouse. While certain aspects of the game, like its lack of Ultra-Wide monitor support and its use of radial menus in some areas ( which is not great for keyboard/mouse users) are annoying, Monster Hunter: World remains on the reasonable side of the PC port spectrum.
Before launch, some early players of the game reported high CPU utilisation, leaving many curious about how the game would run on low-end PCs. We can conclude that the game can make heavy use of modern processors, with our quad-core systems often sitting between 70 and 100% loads on individual cores, while also being able to distribute game loads reasonably evenly to every thread on out 8-core Ryzen 7 1700X.
We go into a lot more detail regarding CPU loads in our "Core Scaling" page, though it is safe to say that users of fast quad cores shouldn't run into many issues. Anyone who has a relatively modern quad-core, or higher, with Hyperthreading or SMT, will have no problems staying above 60FPS, assuming that they have enough graphics horsepower. Capcom's MT Framework game engine has earned its Multi-Threaded (MT) name with this release.
RAM-wise, we never saw Monster Hunter: World using more than 8GB of system memory, a clear indication of the game's console origins. Moving over to VRAM, we also never the game use more than 4GB, making us wonder why Capcom couldn't offer PC users higher resolution textures on the platform. To nitpick a little, many of Monster Hunter World's textures are sub-par on PC, even when using the game's highest settings, especially when looking closely at characters during in-engine cutscenes.
On the GPU side of the equation, we are glad to report that the game runs equally well on both Radeon and Geforce graphics hardware, with neither party achieving a clear performance win. Our GTX 1060 Strix surpassed our RX 580 Strix, though our RX Vega 56 and R9 380 were able to outpace Nvidia's GTX 1070 and 960 graphics cards respectively, though AMD did seem to have lower minimum framerates in specific sequences.
Monster Hunter: World is hugely demanding on modern graphics cards, especially when playing using the game's "Highest" graphical preset. Thankfully the game has proven to be very scalable, allowing most players to crank up their performance levels by sacrificing some of the game's graphical yum-yum.
The most impactful setting within the game is Volume Rendering, which impacts volumetric lighting. This setting can be turned off entirely for a massive 33% performance gain over its highest setting, though even lowering the effect to Mid/Medium can offer a 15.8% boost without having a significant impact on graphical quality. This setting is a great way to regain some game performance, though if you want some more tips, you can turn back to page 5.
LOD BIAS, which adjusts the "Level of Detail" of far-off terrain and objects, is another setting that has a significant impact on game performance. Sadly, this setting could do with a lot more intermediate options, with Low and Medium settings having a minimal, nigh negligible, impact on the game's performance and visuals while the game's high options pushed things way out to deliver greatly enhanced visuals.
Monster Hunter's Mid LOD BIAS setting could afford to be a lot more, you know, a happy medium between low and High. Hopefully, Capcom will patch this option to provide PC gamers with a little more granularity, as High LOD BIAS is extremely demanding but mid introduces much lower detail levels and a tonne of noticeable draw-in. An intermediate option between Mid and High would be a great addition for PC players.
One of Monster Hunter: World's most exciting features is the game's Resolution Scaling options, though we have seen much better implementations of these graphical options in other games. At launch, Monster Hunter World offers PC players Low, Mid and High settings alongside two variable resolution options. While these graphical settings can be handy, Capcom needs to give PC users better descriptions of what these settings do. Low and Mid settings do not tell gamers how much Monster Hunter: World's resolution will be downscaled, while High doesn't tell players that it represents a 100%/Native resolution scale. Monster Hunter's Variable resolution options are discussed further on page 8. A full percentage slider option, which could vary resolution scale between around 50% and 200% (Total War: Warhammer and Far Cry 5 are great examples of this) would be a great addition, as it provides players with more detail and more in-depth resolution scaling abilities.
Monster Hunter: World is one of PC gaming's most popular, and demanding releases of 2018, promising to bring even the mightiest hardware to its knees when settings are cranked to their Highest and resolutions march up to 4K. This is one of the many cases were we see the need for stronger graphics hardware, especially given the recent push toward 4K resolutions and increasingly high refresh rates.
At times, Monster Hunter: World is a visual marvel, especially when the game's creatures jump into combat with their expected weight and often realistic movements. At higher resolutions, we can see how much effort went into crafting the hides of each animal, making the game a joy to watch, especially at high framerates. This game leaves us excited to see the next generation of graphics hardware, as love to play this game using its higher presets at 4K.
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