Project Cars 2 PC Performance Review
Published: 24th September 2017 | Source: OC3D Internal testing | Price: |
When push comes to shove, Project Cars 2 can be an exceptionally demanding game on PC. There is no getting away from this simple fact, though to say that this game is a "unoptimised" or "badly made" would be doing a huge disservice to both your our reader and to Slightly Mad Studios as a developer.
To make things clear, our benchmark runs were conducted in an area of the game that we have deemed to be a worst-case scenario, which means that during the majority of gameplay performance will be much higher than in our stress test/ general benchmark run.
This is why we say that the game is exceptionally demanding "when push comes to shove", as when users commit to racing in unfavourable weather conditions (framerate-wise) with a large number of racers they can expect their system to be hit extremely hard by Project Cars 2. When racing in the Nürburgring with its maximum racer count of 30, we found that out minimum framerates dropped by almost 45% when we simply changed the game's weather from "Clear" to "Thunderstorm", showcasing a huge level of performance variance on the game as a whole, depending on the exact racing conditions used (see page 6).
Those who demand to play this game at "maximum settings" at a constant 60+FPS should be prepared to either be disappointed or to spend a lot of money on today's highest-end hardware. Those of us who are more reasonable and are prepared to lower a few graphical settings will find that the game is very scalable (as can be seen on page 7).
CPU wise the first thing that needs to be said is that players will require four strong CPU cores to play this game well, with the game showcasing a general performance uptick as the player uses higher CPU core/thread counts. We found that the game suffered from a significant performance drop when we dropped our Intel CPU to a 2 core/4 thread configuration, which gives is a clear reason to recommend quad-core CPU or higher for Project Cars 2.
Hardware wise we found that Project Cars 2, for the most part, favoured Intel CPUs and Nvidia GPUs, which is unsurprising given how new Ryzen is to the CPU market and Slightly Mad Studio's association with Nvidia. Even so, Ryzen CPUs do not perform badly when used with Project Cars 2 and modern AMD GPUs are not outrageously behind their Nvidia counterparts (at least in our testing). The R9 Fury X is an odd exception here, given its performance parity with our RX 480 Strix at 1080p and it's minuscule advantage at 1440p.
In terms of PC performance, Project Cars 2 is a mixed bag, offering highly scalable graphical settings to suit both old and new hardware and demanding sections that can even bring some of today's highest-end hardware to its knees at its highest graphical settings.