Just how demanding is Monster Hunter World’s PC port? Is it really heavy on CPU as coverage of the closed beta seemed to suggest? And if so, what PC hardware is actually required to run the game at a consistent 60 frames per second? We went into this one expecting a battle – lowering CPU requirements is far more challenging with far less room for manoeuvre than tweaking graphics settings. But after extensive testing, the reality is that it is indeed the GPU side of the equation that makes running this title so challenging – and even a GTX 1070 running at just 1080p can’t lock to 60 frames per second at max settings.
That kind of performance on so capable a GPU does indeed suggest some kind of CPU problem. However, we ruled that out pretty swiftly. The same areas of gameplay that challenged a Ryzen 7 1700X/GTX 1070 system generally run in the mid 50s or much higher when a GTX 1080 Ti-class hardware is paired with a Pentium G5400 or the Ryzen 3 2200G. We chose this hardware specifically as these are cheapest, least-powerful gaming grade CPUs available from Intel and AMD, paired with a top-tier GPU. Being fully CPU-bound, we can judge the lower-end processor requirements and based on these tests, a proper quad-core Intel chip or a fully enabled Ryzen quad with eight threads should offer enough horsepower to deliver 60fps – on the CPU side at least. Capcom recommends exactly that for its recommended processor specs too.
With that established, the course of the tests changes – as we are GPU-limited, Monster Hunter World’s onerous GPU requirements can be addressed via resolution and graphics quality tweaks. Not only that, but we also have the console versions available to see where the developers at Capcom chose to make their trades, and where we can potentially follow suit. This does present some difficulties as the title runs with an unstable, unlocked frame-rate on all console platforms and on top of that, it also has different graphical presets. At the top-end, its ‘prefer graphics’ mode runs at 1080p on Xbox One and only delivers 30-40fps – hardly a handsome return for your six teraflops and further proof that the GPU really is the primary limiting factor in this title.
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