I'm not a huge Forza Horizon fan really, but I will say I played the hell out of Project Gotham Racing back on the original Xbox and loved it. Forza Horizon 5 is here, so I thought I would give it a spin in the GPU benchmarking test bench through the usual 1080p, 1440p, and 4K resolutions before seeing how it looks at 8K later this week.
Forza Horizon 5 recently launched on the PC for those who pre-ordered the Premium Edition version of the game, while the official launch of Forza Horizon 5 is on November 9, 2021. The game uses the underlying graphics engine that developer Playground Games made for its predecessor, but with some new bells and whistles added to Forza Horizon 5.
This includes the world of Forza Horizon 5 is 50% bigger than Forza Horizon 4, while also having the highest point on any of the Horizon games. The maps in Forza Horizon are more diverse t than previous games, with an active volcano, jungles, beaches, freakin' Mayan temples, and so much more. It's an open-world visual delight, that doesn't require too much PC or console horsepower.
One of my favorite inclusions with Forza Horizon 5 is the new weather system, where if you're playing and there's a huge storm in front of you -- it won't be on the other part of the map. So if you're playing with friends, they won't see the storm but would actually see the storm coming... while from your vantage point the storm is on top of you.
The weather system is dynamic in the fact that there are 11 unique biomes on the map in Forza Horizon 5, where there are dry seasons and tropical storms for example. You've got a jungle environment that is beautiful to drive through, with leaves flying around everywhere. It's actually very cool to see flowing in front of you, especially if you can keep the frame rate above 60FPS and more into the 120FPS and above.
It's disappointing in some ways, however, as you'd think Playground Games working with Microsoft and its Xbox Games Studios to distribute Forza Horizon 5 -- as an Xbox and now PC exclusive -- would have some of the best graphics in a game in 2021. Sure, it has ray-tracing... but it's only for the reflections on the car, that's it.
Forza Horizon 5 isn't a love story about ray tracing, but it's still worth throwing into the GPU grinder and seeing how the latest driving game from Microsoft and Playground Games spins its wheels with the numbers.
Forza Horizon 5 has a wicked built-in benchmark that gives you a great representation of in-game performance, and while it's not exact, it comes very close to what you'll experience in the game... outside of the built-in benchmark for obvious reasons.
Playground Games created Forza Horizon 5 for Microsoft's next-gen Xbox Series X/S consoles, so the PC benefits from this with the likes of some truly beautiful graphics, and of course: ray tracing. Well, there are only ray-traced reflections.
Oh, and those beautiful ray-traced reflections are only in ForzaVista -- yeah, Forza Horizon 5's garage -- and that's it. There's no RT in the game itself, but Forza Horizon 5 is still a hella-good-looking title that is great to take your PC for a spin in.
Once the benchmark run is complete, you've got a flashy screen that gives you plenty of details about the run, the results, and which visual settings you had tweaked.
Test System Specs
Anthony's GPU Test System Specifications
The biggest upgrade to the GPU testbed is the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X processor, offering 12 cores and 24 threads of Zen 3-powered CPU grunt at up to 4.8GHz.
That's plenty of CPU power and offers a great upgrade over the Ryzen 7 3800X that I was using previously.
I will be upgrading this system in a few months, and maybe running it side-by-side with the new Alder Lake-powered Intel Core i9-12900K processor. I'm using one inside of the Allied M.O.A.B.-I gaming PC that I reviewed a few months ago, and man the 12900K is like the Godzilla of CPUs.
Sabrent is the most recent partner of mine to help build out my systems, sending me oodles of the fastest NVMe M.2 SSDs on the planet. I'm using Sabrent's flagship Rocket 4 Plus 4TB M.2 SSDs which offers 7GB/sec+ reads and writes with a huge 4TB of capacity.
- Read more: ASUS ROG Strix XG438Q Review: It's So Good, ASUS Will Hate This Review
- Read more: ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ Review: Perfect For The GeForce RTX 3080
- Read more: ASUS ROG Strix XG43UQ Review - The Best HDMI 2.1 Gaming Monitor
ASUS has been a tight partner of mine for a few years now, providing their huge 43-inch 4K 120Hz gaming monitors for my benchmarking and gaming needs. I'm using two of them at the moment, the ROG Strix XG438Q and the ROG Swift PG43UQ gaming monitors.
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900X (buy from Amazon)
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG X570 Crosshair VIII HERO (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: CoolerMaster MasterLiquid ML360R RGB (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: G.SKILL Trident Z NEO RGB 32GB (4x8GB) (F4-3600C18Q-32GTZN) (buy from Amazon)
- SSD: Sabrent 4TB Rocket NVMe PCIe 4.0 M.2 2280 (buy from Amazon)
- PSU: be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 1200W (buy from Amazon)
- Case: InWin X-Frame 2.0
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional x64 (buy from Amazon)
- Display: ASUS ROG Swift PG43UQ (4K 120Hz) (buy from Amazon)
Benchmarks - 1080p
Benchmarks - 1440p
Benchmarks - 4K
Forza Horizon 5 is a great-looking game and it doesn't take that much hardware to run it at 60FPS+, where even a lower-end GeForce RTX 3050 can play the game at 1080p 60FPS+ maxed out.
If you want to hit 1080p 120FPS+ then you're going to need NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3080 at a minimum, while the GeForce RTX 3090 passes 130FPS average. AMD isn't too far behind, with their flagship Radeon RX 6900 XT spitting out 111FPS average.
NVIDIA nails 1440p which isn't a surprise, with the RTX 3090 reaching 114FPS average while the RTX 3080 Ti is only 1FPS behind at 113FPS -- so too are the RTX 3080 12GB, and custom ASUS ROG Strix RTX 3080 Ti. But things change a little at 4K, with the same GPUs competing against each other.
Forza Horizon 5 is a little harder to run at 60FPS, where the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti is actually 4K 60FPS capable. At the top of the list you've got the RTX 3090 with 88FPS average while the RTX 3080 Ti hits 87FPS average, and the RTX 3080 12GB just 1FPS behind at 4K with 86FPS average.