Gears of War 4 PC Performance Benchmarks

Now that Gears of War 4 has been released and both AMD and NVIDIA have released game ready drivers for this title we can run some video card benchmarks! AMD and NVIDIA both had their driver teams working up until the very last minute to ensure they got as many performance tweaks and bug fixes into their day-1 drivers.  Gears of War 4 is an interesting game title in the sense that it must be run on Windows 10 Anniversary Edition and uses the DirectX 12 API with features like async compute and tiled resources. Gears of War 4 has check minimum, recommended and ideal system specifiactions published for both AMD and Intel/NVIDIA systems and they’re all pretty beastly. Gears of War Specs According to the 'ideal' system specifications you'll want to be running an AMD FX-9590 or an Intel Core i7-4790 processor and either an AMD Radeon R9 Fury X or a NVIDIA Geforce 980 Ti / Geforce GTX 1080 graphics card. The recommended specifications aren't much easier on graphics card as it is suggested you run an AMD Radeon R9 290X / Radeon RX 480 or an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 / GeForce GTX 1060. Those are all fairly new higher-end cards. If you have a video card older or slower than the Raddeon R7 260X Gears of War 4 80GB They really aren't kidding about needing 80GB of free space as we installed the game by itself on a secondary SSD and found that it used up 73.9GB of space! Gears of War 4 Screenshot Microsoft and the developer (The Coalition) have worked hard to make the PC port not suck and have placed over 30 graphics cards settings in the option menu with over 100-plus options that you can adjust. Gears of War 4 Graphics Options Gears of War 4 Graphics Options NVIDIA already has a great Gears of War 4 graphics and performance guide that they wrote up and posted online that dives deep into many of those settings. The performance guide they wrote up is over 7,000 words and has interactive comparisons of different settings, the impact that many have on performance and then general performance on ten different NVIDIA graphics cards. Since NVIDIA has spent days if not weeks preparing and testing all that we'll skip over that and just focus on doing independent performance testing on AMD and NVIDIA graphics cards to show you the real numbers that we manually ran on our test system. Gears of War 4 Benchmark Gears of War 4 comes with a built-in benchmark that appears to be pretty decent and shows the average minimum framerate (bottom 5%) in the results. This is the benchmark that we ran on nine different graphics cards with Ultra image quality settings to see how they would perform. Gears of War 4 built-in benchmark Before we look at the numbers, let's take a brief look at the test system that was used.

Test System

All testing was done using a fresh install of Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Anniversary Edition and benchmarks were completed on the desktop with no other software programs running.  There has been some concern of people testing a cold card versus a hot card, but we've always done out testing 'hot' since the site started back more than a decade ago. We used the latest public Microsoft release version of Gears of War 4 that came out on October 6th, 2016. Video Card Drivers used for testing: Radeon RX 480 Test System

Intel X79/LGA2011 Platform

The Intel X79 platform that we used to test the all of the video cards was running the ASUS P9X79-E WS motherboard with BIOS 1704 that came out on 05/08/2015. We went with the Intel Core i7-4960X Ivy Bridge-E processor to power this platform as it is PCIe 3.0 certified, so all graphics cards are tested with PCI Express Gen 3 enabled. The Kingston HyperX 10th Anniversary 16GB 2400MHz quad channel memory kit was set to XMP Profile #2. This profile defaults to 2133MHz with 1.65v and 11-13-13-30 2T memory timings. The OCZ Vertex 460 240GB SSD was run with latest firmware available. A Corsair AX860i digital power supply provides clean power to the system and is also silent as the fan hardly ever spins up. This is critical to our testing as it lowers the ambient noise level of the room and gives us more accurate sound measurements. Test System Settings Here are the exact hardware components that we are using on our test system:
The Intel X79 Test Platform



Live Pricing

Processor Intel Core i7-4960X
16GB Kingston 2133MHz
Video Card Various
Solid-State Drive OCZ Vertex 460 240GB
Cooling Intel TS13X (Asetek)
Power Supply Corsair AX860i
Operating System Windows 10 64-bit
Monitor ASUS PB287Q 28" 4K
Let's move on to the Gears of War 4 benchmark results!  

Gears of War 4 Benchmarks - 1080p, 1440p & 4K

Gears of War 4 Benchmarked - 1080P 1080p, also known as Full HD, is still by far the most popular desktop resolution and the one that most gamers are interested in due to this fact. The September 2016 Steam Hardware Survey results showed that 1920 x 1080 is the primary display resolution by 37.27 percent of gamers! Gears of War 4 1080P Benchmarks 1080P Benchmark Results:  Gears of War 4 is actually easier than we expected on most graphics cards as the Zotac GeForce GTX 970 Amp! Omega graphics card was able to average 72.3 FPS and the average minimum framerate (bottom 5%) was 60.5 FPS. Older cards like the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti would dip below 60 FPS. Mainstream graphics cards like the GeForce GTX 960 and the Radeon RX 460 struggle to play this Gears of War 4 with Ultra image quality settings at acceptable frame rates. We bumped the image quality down from Ultra to Medium on the Radeon RX 460 and found that we were still only able to average 53.1 FPS and the minimum was down to 42.1 FPS. You'll need to lower the image quality down to minimum to get above 60 FPS performance on cards like the AMD Radeon RX 460 4GB. Notice that the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB reference card averaged 77.3 FPS and the minimum was above 60 FPS. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB FE averaged just 78.8 FPS and dipped down to 65 FPS. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080 were well ahead of the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X graphics card at 1920 x 1080, so the high-end dominance by NVIDIA continues. AMD is preparing their new VEGA GPU to take on NVIDIA's Pascal cards and they can't come soon enough. Gears of War 4 Benchmarked - 1440p Moving up to 2560 x 1440 or Quad HD resolution is gaining in popularity thanks to lowering prices on displays and the fact that you can get a 144Hz panel at this resolution. This display resolution isn't as demanding as 4K, so for gamers it really is the sweet spot when it comes to gaming resolutions. Gears of War 4 1440P Benchmarks 1440P Benchmark Results:  Only the AMD Radeon R9 Fury X along with the GeForce GTX 1070 and GeForce GTX 1080 cards were able average above 60 FPS. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB FE didn't drop below 60 FPS on the minimum, so you'll get great 2560 x 1440 gaming performance with that card. The AMD Radeon R9 Fury X finished between the GTX 1070 and GTX 1060 cards. The battle of the $250-$300 graphics cards has the AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB coming in at 49.6 FPS and that was 1 FPS slower than the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB that averaged 50.4 FPS. Gears of War 4 Benchmarked - 4K 4K or Ultra HD has four times the pixels of the 'standard' 1080p display and is considered one of the most demanding widely used gaming resolution. Gears of War 4 4K Benchmarks 4K Benchmark Results:  We dropped off some of the slower cards that weren't designed for 4K gaming off this chart, but as you can see none of the cards did really well at 4K resolutions with the default Ultra image quality settings. If you drop the image quality down to medium you'll get average over 60 FPS on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB FE, so 4K gaming on Gears of War 4 is too demanding for the single GPU cards on the market today. The bad news is that Gears of War 4 does not support multi-GPU setups, so there is no NVIDIA SLI or AMD CrossFire support to be had just yet. The Coalition plans to incorporate multi-GPU support in a game update that will be happening in the near future.  

Gears of War 4 Performance Final Thoughts

Gears of War 4 is without a doubt going to drive some gamers to buy new graphics cards and maybe even some SSD owners to get a secondary drive. This game takes up nearly 80GB of space and to get acceptable 60FPS performance on Full HD 1080P monitors you'll need a solid graphics card. Hopefully the performance numbers we have provided will help those that do need to make a purchase of a new GPU. gears-of-war-price NVIDIA informed us that from today until October 30th, 2016 gamers who purchase a GeForce GTX 1070 or GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card, system, or notebook will receive a full-game download of Gears of War 4 for free. The game code will give you Gears of War 4 on both PC and Xbox One. If there are and console gamers looking to get into PC gaming this might be the game title that will help you come see the wonders of PC gaming. Gears of War 4 will run you $59.99 on the Microsoft Store, so that might help entice some people that are planning on buying the game already to get a new video card.