There’s been some debate surrounding the Xbox One X and Forza Motorsport 7, these last few days. Sure, the game looks amazing and has to be believed. And I’ve seen it up close at the recent E3 2017 convention, it’s truly stunning. The sensation of speed, the looks, and it even sounds good. However, we’re not talking about the game, not exactly. Instead, we’re talking about what is needed to drive the game (no pun intended).
Recently there have been several videos done by so-called “professional YouTubers” who are using the Windows 10 system specs for Forza Motorsport 7, to toss shade toward the Xbox One X. That said, I’ll be the first to state that I’m not 100% convinced on the console. Sure, it may be the most powerful “gaming console,” but for someone who’s been a PC gamer and has experienced 4K gaming, there’s nothing really worth getting excited about. Sure, the technology nut in me likes what I see, but being realistic, I haven’t been impressed. That aside, I don’t understand how anyone can take the recent computer specs and twist as they have.
But what exactly am I getting to? Let’s back up a bit and explain what’s happening.
Microsoft made Forza Motorsport 7 available for pre-order and, as such had released the system requirements for Windows 10. Those requirements aren’t exactly demanding either, as seen below. They provided both a minimum and recommended spec, as is normal with PC titles. However, this is what started all the confusing and contradicting information.
As you can see in each requirement, the processor and video card needed are fairly low. Ignoring the minimum requirements, let’s focus on the recommended instead. Here you can see that the recommended video cards are the Nvidia GTX 670 or the Nvidia 1050 Ti. Both are underpowered, at least when you compare them to the GTX 1060, GTX 1070, and GTX 1080, or even AMD’s RX offerings. Looking at this and then Microsoft’s claims of true 4K gaming on the Xbox One X, you can start to get an idea of what is happening. In a nutshell, anyone who has been opposed to Microsoft’s new system has been using the lack of a super-powered video as ammo to completely hammer the Xbox One X. I even watched one specific YouTube video that was so hilariously wrong that I had to stop listening to it halfway through.
So I figured I’d bust out some knowledge here.
A requirement, in many cases, is a need in order for something to work or exist. It doesn’t mean that having a GTX 1080 Ti is a requirement to play a game, in this instance. For Forza Motorsport 7, it states that if you want to play the game at all, you need at least a GTX 1050 Ti. That much should be obvious. What isn’t obvious and I do blame Microsoft for this, is that they don’t spell out what to expect with that video card.
What resolution will be supported, and at what level of graphical fidelity? Doing some basic research, you can see that the GTX 1050 Ti isn’t even enough for 1080p@60fps with high settings. Singling out both Forza Horizon 3 and Forza Motorsport 6 Apex, the GTX 1050 Ti is not even able to manage 1080p@60fps with high settings, let alone medium settings. Don’t forget the processor requirement either, which was an Intel i7.
With what was provided, people have taken the requirements and started claiming that the Xbox One X is a waste of money. They’re factoring that because an i5 and GTX 1050 Ti were set as a requirement that it will run circles around the Xbox One X version, which will be running at 4K. That’s an outlandish claim, since, yet again the GTX 1050 Ti can’t even run either current Forza title on PC at 1080p@60fps. At 1080p@30fps, the card barely manages, while dropping down to 720p is a bit better. It’s worth mentioning that Forza Motorsport 7 was built from the ground up for the PC, meaning that it will now support the Intel i5/i7 and also AMD’s Ryzen/FX processors.
But at what cost? What sort of performance drops are we going to see, and at what level of detail can we expect? If you haven’t played FM6 Apex on PC, I can tell you that even with a GTX 1080 and an Intel i7, that game still fights to stay at a consistent 60fps at both 1440p and 4K with ultra settings. And yes, that title was and still is considered a beta or a testing ground for Forza Motorsport 7. Still, those performance metrics were used for developing the next racing entry, so I don’t expect the performance differences to be that far off, but that remains to be seen.
In any event, I don’t expect any PC equipped with an Intel i5 and a GTX 1050 Ti to run Forza Motorsport 7 at 4K at all. Nor do I expect to run as well as an Xbox One X at 1080p, just like I don’t expect the Xbox One X to get remotely close to a high-end PC running Forza 7 at 4K. We will see different baselines and expected performance metrics for those baselines. If you want 4K@60fps with ultra details, you will have to get a better GPU and CPU. A PC isn’t a closed system; while it’s the PC’s greatest strength, it’s also a weakness. We’ll never see a game that’s 100% optimized on the PC, just due to the sheer number of possible configurations.
But again, these are my assumptions, and I could be off-base here. However, from what I’ve played, tested, and am aware of, I don’t suspect I’m that far off. And I’ve clocked a massive amount of hours in both Forza Motorsport 6 Apex and Forza Horizon 3 on PC.
Forza Motorsport 7 will be available on Xbox One, Xbox One X, and Windows 10 on October 3rd, 2017. However, if you purchase the Ultimate Edition, you’ll get the game on September 29th, 2017.