Project CARS 2 Performance Review

How We Tested Project Cars 2

Test Configuration

AMD Ryzen 5 1600X
Asus ROG Strix X370-F Gaming
G.Skill Flare X (2x 8GB)
Crucial MX200 (500GB)
be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 750W
Be quiet! Dark Base Pro 900
Thermal Grizzly Hydronaut
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Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro x64 1709 (16299.64)
Graphics DriversThe game was tested using the latest public drivers available at the time we ran our benchmarks:Nvidia GeForce Game Ready 388.71AMD Radeon Adrenalin Edition 17.12.2
GameThe most up-to-date version of the game was tested at the time we ran our benchmarks:Project CARS 2 (V3.

We recently updated our test configuration to better reflect mid-range gaming in 2017. This time around, we picked an AMD Ryzen-based platform, honing in specifically on the 1600X as a great option for enthusiasts looking to save some money.

Steam's survey of hardware and software configurations offers us a view of the most prevalent components and settings (the data comes from December 2017):

  • 8GB of RAM is the most popular capacity point; that's what 47% of surveyed gamers have installed (our system has 16GB, which we wanted in order to measure peak RAM utilization).
  • Full HD resolution is used by 76% of gamers, though 8% still run at 1366x768. QHD is used by only 3% of gamers, and 4K remains anecdotal.
  • Quad-core CPUs are installed in more than two-thirds of surveyed systems (72%, to be exact). In anticipation of the coming months, we're using a mid-range six-core processor.

Graphics Card Selection

We chose 10 graphics cards for this test, representing mainly entry-level and mainstream options. Here are the competing cards:

Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 WF2OC-3GD 3GB
MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
PNY GeForce GTX 1050 2GB
MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4G
Asus RX 570 Strix OC 4G
XFX Radeon R9 390 8G

Test Procedure

All performance data is collected using the PresentMon tool and our own custom front-end.

In order to accurately represent performance, each graphics card is warmed up to a stable temperature before measurements are collected. Most newer GPUs employ mechanisms to optimize clock rates based on variables like power and temperature. So, tests run during the warm-up period would convey better performance than you'd see in the real world. We therefore execute the benchmark sequence once to warm up the card prior to gathering official data. As usual, we tested at 1920x1080 and then 2560x1440 with the graphics options maxed-out.

MORE: Star Wars Battlefront II Performance Review

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Project CARS 2
  • spdragoo
    Question on the Minimum/Recommended specs:

    GeForce GTX 1080 or Radeon RX 480

    I'm assuming the "GTX 1080" is a misprint. While I'm an AMD fan, I know the RX 580 isn't anywhere near as good as the GTX 1080. Also, I didn't see any testing done with the GTX 1080, but the GTX 1060 did show up.

    Also...any plans to do some more testing with other older/lower GPUs? I'm only asking because a) although the listed minimum (GTX 680) isn't too far off the RX 580/GTX 1060 in performance, it is 3 generations behind (& you did testing with GPUs that are technically lower on the hierarchy than a GTX 680); & b) my own GPU (R9 380) is roughly comparable to the 680 (& superior to the GTX 1050/1050TI & RX 460/560 that were used in testing).
  • anbello262
    I would actually like to ask the exact opposite. Any chance of testing 1080 or 1080ti and 4k? This game has ultra realistic graphics that are really affected by resolution/alias.
  • Th_Redman
    I want to try to understand why my old i-7 950(overclocked to 4GHz from 3.06 stock)with a great aftermarket air cooler supposedly couldn't run this game(says minimum i5 3470). I have it paired with a Zotac GTX 970 and 12 GB's of DDR3 1600Mhz RAM so shouldn't that be enough to run the game with good FPS at 1920x1080P resolution?
  • kerberosa20
    try it and u will see if it will be enough
    but stock i7 950 has around half single core performance of i7 3450...
    so dont expect miracles
  • nmezib
    Any hope of doing VR performance? Like with using Nvidias FCAT tool, or by measuring reprojection times, etc.?

    VR sim racing is a real big deal, and PCars 2 is one of the best looking but most demanding of them. It would be nice to have a list of the most important graphics settings with respect to performance impact.
  • cooldex
    yea woulda like to see 4k tested with gtx 1070 but i actually have the first one which ran pretty well on my laptop at 40fps at 4k (1070)
  • gadgety
    Shortly after the release of Project CARS (Community Assisted Racing Simulator), Slightly Mad Studios and World of Mass Development started fundraising for its sequel.

    They didn't make enough profit on the first?