Project CARS 2 Performance Review

CPU, RAM & VRAM Resources

Processor Utilization

Can Project CARS 2 really make the most of a multi-core CPU? Slightly Mad Studios says its physics simulation runs at 600 Hz, enabling superior realism and detailed vehicle dynamics.

Our six-core Ryzen CPU doesn't break a sweat. Its utilization is consistently between 40 and 55%, regardless of resolution or the graphics card we complement it with.


It doesn't matter if we use a GeForce or a Radeon: the game engine leans most heavily on a single core, even though the five other cores remain active to a lesser extent. In addition, AMD's physical cores are utilized more thoroughly than the logical ones enabled by simultaneous multi-threading.


The same observation applies at 1440p. Only one core is taxed heavily, while the others are used noticeably less. Improvements to the game's threading would therefore be quite welcome.

System & Video Memory Utilization

There are no surprises in our RAM benchmarks. Performance is similar with AMD and Nvidia cards installed. Configurations equipped with 8GB of system memory should be sufficient, though you'd definitely be safer with 16GB installed.

When it comes to graphics memory, utilization naturally rises with resolution, and AMD's Radeon uses slightly more GDDR5 than the GeForce.

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Project CARS 2
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?