GTA V performance review: tested with 23 GPUs

Benchmarked at Full HD, WQHD, and Ultra HD.



Around two months ago, the PC version of GTA V was released at long last. Where owners of a PlayStation 3 or an Xbox 360 have been able to play this game since September 2013, PC gamers had to wait no less than nineteen months for their turn. Admittedly, GTA V for PC is much more than just a simple console port: the game's graphics have been upgraded substantially, and as a result, the game looks much better on PC than it does on any console. Assuming you have the right graphics card, that is. As you're no doubt used to by now, we've once again extensively tested which graphics card you need to play this game with all bells and whistles enabled. 23 graphics cards, 3 resolutions, and 2 quality presets: everything you need to know!

 Grand Theft Auto V (PC)

Those who compare GTA V for PC with the original Xbox 360 and PS3 versions may have a hard time believing they're looking at the same game, and even compared to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions that were released near the end of last year, there are some substantial differences. First of all, there's the available resolutions: on the two modern consoles, GTA V runs at the Full HD resolution (1080p) at 30 fps. When using a PC, you can of course play in higher resolutions, including WQHD or even Ultra HD / 4K, and at higher framerates to boot. No matter what console players may claim: 60 fps does result in a much smoother gaming experience than 30 fps!

Because the GPUs incorporated in gaming PCs are typically much more powerful than those found in consoles, other things have been adjusted as well. For starters, the PC version uses far more detailed textures. Furthermore, the distance at which objects will be rendered has been increased significantly: where the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 already feature double the draw distance of the last generation version, the PC version will render objects that are even further away. Numerous 3D effects have been enhanced as well: water looks more realistic, tessellation is used more generously to give objects more detail, there are more reflections, and the settings also contain a city density slider, which allows you to configure how busy the streets of Los Santos will end up being. Rendering more people and cars requires more processing power, but does result in a better looking and more realistic game. Unlike the console versions, the PC version offers support for up to three displays and – for the small amount of people who have invested in them – also offers support for 3D monitors.

If you want to play GTA V with maxed out settings, then you're going to need a fairly powerful PC. According to the developers, low settings only require a random quad-core CPU, 4 GB of memory, and a DirectX 10+ compatible graphics card whose performance is similar to that of an Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT or an AMD Radeon HD 4870. The recommended system requirements, on the other hand, are quite a bit higher: an Intel Core i5 3470 or AMD FX-8350 or faster, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870 or faster, and 8 GB of memory. Moreover, if you want to play at Full HD with medium or higher settings, then having an even faster graphics card isn't exactly overkill either. The amount of required disk space may have spooked a number of people as well: 65 GB. Good thing that large SSDs aren't that expensive anymore these days.

As for the game itself, we can be pretty brief: GTA V has a score of 97 out of 100 points on MetaCritic, which is something that only few other games can boast. Tension, humour, action: GTA V has it all. Chances are we don't have to tell you anything about the gameplay, so let's quickly proceed to the test results.

Product discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price

Grand Theft Auto V (PC)

PC, Action


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