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Horizon Forbidden West tech review: Laptop and desktop benchmarks

Showpiece game. Nearly four years after the release of Horizon Zero Dawn, the highly promising sequel Horizon Forbidden West has now arrived on the PC. The action RPG has quite a bit to offer not only content-wise but also graphically. In this review, we’ll check out what the hardware requirements are for the game.
Horizon Forbidden West

Test systems

Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (RTX 4090)
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 (RTX 4090)
Razer Blade 16 Mid 23 (RTX 4080)
Razer Blade 16 Mid 23 (RTX 4080)
XMG Pro 15 E23 (RTX 4070)
XMG Pro 15 E23 (RTX 4070)
Razer Blade 14 Mid 23 (RTX 4060)
Razer Blade 14 Mid 23 (RTX 4060)
Medion Erazer Scout E20 (RTX 4050)
Medion Erazer Scout E20 (RTX 4050)
Asus TUF Gaming Advantage A16 (RX 7600S & 780M)
Asus TUF Gaming Advantage A16 (RX 7600S & 780M)
Lenovo Yoga Pro 7 14 (Arc 8)
Lenovo Yoga Pro 7 14 (Arc 8)
Philips Evnia 8000 Series 41.5" UHD OLED gaming monitor
Philips Evnia 8000 Series 41.5" UHD OLED gaming monitor

We currently carry out our gaming benchmarks with these devices. Clicking on the photos will take you to the respective manufacturer's website. More details on their specifications are listed at the end of the article.

Tech

Whilst its predecessor had to deal with some criticisms for its technical performance (see article), Horizon Forbidden West has received a much more positive reception. 

Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West

The game once again needs to compile its shaders on initial startup, a process that takes a varying amount of time depending on the system. But other than that, there isn't much else to complain about this time round – besides maybe the massive file size of roughly 123 GB (the download is approx. 97 GB).

Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West

Due to the sheer number of settings available, the options are divided into two menus and also conveniently accessible outside the game. First off, the Display tab lets you adjust resolution, display mode, and a whole host of other settings like upscaling method (DLSS, FSR & XeSS), anti-aliasing (SMAA, TAA & DLAA), Nvidia Reflex and Frame Generation.

Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West

The Graphics tab contains even more options. Those who aren’t interested in tinkering with all the features can simply select one of the five provided presets, ranging from Very Low to Very High.

Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West

One standout aspect is that all changes take effect immediately, meaning they don’t require a restart. The only drawback is the absence of ray tracing, but Horizon Forbidden West still looks stunning even without this technology and is one of the most gorgeous PC games on the market right now. 

Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West

Environments look incredibly detailed and crisp when it comes to vegetation, textures and so on. Animations and effects likewise deserve high praise.

Horizon Forbidden West
Horizon Forbidden West

Benchmark

Unlike Horizon Zero Dawn, the sequel doesn’t have any built-in benchmark. We thus used the very start of the game, where the female protagonist is unleashed on the enchanting fantasy world, as the sequence for our frame rate measurements. We moved the character along a defined path whilst recording the frame rate for about 20 seconds with CapFrameX. In our opinion, Horizon Forbidden West plays well enough at 40 fps and above. 

Results


FHD (1,920 x 1,080)

The game’s graphics requirements are neither low nor particularly high. With an iGPU, you’ll have to restrict yourself to moderate resolutions and minimum settings, considering that even the AMD Radeon 780M and Intel Arc 8 barely reached the 30 fps mark at 1080p and Low preset. On the other hand, mid-range GPUs, like the GeForce RTX 4050, can handle the game at Full HD and Very High preset.

Horizon Forbidden West
    1920x1080 Low Preset     1920x1080 Medium Preset AA:T     1920x1080 High Preset AA:T     1920x1080 Very High Preset AA:T
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080, i9-13900K
Desktop-PC Asus ROG Strix Z790-F
206 (134.7min, 140.1P0.1, 154.5P1) fps ∼100%
148.6 (103.7min, 111.8P0.1, 123.2P1) fps ∼100%
144.9 (93.9min, 115P0.1, 122P1) fps ∼100%
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT, i9-13900K
Desktop-PC Asus ROG Strix Z790-F
154.3 (96.7min, 105.5P0.1, 113.4P1) fps ∼75%
132.4 (87.1min, 91.6P0.1, 101.2P1) fps ∼89%
129.8 (90.2min, 93.5P0.1, 100P1) fps ∼90%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, i9-13900H
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16
125.9 (70.7min, 87.9P0.1, 95.5P1) fps ∼61%
95.6 (21.3min, 62.1P0.1, 70.7P1) fps ∼64%
93.7 (61.5min, 62.9P0.1, 70.1P1) fps ∼65%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Laptop GPU, i9-13950HX
Razer Blade 16 Mid 23
103.5 (44.5min, 53.4P0.1, 72.4P1) fps ∼50%
91.3 (46min, 54.8P0.1, 64.4P1) fps ∼61%
89.2 (33.5min, 48.1P0.1, 63.2P1) fps ∼62%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU, i9-13900HX
XMG Pro 15 E23
94.3 (47min, 64.6P0.1, 68.9P1) fps ∼46%
71.7 (50.6min, 55.2P0.1, 59.2P1) fps ∼48%
70.3 (55.5min, 56.1P0.1, 58.3P1) fps ∼49%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU, R9 7940HS
Razer Blade 14 Mid 23
92.2 (32.8min, 68.9P0.1, 73.9P1) fps ∼45%
63.5 (49min, 49.7P0.1, 53.4P1) fps ∼43%
60.6 (45.5min, 47.5P0.1, 50.2P1) fps ∼42%
AMD Radeon RX 7600S, R9 7940HS
Asus TUF Gaming Advantage A16
77 (58min) fps ∼37%
60 (47min) fps ∼40%
59 (46min) fps ∼41%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 Laptop GPU, i7-13700H
Medion Erazer Scout E20
75.7 (60min, 60.4P0.1, 64.7P1) fps ∼37%
51.9 (39.1min, 41.9P0.1, 44.1P1) fps ∼35%
45 (20.7min, 24.1P0.1, 37.1P1) fps ∼31%
AMD Radeon 780M, R9 7940HS
Asus TUF Gaming Advantage A16
28.5 (19.3min, 19.5P0.1, 23.3P1) fps ∼93%
25.2 (18.7min, 19.4P0.1, 21.7P1) fps ∼12%
17.7 (13.3min, 13.3P0.1, 13.8P1) fps ∼12%
17.4 (13min, 13.1P0.1, 13.6P1) fps ∼12%
Intel Arc 8-Core iGPU, Ultra 7 155H
Lenovo Yoga Pro 7 14
30.6 (24min, 24P0.1, 24.5P1) fps ∼100%
27.1 (20.1min, 20.3P0.1, 21.6P1) fps ∼13%
18.5 (13.2min, 13.4P0.1, 14.9P1) fps ∼12%
16.2 (12.3min, 12.3P0.1, 13.5P1) fps ∼11%

QHD (2,560 x 1,440)

To get perfect visuals on a QHD monitor, you should at least have an upper mid-range graphics card or better. A Radeon RX 7600S and above will let you play the game at 1440p and max settings.

Horizon Forbidden West
    2560x1440 Very High Preset AA:T
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080, i9-13900K
Desktop-PC Asus ROG Strix Z790-F
117.1 (87.6min, 90.3P0.1, 96.7P1) fps ∼100%
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT, i9-13900K
Desktop-PC Asus ROG Strix Z790-F
106.2 (68.9min, 77.8P0.1, 87.7P1) fps ∼91%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, i9-13900H
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16
75.2 (50.7min, 54P0.1, 59.6P1) fps ∼64%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Laptop GPU, i9-13950HX
Razer Blade 16 Mid 23
71 (37.6min, 47.7P0.1, 52.9P1) fps ∼61%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU, i9-13900HX
XMG Pro 15 E23
54 (44.2min, 45.2P0.1, 47.1P1) fps ∼46%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU, R9 7940HS
Razer Blade 14 Mid 23
47 (36.8min, 36.9P0.1, 39.3P1) fps ∼40%
AMD Radeon RX 7600S, R9 7940HS
Asus TUF Gaming Advantage A16
46 (39min) fps ∼39%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 Laptop GPU, i7-13700H
Medion Erazer Scout E20
31.6 (25.7min, 26.3P0.1, 27.4P1) fps ∼27%

UHD (3,840 x 2,160)

The combination of 4K resolution and Very High preset is meanwhile only reserved for expensive high-end GPUs, such as the GeForce RTX 4080, if you don’t use any upscaling. That said, with DLSS or FSR (in Quality mode) enabled, a GeForce RTX 4060 or higher is powerful enough to get you started with the game at 4K/Max.

Horizon Forbidden West
    3840x2160 Very High Preset AA:T     3840x2160 Very High Preset + Quality DLSS     3840x2160 Very High Preset + Quality FSR
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080, i9-13900K
Desktop-PC Asus ROG Strix Z790-F
76.1 (62.3min, 63.2P0.1, 65.7P1) fps ∼100%
102.4 (75.5min, 78.7P0.1, 87.1P1) fps ∼100%
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT, i9-13900K
Desktop-PC Asus ROG Strix Z790-F
69.5 (53.5min, 54.2P0.1, 58.7P1) fps ∼91%
88.6 (71.5min, 73.2P0.1, 77P1) fps ∼100%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU, i9-13900H
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16
47.9 (37.6min, 38.3P0.1, 40.1P1) fps ∼63%
63.3 (46min, 48P0.1, 53.1P1) fps ∼62%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Laptop GPU, i9-13950HX
Razer Blade 16 Mid 23
45.8 (33.1min, 34.4P0.1, 37.2P1) fps ∼60%
61.2 (22.3min, 43.9P0.1, 49.8P1) fps ∼60%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU, i9-13900HX
XMG Pro 15 E23
32.3 (27min, 27.4P0.1, 28.3P1) fps ∼42%
45.5 (36.3min, 37.9P0.1, 39.9P1) fps ∼44%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU, R9 7940HS
Razer Blade 14 Mid 23
27.6 (23.6min, 23.6P0.1, 24.3P1) fps ∼36%
39.8 (34.5min, 34.5P0.1, 35.7P1) fps ∼39%
AMD Radeon RX 7600S, R9 7940HS
Asus TUF Gaming Advantage A16
21 (15min) fps ∼28%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 Laptop GPU, i7-13700H
Medion Erazer Scout E20
18.6 (13.6min, 14.2P0.1, 15.9P1) fps ∼24%
22.1 (13.8min, 14.4P0.1, 16.8P1) fps ∼22%

Note

Because gaming tests are highly time-consuming and often constrained by installation or activation limits, we are only able to deliver part of the benchmark results at the time of publishing this article. More graphics cards will be added subsequently.

Overview

Show Restrictions
PosModel< PrevNext >Horizon Forbidden West
 Horizon Forbidden West (2024)
low
1920x1080
Low Preset
med.
1920x1080
Medium Preset
TAA
high
1920x1080
High Preset
TAA
ultra
1920x1080
Very High Preset
TAA
QHD
2560x1440
Very High Preset
TAA
4K
3840x2160
Very High Preset
TAA

3840x2160
Very High Preset + Quality DLSS

3840x2160
Very High Preset + Quality FSR
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090
236
234
189.7
189.3
153.7
103.6
126.4
121
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX
222
221
166.2
162.1
132.8
84.9
109.6
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080
206
148.6
144.9
117.1
76.1
102.4
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT
154.3
132.4
129.8
106.2
69.5
88.6
AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT
194.4
179.3
133
127.1
100.2
61.6
80.5
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU
125.9
95.6
93.7
75.2
47.9
63.3
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090
180.8
169.4
120.6
117.1
90.5
57.6
75.7
75.1
AMD Radeon RX 7800 XT
180.3
164.7
111
109.8
85.3
54.7
72.5
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Laptop GPU
153.3
124.5n2
99.7n2
96.35n2
77.35n2
42.65n2
58.65n2
54.8
AMD Radeon RX 6800
152.3
135.5
93.8
90.1
71.2
44.2
59.6
NVIDIA Titan RTX
145.3
131.4
91.3
90.4
68.8
41.9
56.4
54.4
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU
77.3
58.5
37.8
50
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU
106.4n5
97.85n6
73.3n6
67.85n6
54.25n6
32.3
45.5
AMD Radeon RX 6750 XT
134.3
119.9
80.8
79.1
60.7
36.9
50.4
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT
128.5
114.7
78.8
77.9
59.7
34.9
47.5
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU
100.7
93
62.7
68.3n2
51.9n2
32.1n2
44.85n2
38.8
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
130.1
119.1
79.9
77.7
58.8
34.6
50.7
46.3
Intel Arc A770
80.9
76.5
56.3
54.8
44.9
28.4
33.5
AMD Radeon RX 7600
114.2
100.3
70.5
66.2
49.6
25.1
20.4
PosModel< PrevNext >Horizon Forbidden West
low med. high ultra QHD 4K
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU
92.2
63.5
62.85n2
47.45n2
23.85n2
39.8
AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT
112.6
99.8
69.8
67.7
50.3
18.2
22.8
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
104.2
96.2
62.7
60.5
47
29.3
42.2
38.8
AMD Radeon RX 7600M XT
56.4
49.1
38.7
Intel Arc A750
76.3
70.3
50.5
50.1
40.3
25.3
28.3
NVIDIA Titan X Pascal
259
244
180.1
61.4
46.9
28
36.3
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super (Desktop)
107.6
95.9
67.5
65.5
49.3
28.8
40.1
34.6
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (Desktop)
105.2
94.8
62.5
62.4
47.4
27.4
31.4
AMD Radeon RX 7600M
54.8
30.9
30.2
24.1
13.7
AMD Radeon RX 7600S
77
60
59
46
21
Intel Arc A580
72.9
67.1
48.4
46.2
38.8
23.3
24.2
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Super (Desktop)
93.1
82.5
56.6
55.2
41.4
24.3
34
30
AMD Radeon RX 6600
93.5
82.3
58.4
55.5
39.8
17.4
17.9
AMD Radeon RX 5700 (Desktop)
95.4
83.5
56
43.4
34.8
26.3
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT (Desktop)
88.2
69.1
52
48.2
31.4
18.4
20
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super (Desktop)
66.95n2
58.6n2
40.25n2
36.75n2
25.6n2
11.9n2
11.15n2
AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT
37.8
30.2
12
11.4
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT (Desktop)
59.8
53.2
36.1
34.8
26.1
13.8
15.1
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 Laptop GPU
75.7
51.9
45
31.6
18.6
22.1
Intel Arc A730M
44
42.4
25.6
22.6
18.4
PosModel< PrevNext >Horizon Forbidden West
low med. high ultra QHD 4K
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super (Desktop)
48.4
36.7
22.7
15.3
13
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2050 Mobile
35.4
26.9
15.1
9.87
Intel Arc A380
34.5
31.2
20.2
14.9
Intel Arc 8-Core iGPU
30.6
27.1
18.5
16.2
AMD Radeon 780M
28.1n2
24.4n2
17.6n2
17.4
(-) * Smaller values are better. / n123 Number of benchmarks for this median value / * Approximate position

 

Legend
5Stutters – This game is very likely to stutter and have poor frame rates. Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, average frame rates are expected to fall below 25fps
May Stutter – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, stutters and poor frame rates are expected.
30Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 25fps
40Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 35fps
60Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 58fps
May Run Fluently – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, fluent frame rates are expected.
?Uncertain – This graphics card experienced unexpected performance issues during testing for this game. A slower card may be able to achieve better and more consistent frame rates than this particular GPU running the same benchmark scene.
Uncertain – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game and no reliable interpolation can be made based on the performances of surrounding cards of the same class or family.
The value in the fields displays the average frame rate of all values in the database. Move your cursor over the value to see individual results.

Details of the test systems

Notebook Graphics card Processor Memory
Asus ROG Zephyrus M16 Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 @150 W TGP (16 GB GDDR6X) Intel Core i9-13900H 2 x 16 GB DDR5
Razer Blade 16 Mid 23 Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 @175 W TGP (12 GB GDDR6X) Intel Core i9-13950HX 2 x 16 GB DDR5
XMG Pro 15 E23 Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 @140 W TGP (8 GB GDDR6) Intel Core i9-13900HX 2 x 16 GB DDR5
Razer Blade 14 Mid 23 Nvidia GeForce RTX 4060 @140 W TGP (8 GB GDDR6) AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS 2 x 8 GB DDR5
Medion Erazer Scout E20 Nvidia GeForce RTX 4050 @100 W TGP (6 GB GDDR6) Intel Core i7-13700H 2 x 8 GB DDR5
Asus TUF Gaming Advantage A16 AMD Radeon RX 7600S (8 GB GDDR6) & AMD Radeon 780M AMD Ryzen 9 7940HS 2 x 8 GB DDR5
Lenovo Yoga Pro 7 14 Intel Arc 8 Intel Core Ultra 7 155H 2 x 16 GB DDR5
Tower PC Graphics card Processor Memory
Asus ROG Strix Z790-F Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 (16 GB GDDR6X)
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT (20 GB GDDR6)
Intel Core i9-13900K 2 x 24 GB DDR5 G.Skill
4K monitor Operating system Nvidia driver AMD driver Intel driver
Philips Evnia 42M2N8900 Windows 11 551.86 24.3.1 101.5379
static version load dynamic
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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Reviews > Horizon Forbidden West tech review: Laptop and desktop benchmarks
Florian Glaser, 2024-03-25 (Update: 2024-03-25)