Horizon Zero Dawn header screenshot

Horizon Zero Dawn does not have Denuvo, constant 70fps at Ultimate Ultra/1440p on NVIDIA RTX2080Ti

Horizon Zero Dawn has just been released on the PC and for the past two hours I’ve been playing it. And, since I know that most of you will want to know how the game performs, I have some good news for you. While the game is quite demanding, it can run smoothly on NVIDIA’s fastest graphics card at 1440p and on Ultimate Ultra settings.

In order to test the game and capture the following screenshots, we used an Intel i9 9900K with 16GB of DDR4 at 3600Mhz. Naturally, we’ve paired this machine with an NVIDIA RTX 2080Ti. We also used Windows 10 64-bit and the latest version of the GeForce drivers. We’ve also included MSI Afterburner in our screenshots in order to give you an idea of the in-game performance. Do note that this is an early performance report, and not our full PC Performance Analysis. This will come later this weekend and will cover both NVIDIA’s and AMD’s hardware.

Horizon Zero Dawn uses the Decima Engine and, contrary to Death Stranding, does not use the Denuvo anti-tamper tech. This is something that a lot of you have been asking us. And yeah, we can confirm that the game only has Steam’s DRM.

Our NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080Ti was able to offer a smooth gaming experience at 2560×1440 on Ultimate Ultra settings. During the first two hours, our framerate never dropped below 70fps. We did notice some stutters when the game was introducing a new objective/marker. However, and while exploring the environments, we did not have any stutters. You can clearly see that in the following screenshots by looking at the frametime graph. I’d also like to note that I’ve installed the game on a Samsung NVMe SSD 970 EVO.

I’ve also tried a custom 4K resolution, 3328×1872. In order to hit a constant 65fps experience in that resolution, I had to use Medium settings (though I could push Textures and Model Quality to Ultra). With a mix of Ultra/High, I was able to get 56-64fps in 3328×1872. However, the game did not appear silky smooth on my G-Sync monitor with those framerates. Contrary to other games, Horizon Zero Dawn needs 65fps for that buttery smooth experience, even when using a G-Sync monitor.

Keep in mind that the game’s “Original” settings are those for PS4. In other words, they are not your traditional Medium settings that you find in most multi-platform games. So yeah, even if you lower your settings to Medium, you’ll still get great graphics on the PC.

So yeah, Horizon Zero Dawn can run pretty smooth on the PC (provided you have a high-end GPU). Below you can find some screenshots at 2560×1440 on Ultimate Ultra settings.

Stay tuned for our PC Performance Analysis!

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John Papadopoulos

John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities.Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved - and still does - the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the "The Evolution of PC graphics cards." Contact: Email