Electronic Arts has released the latest part in Codemasters’ F1 series, F1 2021. Powered by the EGO Engine, it’s time to benchmark it and see how it performs on the PC platform.
For this PC Performance Analysis, we used an Intel i9 9900K with 16GB of DDR4 at 3600Mhz, AMD’s Radeon RX580 and RX Vega 64, NVIDIA’s GTX690, GTX980Ti, RTX 2080Ti and RTX 3080. We also used Windows 10 64-bit, the GeForce driver 471.41 and the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 21.7.1 drivers. Since the game does not have any SLI profile, our GTX690 behaved similarly to a single GTX680. Also note that we’ll be focusing on the non-ray-traced version. Thus, and if you are interested in any Ray Tracing or DLSS benchmarks, we suggest reading our previous article.
Codemasters has added a wide range of graphics settings. PC gamers can adjust the quality of Lighting, Post-Process, Shadows, Particles, Crowd and Mirrors. There are also settings for Reflections, Weather, Skidmarks and Ambient Occlusion. The game also supports Dynamic Resolution and has a Frame Rate Limit option.
F1 2021 comes with a built-in benchmark tool. For both our CPU and GPU tests, we selected the Australian track with Wet conditions. This scenario appeared to be ideal as it was stressing both the CPU and the GPU.
In order to find out how the game scales on multiple CPU threads, we simulated a dual-core, a quad-core and a hexa-core CPU. And, we are happy to report, that F1 2021 does not require a high-end CPU. Our simulated dual-core system was able to run the game with more than 60fps at 720p/Ultra settings (we obviously used 720p in order to avoid any possible GPU limitations). We did notice, though, a few stutters, especially when Hyper-Threading was enabled.
At first glance, F1 2021 appears to be scaling wonderfully on multiple CPU cores/threads. However, performance degrades on high-end CPUs with more than 6 CPU cores. Thus, we suggest disabling Hyper-Threading in case you use a modern-day hexa-core (or octa-core) CPU. On the other hand, those with dual-core or quad-core systems will see noticeable performance improvements when they enable Hyper-Threading.
At 1080p/Ultra, most of our GPUs were able to run the game with constant 60fps. However, we were really disappointed by the game’s performance on the Vega 64. At 1080p/Ultra, this GPU was noticeably slower than the GTX980Ti. At 1440p/Ultra, the Vega 64 offered a higher average framerate but a lower minimum framerate. And while Vega 64 was able to top the GTX980Ti in 4K, we are looking at a sub-50fps performance.
At 1440p/Ultra, NVIDIA’s top three GPUs were able to offer a constant 60fps experience. As for 4K, both the RTX2080Ti and the RTX3080 were able to provide a silky smooth experience.
Graphics-wise, F1 2021 looks similar to last year’s offering. I mean, they almost look identical. Yes, there are some subtle improvements (like slightly better lighting), but everything looks and feels the same. The only big graphical improvement that’s worth mentioning is the game’s Ray Tracing reflections. On the other hand, its Ray Tracing Shadows (as we’ve already reported) look awful. In short, F1 2021 does not offer next-gen graphics. They look great, but they aren’t that much different than those of F1 2020.
In conclusion, F1 2021 runs great on a wide range of PC configurations. The game does not require a high-end CPU and can run with 60fps at 1080p/Ultra on a wide range of GPUs. Unfortunately, though, the game looks similar to F1 2020. Not only that, but as we’ve already said, it suffers from some bizarre issues. For instance, it does not allow you to adjust the quality of DLSS and its Ray Tracing Shadows look terrible. Thus, let’s hope that the Codies will address these issues via a post-launch update!