Earlier this month, EA released its latest NFS game, Need for Speed: Unbound, on PC. Powered by the Frostbite Engine, it’s time now 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 3800Mhz, AMD’s Radeon RX580, RX Vega 64, RX 6900XT, NVIDIA’s GTX980Ti, RTX 2080Ti, RTX 3080 and RTX 4090. We also used Windows 10 64-bit, the GeForce 527.56 and the Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 22.12.1 drivers.
Need for Speed: Unbound uses the Denuvo anti-tamper tech and Origin has been locking us out of the game for 24 hours after five hardware changes. Thus, we were unable to have any CPU benchmarks for this game. Nevertheless, those owning CPUs similar to or more powerful than the i9 9900K, won’t encounter any performance issues. Moreover, we did not experience any traversal or shader compilation stutters.
Criterion has added a respectable number of graphics settings to tweak. PC gamers can adjust the quality of Textures, Shadows, Ambient Occlusion, Effects and more. The game also supports both FSR 2 and DLSS 3 (you can find our DLSS 3 benchmarks and impressions here).
At 1080p/Max Settings, our top four GPUs were able to provide a smooth gaming experience. What’s interesting to note here is that the AMD Radeon RX 6900XT was faster than the RTX4090 on our PC system. As we’ve said multiple times, AMD’s DX12 drivers have a lower CPU overhead than NVIDIA’s DX12 drivers. And, since we were CPU-limited at 1080p with both the RX 6900XT and the RTX4090, AMD’s GPU was able to run the game faster.
Overall, Need for Speed: Unbound does not require a high-end GPU. At 1440p/Max Settings, our top four GPUs were able to provide a constant 60fps experience. And as for native 4K/Max Settings, the RTX3080, RTX4090 and RX 6900XT were able to offer a smooth gaming experience.
Graphics-wise, NFS: Unbound looks absolutely stunning. All of the cars are highly detailed, and the environments look amazing. In addition, the game features some truly spectacular Global Illumination effects. For those wondering, its cartoonish effects are not that distracting/annoying.
All in all, Need for Speed: Unbound looks and runs incredibly well on the PC. The game does not require a high-end PC, and can push some truly amazing visuals. Also, and contrary to a lot of recent releases, NFS: Unbound does not suffer from any traversal or shader compilation stutters. Criterion has delivered a really polished racing game, so kudos to the team for putting the Frostbite Engine into good use!