Gears 5 Review: UE4 Performance, Guts And Glory Explored

Gears 5: Free with AMD, System Requirements, and DirectX 12 Features

The game is a part of the Xbox Game Pass for PC and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which covers both the Xbox and PC. If you're in the market for a new PC or an upgrade, you can get access to Gears 5 for free. AMD's Ryzen 5 and 7 CPUs, including the new Zen 2 Ryzen 3000 series, and Radeon RX graphics cards come with three months of Xbox Game Pass for PC, normally $10 a month, included. Microsoft's service gives gamers access to around a hundred PC titles, including Gears 5, Forza Horizon 4, the upcoming Age of Empires II remaster, and much more. For more information, check out the deal on AMD's website

The lighting (here, the so-called "godrays") really adds to the environment

If you're not subscribed to any of Microsoft's gaming services, you can buy Gears 5 on the Windows store or Steam for $59.99. 

System Requirements 

Since the Gears franchise has always been a graphical showcase for Microsoft's Xbox and PC gaming platforms, The Coalition built Gears 5 for DirectX 12. As a result, your PC will need to have Windows 10 1903, better known as the May 2019 update, for the best performance. If you buy Gears 5 through Steam, it also supports Windows 7 in DX11 mode. Let's take at the full list of what you'll need to run the latest Gears title.

Minimum Spec Recommended Spec Ideal Spec
Processor AMD FX 6000 series
Intel Core i3 Skylake
AMD Ryzen 3 series
Intel Core i5 Skylake
AMD Ryzen 7 series
Intel Core i7 Skylake
Graphics Card AMD Radeon R9 280
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
AMD Radeon RX 570 or 5700
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or 1660 Ti
AMD Radeon VII
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080
RAM 8 GB 8 GB 16 GB
Available Disk Space 80 GB free 80 GB free SSD with 100 GB free
Operating System Windows 7, 64-bit only Windows 10 1903, 64-bit only Windows 10 1903, 64-bit only
DirectX version DirectX 11 DirectX 12 DirectX 12

To test Gears 5's performance, we used the same test rig from our Control article, but this time we added AMD's latest Radeon RX 5700 XT to our test. The most interesting matchup will be how the RX 5700XT's performance compares to our GeForce RTX 2060. While the AMD card is a little pricier, the difference is only around $20, or about 5%. We'll see if the performance gap matches or exceeds the price gap.

Component Spec
Processor Intel Core i5-9600K (6 cores, 6 threads; 4.2 GHz base, max turbo 4.9 GHz)
Memory 16 GB (2x8 GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-3000
Motherboard MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Plus
Graphics Cards AMD Radeon RX 5700XT 8 GB
MSI GeForce RTX 2060 Gaming Z 6 GB
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8 GB
Storage Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500 GB
Operating System  Windows 10 Pro with 1903 (May, 2019) update
GeForce Driver Version v431.60
Radeon Driver Version Adrenaline 2019 v19.9.1

DirectX 12 Features

The Coalition worked with AMD, whose semi-custom hardware powers both the Xbox One S and Xbox One X, to take full advantage of many DirectX 12 features. 

This hotel was probably beautiful before...well, you'll find out.
  • Asynchronous Compute – Allows Radeon GPUs to execute multiple tasks at the same time. This GPU multi-threading capability enables efficient graphics and visual effects workload distribution, resulting in higher framerates.
  • Multithreaded Command Buffering – Ensures instructions from an AMD Ryzen processor reach the Radeon graphics card faster for higher performance, better graphics and reduced latency.
  • AMD FidelityFX (coming soon) – In a post-launch update, Gears 5 will add support for AMD FidelityFX, which offers a dynamic sharpening filter that draws out detail in low-contrast areas for a sharper gaming experience. It delivers improvement in image clarity, counteracting the softening caused by other post-process effects.
Technical Director Mike Rayner said in a statement, "AMD and The Coalition have a strong relationship going back to Gears of War 4 and we continue to incorporate new technologies to help us improve game performance. We have moved nearly all of our post processing shaders to Async Compute in Gears 5, which means improved frame rates from our previous titles, plus more room to pack in even more graphical quality. AMD engineers worked with us to optimize everything from the CPU to the GPU and we’re really eager to get all of this awesome performance and great visuals into fans' hands."

motion blurred juvenile swarm
Gears has always had a little bit of the survival horror genre running through its veins

 Without further ado, let's see what kind of goodies The Coalition prepared for Gears 5.

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