Unreal Engine 5 has been formally released, and there are many games in development that make use of its stunning capabilities. There are several showcase demos, including the gorgeous Matrix Awakens (opens in new tab) demo. As gamers know, stunning graphics places a heavy demand on your hardware, and if you were keen to see just how Unreal Engine 5 games will perform on your PC, now’s your chance, thanks to EzBench, a free Unreal Engine 5 benchmark.
It’s available as a free download (opens in new tab) on Steam (thanks to ComputerBase (opens in new tab) for the tip). It includes 8K textures, ray tracing support and it goes without saying that it will bring your system to its knees. It’s set on a small island and it’s designed as a demanding stress test of your system, however the developers note that it’s a work in progress and properly optimized UE5 games will run better than EzBench.
The developers recommend an Intel 7th Gen or equivalent CPU and GTX 1080 or equivalent GPU, but in order to run it with ray tracing, you’ll need an RTX 20 or Radeon RX 6000 series GPU. The recommended VRAM requirement is 8GB. That gives us a hint as to what upcoming games might require, at least if you want to play with high resolution textures and all the details turned up.
The download might be free, but those textures mean it’s a large download, at 19.5GB. Imagine how big a full game will be!
Best CPU for gaming (opens in new tab): The top chips from Intel and AMD
Best gaming motherboard (opens in new tab): The right boards
Best graphics card (opens in new tab): Your perfect pixel-pusher awaits
Best SSD for gaming (opens in new tab): Get into the game ahead of the rest
Unreal Engine 5 is developed by Epic Games. It’s set to be used by several major titles, including S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chornobyl (opens in new tab), a new Tomb Raider (opens in new tab) game and CD Projekt Red's new Witcher game (opens in new tab). Admittedly these games are a long way from release, but with popular franchises like these adopting Unreal Engine 5, the future does look bright.
UE5 supports PC, PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. It features a set of tools that bring us closer to photorealistic gaming and it does so with relative ease for game developers. Its new fluid and particle dynamics and physics engine leave me very excited for the next generation of gaming. You’ll want a fast SSD too as it's designed to support Microsoft’s DirectStorage (opens in new tab) and its console equivalents.
If nothing else, EzBench will plant a seed that to enjoy UE5 games at their best, an RTX 40 or RDNA 3 series upgrade could be in your future. It’s going to be in mine for sure.