Monster Hunter World PC performance: Zotac GeForce GTX 970 Dual Fan
Ah, the trusty Nvidia GeForce GTX 970. Still a popular staple of many a gaming PC (and once one of the best graphics cards money could buy), this particular GTX 970 is Zotac’s Dual Fan model. It has 4GB of memory, a base clock speed of 1076 MHz and a boost of 1216 MHz, making it slightly faster than Nvidia’s reference specification (which has a base clock of 1050 MHz and a boost of 1178 MHz). As a result, this particular set of test results may vary by a couple of frames or so compared to other GTX 970s out there.
Still, I was pretty impressed by the GTX 970’s performance. It’s getting on a bit long in the tooth now in terms of speed and overall memory (the GTX 1070 has 8GB of memory, for example), but it proved itself highly capable of delivering fast, smooth frame rates at both 1920×1080 and, to an extent, 2560×1440. Here’s how I got on.
Can I play this at 1920×1080?
Yes. While the GTX 970 can just about handle Monster Hunter: World‘s Highest graphics setting, producing a rough average of 30-35fps out in the field with resolution scaling set to High or 35-40fps when the scaling’s set to prioritise the resolution, this card is definitely most comfortable on MHW’s High setting.
Here, I got a smooth 50-60fps running around the game’s early jungles, making for some very smooth monster tracking. The resolution scaling is set to prioritise the resolution by default on this graphics option, and switching it over to High didn’t really make much of a difference in overall speed.
Battles weren’t quite as silky when I was getting up close and personal with some of MHW’s larger dinos, but it never dipped below 40fps when the scaling was prioritising the resolution. I’d suggest sticking the scaling on High, though, as here I saw a baseline of around 45fps. If you set the volume rendering to Low as well, you can squeeze around an extra five frames out of it, too, pushing it closer to a baseline of 50fps.
Can I play this at 2560×1440?
Yes, but the best frame rate you’re going to get is with the game’s Mid setting. That’s still pretty decent for such an old graphics card, but you’re looking at 45fps tops when out in the world, with lows of around 35fps. Again, tinkering with the volume rendering will help push the frame rate into a more comfortable 40-50fps territory, but High was just too demanding for this particular card.
I wouldn’t recommend settling for Low at this resolution either, as it just looks awful. Here, the volume rendering is off by default, sending the frame rate sky high to 80-90fps depending on what was happening onscreen, but the visual trade-off simply isn’t worth it – at least in my eyes anyway. Yes, there are things you can do to make it look marginally better, but Mid is definitely a definitely a better place to start with this card.
Can I play this at 4K?
Alas, 4K is too much for the GTX 970, so stick to lower resolutions.
Want to see what other graphics cards make of Monster Hunter: World? Here’s a handy list of links:
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (4GB)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super
- Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
- AMD Radeon R9 270
- AMD Radeon R9 290
- AMD Radeon RX 570 (8GB)
- AMD Radeon RX 580 (8GB)
- AMD Radeon RX 590
- AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT (4GB and 8GB)
- AMD Radeon RX 5700
- AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT