F1 2021 in the technology test – ComputerBase : Test |CUP | Specs |Config

F1 2021 im Test: Raserei mit hohen FPS und optional Raytracing

F1 2021 in the technology test – ComputerBase
: Test |CUP | Specs |Config

The official game for the current Formula 1 season is here. On the PC, F1 2021 will offer ray tracing for the first time to improve graphics. And that works very well: Raytracing shadows and reflections cost comparatively little performance in F1 2021. The test with many benchmarks clarifies whether this is worthwhile in the overall package.

Update 07/20/2021 10:25 a.m.

Update 07/16/2021 1:10 p.m.

The PC version of F1 2021 being tested

F1 2020 has been replaced: The official game for the current Formula 1 season goes into the next round again this year. In F1 2021 you can now fight for the championship with the current cars and some improvements. In addition, it is the first version that is no longer published by Codemasters, but by EA – even if development still primarily took place in the Codemasters studios.

F1 2021 is not just a “next-gen game”, the latest edition is also available for the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Accordingly, the graphics don’t make a big leap, but it is still superior to its predecessor. Not only, but among other things, this is due to ray tracing, which will be used for the first time by F1 2021. The developers have updated the Ego 2.0 engine, which is no longer entirely fresh, accordingly.

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All in all, F1 2021 is a really cool game that doesn’t score with highlights and doesn’t do anything extraordinary, but it just creates a coherent atmosphere that is difficult to beat. The lighting, surface details and the details off the actual route take a step forward. In the end, that is enough to appear “up-to-date” again. The next year’s part should then take a bigger step.

PC version only with DirectX 12 and ray tracing for the first time

While F1 2020 still offers DirectX 11 and DirectX 12, there will only be DirectX 12 in F1 2021. It is also worth mentioning the support of Nvidia’s intelligent AI upsampling DLSS, and AMD’s FidelityFX sharpening and upsampling is also included. The new FidelityFX Super Resolution (FSR) and thus the technology that competes with DLSS is still left out.

F1 2021 offers a better graphics menu on the PC than its predecessor. The options are still many, if not exhaustive. The game offers an FPS limiter that can be freely configured between 30 and 250 FPS. A dynamic resolution is part of the game, which tries to keep the adjustable target frame rate of 30, 40, 60, 120 or 144 FPS. To make this possible, a minimum resolution (down to 50 percent in 1 percent steps) and how aggressively the game should try to achieve this can be set.

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In addition, there are five different graphic presets with ultra-low, low, medium, high and ultra-high, a configurable integrated benchmark and, more recently, descriptions of the individual options. In-game down- and upsampling is unfortunately still missing, and the same applies to sample screenshots.

The graphics menu of F1 2021

The graphics menu of F1 2021

The graphics menu of F1 2021

The graphics menu of F1 2021

The graphics menu of F1 2021

The graphics menu of F1 2021

As in the predecessor, AMD and Nvidia graphics cards select different environmental coverage. Nvidia HBAO + is used on a GeForce, while ASSAO, developed by Intel, is used on a Radeon. The latter looks better and should also be used on a GeForce graphics card because there are hardly any performance costs.

Whoever selects the highest graphic preset leaves one option switched off, as is usual with the F1 games: The optional “screen space shadows” are intended to improve the quality of the shadows. That costs a lot of performance and only really looks better when the ray tracing shadows are switched off – the option is not worthwhile on most graphics cards.

The anti-aliasing remains only average

TAA is still the standard anti-aliasing of F1 2021. This works at an average level, offers good image sharpness from WQHD and smooths a large part of the image effectively. However, some objects still flicker, which can only be remedied to a large extent by using a large number of pixels, but even Ultra HD is not optimal in this regard.

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The post-processing AA CMAA developed by Intel is missing for the first time in a long time in F1 2021, but this is not tragic. The game’s own checkerboard rendering with halved resolution on the horizontal pixel axis, which is used on the consoles for high resolutions, is also missing.

DLSS and FidelityFX stayed

The more important options DLSS and FidelityFX have remained. With DLSS there is still only the setting option “On” or “Off”, with FidelityFX there is still the choice between resharpening or alternatively rendering in a lower resolution and then resharpening. More details on the options will follow in a later paragraph.

On the next page: Raytracing, DLSS and FidelityFX in F1 2021

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