Halo: Reach on PC easily manages 8K at 60 fps

Halo: Reach
(Image credit: Microsoft / 343 Industries)

Halo: Reach is out now on PC, and in the run up to the release, we were promised that it could run at 4K resolution at 60 frames per second (FPS) on an old graphics card.

But what happens when you run Halo: Reach on the most powerful consumer graphics card in the world, the Nvidia RTX Titan? We did just that, and found that Halo: Reach managed 8K resolutions (7,680 × 4,320) at a rock-solid 60 fps.

Our 8K test system

PC built by Chillbast

Motherboard: Asus ROG STRIX Z390-E GAMING
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-U14S
Case fans: Noctua NF-A14 PWM Chromax 140mm
Processor: Intel Core i9-9900K, 8 Cores / 16 Threads
GPU: Nvidia GeForce Titan RTX
Storage: 500GB Samsung 970 EVO Plus M.2 PCIe
Secondary Storage: 2TB Samsung 860 QVO
Power: Corsair RM850x 80 PLUS Gold 850W PSU
Case: Fractal Design Vector RS Tempered Glass
RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 32GB DDR4 3200MHz
Monitor: Dell UltraSharp UP3218K

That's pretty darn impressive, though we are playing with a GPU that costs $2,499 (around £2,000, AU$3,600), and Halo: Reach originally launched on the Xbox 360 way back in 2010.

We played the game using a very powerful gaming PC provided by Chillbast, along with Dell's UltraSharp UP3218K monitor.

We used the 'Enhanced' graphical settings, which updates the textures and adds effects that weren't included in the original. Even so, during our playthrough at 8K resolution, our framerate counter never dropped beneath 60 fps.

Combat evolved

We've seen a number of recent games, such as Gears 5, unable to run at 8K with playable framerates, even on some of the most powerful hardware in the world.

We also recently tried playing Red Dead Redemption 2 at 8K, and while the best of a PC Chillblast built for us put up a decent fight, 8K resolution still seems to be too intensive for modern games, even on extremely powerful hardware.

However, with Halo: Reach performing so well at 8K, perhaps that's where the (immediate) future of 8K gaming really lies: in older games with updated graphics.

While Halo: Reach is nearly 10 years old, Microsoft has done a great job of porting it and updating it for modern PCs, and at 8K resolution it really looks stunning.

The performance is so good, that it's unlikely you'll need quite as powerful a rig to run it at 8K. And for the vast majority of people who don't have an 8K monitor (Dell's is currently the only one on the market), then the good news is that the game runs even better at 4K.

In a way it's quite funny. We've just glimpsed the future of PC gaming courtesy of an old console game. Mainstream 8K gaming is still a long way off, but once it gets here, 8K at 60 fps is going to really drop some jaws.

We've also tested how Halo: Reach runs on more modest hardware, and the results are very impressive, with even budget cards offering high resolutions and frame rates.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.