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Firewatch: PC Performance Benchmarks for Graphics Cards and Processors


Firewatch 2016 02 18 13 43 37 437 

Release Year : 2016
Genre : Adventure / 3D / 1st Person
Developer : Campo Santo
Publisher : Panic Inc., Campo Santo

firewatch sys

Firewatch is a single-player first-person mystery game set in the woods of Wyoming in 1989. Your name is Henry, and you left the hard life in the woods of Wyoming to work there as a lookout. Sitting on the very top of the mountain, you must monitor the safety of the surrounding nature. A particularly hot, dry summer makes everyone anxious.

Your boss, a woman named Delilah, is always in contact with you via a small handheld radio, the only connection to the world you left behind. But when something strange forces you to leave your post and go into the woods, you begin to explore the unfamiliar world around you, ask questions and make decisions that can either strengthen or destroy the only relationships that matter at the moment.


In this subsection of our review, the main graphical aspects of this game are revealed. Particular attention is paid to the version of the graphics engine used, the version of the API used, graphics settings and the quality of the development of the main visual aspects.

Supported OS and graphics API

Firewatch is supported by major Windows operating systems, which include Windows 7, Windows 8/10, Linux, and SteamOS.

firewatch steam 

The priority and primary graphics API for Firewatch is  DirectX 11

Game engine 

Firewatch uses the Unity game engine at its core. Unity is a 2D and 3D application and game development tool that runs on Windows, OS X operating systems. Applications created with Unity run on Windows, OS X, Windows Phone, Android, Apple iOS, Linux, and game consoles Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One. It is possible to create applications to run in browsers using a special Unity plug-in (Unity Web Player), as well as using the implementation of WebGL technology. Previously, there was experimental implementation support for projects within the Adobe Flash Player module, but later the Unity development team made the difficult decision to drop this.

unity logo

Applications built with Unity support DirectX and OpenGL. The engine is actively used by both major developers (Blizzard, EA, QuartSoft, Ubisoft) and Indie game developers (e.g. Pathologic remake), Kerbal Space Program, Slender: The Eight Pages, Slender: The Arrival, Surgeon Simulator 2013, Baeklyse Apps: Save the Bubble, etc.) due to the availability of a free version, user-friendly interface and ease of working with the engine.

Advanced game settings

There are few settings in the game, but quite enough for a complete change in terms of performance. We have both basic and basic settings.

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Below we have provided screenshots of the game at various graphics settings, where our readers can see the difference between the minimum, medium and maximum graphics quality settings. 

Various quality modes
bottom 1 sr 1 max 1
bottom 2 sr 2 max 2

As we can see, the picture quality between different settings in Firewatch is visible to the naked eye.

Comparison of FullHD and 4K
hd 1 4k1
hd 2 4k2

Well, there are no anti-aliasing modes in the game settings ...

General visual design and game physics

The graphics in the Firewatch game are cartoony, but quite nice. The atmosphere and style, as well as the environment itself, make an excellent symbiosis, completely immersing the player in the gameplay.

Firewatch 2016 02 18 14 15 14 516 Firewatch 2016 02 18 14 17 19 556

Firewatch 2016 02 18 15 06 39 270 Firewatch 2016 02 18 15 07 29 378

Next, we will go directly to the gaming tests and determine what impact this game has on modern computer hardware. 


Test configuration

test stands

Benchmark #1 based on the Intel Socket 2011  v3

Testbed #2 based on the Intel Socket 2011 platform

Test stand #3 based on the Intel Socket 1155 platform

Test Bench #4 Based on AMD Socket AM3+ Platform

Testbed #5 based on the Intel Socket 1150 platform

multimedia equipment

Monitor AOC Q2770Pqu

Monitor  ASUS PQ321QE 

Software configuration

operating system

Windows 10 Pro

Graphics driver

Nvidia GeForce/ION Driver Release 361.91

AMD Radeon Crimson Edition 16.11.1

Monitoring program

MSI Afterburner 4.1


GPU test

All video cards were tested at maximum graphics quality by MSI Afterburner. The purpose of the test is to determine how video cards from different manufacturers behave under the same conditions. Below is a video of the test segment:   

Our video cards were tested at resolutions of 1920x1080, 2560x1600 and 3840x2160 at the maximum graphics quality settings allowed by Firewatch. AMD CrossFireX and SLI are not supported by the game. 

Testing at 1920x1080 resolution

Firewatch 2016 02 18 13 44 21 290 

Testing at maximum  quality settings 1920x1080 

Firewatch 1920 

With these settings, video cards of the Radeon HD 7850 or GeForce GTX 750 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS .

Testing at 2560x1440 resolution

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Testing at maximum  quality settings 2560x1440

Firewatch 2560 

With these settings, video cards of the Radeon HD 7850 or GeForce GTX 750 Ti level showed an acceptable FPS .  The best solutions would be the Radeon R7 370 or GeForce GTX 760.

Testing at 3840x2160 resolution

Firewatch 2016 02 18 13 44 29 965 

Testing at maximum quality settings 3840x2160

Firewatch 3840 

With these settings, an acceptable FPS was shown by video cards like  Radeon R9 290 or GeForce GTX TITAN. The best solutions would be the Radeon R9 Nano or GeForce GTX 980.



Testing of the video memory consumed by the game was carried out by the  MSI Afterburner program. The results on top video cards from AMD and NVIDIA were taken as the indicator at resolutions of  1920x1080 and 2560x1440 with various anti-aliasing settings.

Testing at maximum memory GPU quality settings

firewatch vram 

The recommended amount of video memory usage for a resolution of 1920x1080 will be 2048 MB of video memory, for a resolution of 2560x1440 - 2048 MB of video memory and for a resolution of 3840x2160 about 3076 MB of video memory. 

CPU test

Firewatch 2016 02 18 13 44 21 290 

We tested processor dependence on 16 models of basic configurations that are relevant today. The test was carried out in those places where the value of the video card for the game is minimal and its load was less than 99%, this time at a resolution of 1920x1080. 

Testing at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 


The performance of the processors in the game is sufficient for all our tested models.

Loading of processor cores at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 Intel % 

firewatch intel 

Loading of processor cores  at maximum quality settings 1920x1080 AMD % 

firewatch amd 

Firewatch uses up to 6 computing threads.

RAM test

The test was conducted on the base configuration Core i 7 5960X @ 4.6 GHz with the amount of pre-installed memory 32 GB DDR4 2400 MGz. All used RAM was taken as an indicator. The RAM test on the entire system was carried out on various test benches without running extraneous applications (browsers, etc.).

Testing the game's RAM consumption at various quality settings 

firewatch ram 

As we can see, at various quality settings, the amount of RAM consumed in Firewatch is within 1000 megabytes.

Testing system RAM consumption  

firewatch ram2

With a 6 GB system, Firewatch consumes about 3 GB of RAM. In the presence of a system with 8 gigabytes, the RAM consumption of all RAM was 3.2 gigabytes. With a 16 GB system, total memory consumption was almost 3.6 GB. And with 32 gigabytes of RAM, the system consumes 4.3  gigabytes of RAM.