The bald-headed gun-wielding assassin is back again in the third and last installment for the recently rebooted trilogy of the Hitman series. Agent 47 will be telling his final tale (at least for now) but how well does it perform on our systems? We take a look at the PC performance benchmarks for Hitman 3...
First of all, in this PC performance benchmark article for Hitman 3, we benchmark a range of graphics cards going from the higher-end RTX 3070 as well as the RTX 2060; to the lower-end R9 380 - which is close to the minimum required GPU for 1080p resolution on Low graphics settings; and the mid-range GTX 1060 - which is close to the recommended GPU for 1080p High graphics settings.
Then we go through the FPS test results of each graphics card running at 1080p, 1440p and 4K screen resolutions. From there we can see the performance of the minimum and recommended system requirement graphics cards and consider how well optimized Hitman 3 really is.
Unfortunately, Hitman 3 does not include any graphical presets to choose from, so we've opted to just do our own custom presets for Low, Medium, and Ultra quality. Low and Ultra are pretty self-explanatory in that they involve turning the graphics settings to their lowest or highest respectively, whilst Medium is a good mix of Medium/Normal settings. Some graphics options like Super Sampling, Simulation Quality, and Variable Rate Shading all dramatically affect performance so each one has been either turned off or set to their lowest value (represented in bold) for these benchmarks in order to standardize the results.
|GD Custom Presets||Low||Medium||Ultra|
|Level of Detail||Low||Medium||Ultra|
|Texture Filter||Trilinear||Anisotropic 4x||Anisotropic 16x|
|Mirrors Reflection Quality||Off||Medium||High|
|Variable Rate Shading||Off||Off||Off|
Hitman 3 does include an in-game benchmarking tool, however in our testing we found it to be quite inconsistent with in-game performance. We'll be talking more about this later in the article, but for now we can say that the benchmarking tool and in-game performance do not match exactly and therefore should not be used in order to judge exact in-game performance.
Our benchmark run then consisted of a walk through one of the opening levels, with lots of detailed models and dynamic lighting, reflections, and a large crowd of NPCs. Overall we felt that this was fairly representative of your overall time spent in Hitman 3, though it should be noted that performance will drop depending on the quality of the 3 settings mentioned above (Super Sampling, Simulation Quality, and Variable Rate Shading) as well as depending on the amount of action in the scene. Considering Hitman is mostly about stealth, on average we assume most players would take a more slow and methodical approach.
If you want to test out how well your rig can handle the physics simulation and high-action moments, we recommended running the "Dartmoor" benchmarking scene as we found it to be pretty representative of the most demanding moments in Hitman 3. If you find your FPS is struggling here, we recommend turning down Super Sampling or Simulation Quality to gain performance.
Hitman 3 also features Variable Rate Shading (VRS), which is a process that will render less detail in areas where it will be less noticeable, therefore improving performance. However, since this feature acts similar to DLSS (in that it can increase performance at a slight cost to visual quality just by turning it on) we opted to not include it in our performance benchmarks below.
Instead, we will be analyzing the Variable Rate Shading feature - along with Simulation Quality and Super Sampling - separately in our Most Important Graphics Options article in order to judge it's performance benefit and visual loss.
With that in mind, let's jump into the PC performance benchmarks for Hitman 3...
Hitman 3 minimum system requirements
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit
- CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K or AMD Phenom II X4 940
- RAM: 8GB
- GPU RAM: 2GB
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon HD 7870
- HDD: 80GB
- DX: 12
Hitman 3 recommended system requirements
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit
- CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 or [*AMD Ryzen 5 1600]
- RAM: 16GB
- GPU RAM: 8GB
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 or AMD Radeon RX Vega 56
- HDD: 80GB
- DX: 12
(*One of the requirements listed only a single brand of hardware, so we've selected a similar AMD equivalent hardware based on the description in square brackets)
Hitman 3 benchmarking tool vs in-game performance
As mentioned above, Hitman 3 does include an in-game benchmarking tool in order to judge FPS performance. However, we found in our own testing that this was not representative of actual in-game FPS performance.
For starters, Hitman 3 includes 3 different benchmarking scenes to choose from: Dubai, Dartmoor, and Dartmoor (Interactive). Each one has it's own use; Dubai is more for general quality performance; Dartmoor is for simulation, physics, and heavy action sequences; and Dartmoor (Interactive) is the same as the previous one but instead allows you to control the level of destruction and amount of action yourself.
In our testing we found that the Dartmoor scene (Interactive or not) is actually a very good benchmark for stress testing your CPU for the Simulation Quality graphics setting (more information on this later). However, the Dubai scene is quite inaccurate when it comes to actual in-game performance.
|Tool (1080p)||In-game (1080p)||Tool (4K)||In-game (4K)|
|Dubai - Low||168.61||156.9||67.04||69.5|
|Dubai - Ultra||123.24||115||42.34||43|
As you can see above, at 1080p Low graphics settings the Dubai scene reaches an average of 168.61fps using the benchmarking tool. However, when benchmarking a route in the same level in-game, we found the average performance to be lower at 156.9fps instead.
When we increase the graphics settings to Ultra, we see a less significant drop, but still a reduction in FPS nevertheless: from 123.24fps using the benchmark tool to 115fps when in-game.
On the other hand, at 4K we see that in-game performance actually increased slightly compared to the tool. When using the benchmarking tool we got 67.04fps and 42.34fps at Low and Ultra graphics settings respectively, whilst in-game we got 69.5fps and 43fps in comparison.
At 4K resolution the margin of error is much smaller and so we could say it's okay to use if you want a rough idea of how well your PC will perform at 4K. However, at lower resolutions the difference in FPS is too much to recommend using it, even if for a rough idea of in-game performance.
In fact, the first time we launched the benchmarking tool in the Dubai scene at 1080p with all graphics settings turned off or to their lowest, we got an intitial result of 180.14fps. However every run after that resulted in an fps of around 167. we assume that this has something to do with the CPU bottleneck we are experiencing here (more on that later) but it shows just how much the average FPS can fluctuate in the benchmark tool when compared to real in-game performance.
It is worth mentioning here as well that we tested the Dartmoor scene vs in-game performance, however as we said earlier the Dartmoor scene is very good for stress testing CPU performance with lots of action and physics simulations going on. Though this is hard to replicate accurately in-game, so our performance results varied wildly from each other and were not included in the table above (for reference, the FPS we got using the tool was 75.6fps at 1080p Ultra, but in-game we got 120fps).
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Hitman 3 RTX 3070 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on Nvidia Gigabyte GeForce RTX 3070 Aorus Master | Intel i7-5820K | 16GB
Average FPS for Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 in Hitman 3 @ 1080p
|1% Low FPS||125.8||115.6||111.8|
|0.1% Low FPS||117.5||110.6||104.6|
The FPS performance for the RTX 3070 at 1080p resolution in Hitman 3 is really good, although it seems to be that there is some sort of CPU bottleneck going on here as evident by the 1440p performance below as well as the RTX 2060's 1080p results. Nevertheless, the RTX 3070 is perfectly suitable for playing Hitman 3 at 1080p on Ultra graphics settings.
Average FPS for Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 in Hitman 3 @ 1440p
|1% Low FPS||120.2||112||105.2|
|0.1% Low FPS||111.3||99.8||96.4|
At 1440p, the FPS performance for the RTX 3070 In Hitman 3 is also really good. Here the performance drops slightly compared to 1080p - even if only by a few fps - but is still largely affected by what seems like a CPU bottleneck. Still though, the RTX 3070 is perfect for playing Hitman 3 at 1440p resolution on Ultra graphics settings.
Average FPS for Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 in Hitman 3 @ 4K
|1% Low FPS||96.4||72.9||65.4|
|0.1% Low FPS||89.3||68.8||62.6|
Finally, the RTX 3070's FPS performance in Hitman 3 at 4K is really good still, reaching well above 60fps even on Ultra graphics settings and leaving enough room for even the most demanding moments.
Overall, the RTX 3070 is largely limited by the CPU at 1080p and 1440p resolutions but still achieves a very high and comfortable framerate. The RTX 3070 is also perfect for playing Hitman 3 at 4K on the Maximum graphics settings.
Cyberpunk 2077 RTX 2060 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on Nvidia PNY GeForce RTX 2060 | Intel i7-5820K | 16GB
Average FPS for Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 in Hitman 3 @ 1080p
|1% Low FPS||126.1||111||94.4|
|0.1% Low FPS||117.1||101.1||91|
The RTX 2060's FPS performance at 1080p in Hitman 3 is pretty good. Although it is largely affected by what is most likely a CPU bottleneck on the Lowest graphics settings. Still, the RTX 2060 performs well and is perfectly suitable for playing Hitman 3 on the Ultra graphics settings at 1080p resolution.
Average FPS for Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 in Hitman 3 @ 1440p
|1% Low FPS||99.9||76.8||64.1|
|0.1% Low FPS||93.2||71.1||61.1|
At 1440p, the FPS performance for the RTX 2060 in Hitman 3 is still pretty good, reaching above 60fps even at Ultra graphics settings. Overall, the RTX 2060 is perfect for playing Hitman 3 on Ultra graphics settings at 1440p resolution.
Average FPS for Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 in Hitman 3 @ 4K
|1% Low FPS||55.2||42.4||36.5|
|0.1% Low FPS||53.2||39.1||34.8|
At 4K the FPS performance for the RTX 2060 in Hitman 3 is okay. On the lowest graphics settings it reaches above 60fps for a comfortable experience, whilst at Medium and Ultra the FPS drops below 60fps. At these frame rates Hitman 3 is still playable, but is not the most ideal.
In the end, the RTX 2060 is perfectly suitable for playing Hitman 3 at 1080p and 1440p resolutions on Ultra graphics settings. The RTX 2060 is also fine for playing Hitman 3 at 4K but will require you to drop the settings down to Off/Low for the 60fps+ experience, but is still playable at Ultra graphics settings.
Hitman 3 GTX 1060 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on Nvidia MSI GeForce GTX 1060 | Intel i7-5820K | 16GB
Average FPS for Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 in Hitman 3 @ 1080p
|1% Low FPS||90.8||71.2||58.6|
|0.1% Low FPS||85.4||67.9||55.3|
The GTX 1060's FPS performance at 1080p is pretty good, reaching above 60fps even on Ultra graphics settings. Therefore, the GTX 1060 is perfect for playing Hitman 3 at 1080p resolution on Ultra graphics settings.
Average FPS for Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 in Hitman 3 @ 1440p
|1% Low FPS||60.9||46.2||38.3|
|0.1% Low FPS||57.3||43.6||36.8|
At 1440p, the FPS performance for the GTX 1060 in Hitman 3 is still surprisingly okay. Low graphics settings here is the most comfortable as it achieves higher than 60fps, however it is still playable at Medium and even Ultra, although it is not ideal.
Average FPS for Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 in Hitman 3 @ 4K
|1% Low FPS||31.1||24.8||21.1|
|0.1% Low FPS||30.2||23.8||20.2|
Finally at 4K the GTX 1060's FPS performance is not too great. Whilst you can still play on Low graphics settings even if it is not ideal, going up to Medium or Ultra settings becomes virtually unplayable.
The GTX 1060 is close to recommended GPU for Hitman 3 (a GTX 1070), and considering the performance results above we can assume the recommended specs were for 1080p 60fps gameplay on Ultra graphics settings. In that regard the GTX 1060 is still perfectly suitable for playing Hitman 3 at 1080p Ultra setting. Even at 1440p the GTX 1060 performs relatively well and is fine for playing at Medium or Ultra graphics settings, though Low will deliver more than 60fps. If you want to play Hitman 3 at 4K with a GTX 1060 it is recommended to stay on Low graphics settings, anything higher is virtually unplayable.
Hitman 3 R9 380 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on AMD MSI Radeon R9 380 | Intel i7-5820K | 16GB
Average FPS for AMD Radeon R9 380 in Hitman 3 @ 1080p
|1% Low FPS||56.7||41.6||32.3|
|0.1% Low FPS||52.9||29.6||23.8|
At 1080p, the FPS performance for the R9 380 is decent. At Low graphics settings you will get the most comfortable experience as it achieves above 60fps performance, but Medium and Ultra is still playable although a lot more stuttery due to VRAM being maxed out. Overall, the R9 380 is perfectly fine for playing Hitman 3 at 1080p on Low graphics settings.
Average FPS for AMD Radeon R9 380 in Hitman 3 @ 1440p
|1% Low FPS||39.7||16.3||9.6|
|0.1% Low FPS||28.3||14.5||9.2|
The FPS performance for the R9 380 at 1440p resolution is okay still. At Low graphics settings it is still very much playable, although going above to Medium or even Ultra will reduce performance significantly as VRAM was maxed out at this point and became pretty much unplayable.
Overall, the R9 380 is perfectly suitable for playing Hitman 3 at 1080p resolution on Low graphics settings. Even at 1440p Low graphics settings it is still a comfortable performance. However, moving the graphics settings up to Medium or Ultra at 10870p or 1440p resolutions becomes a lot more stuttery as VRAM gets maxed out at this point. 1080p is noticeably better at handling this, but 1440p becomes unplayable at these graphics settings.
Looking at all the results above, Hitman 3 is not a very demanding game and will play very well on modern hardware. Even the GTX 1060 which is slowly starting to show it's age is still able to achieve decent performance at 1080p resolution on Ultra graphics settings.
More recent hardware like the RTX 3070 or even RTX 2060 are able to handle performance much better, being able to play at 4K or 1440p respectively at the Max graphics settings.
Even low end hardware like the R9 380 can play Hitman 3 at a decent frame rate, albeit at 1080p and Low graphics settings. Though it is clear that Hitman 3 favors high VRAM GPUs for stable performance when increasing graphics settings and resolution.
However, it is important to note that some settings were not used at all in order to standardize these results. For instance, Simulation Quality was set to "Base" rather than "Best" as in our tests we found it could significantly affect performance on our CPU. Though our processor does not meet the recommended requirements for turning it up to "Best". More tests will need to be done, but it is recommended to use the Dartmoor benchmarking scene to stress test your own CPU performance with this setting.
Hitman 3 will also be getting ray tracing support in a post launch update, so expect performance to change dramatically depending on the type of ray tracing features implemented in the future. Intel CPUs should also be getting some optimizations in later updates, which ould help with the Simulation Quality graphics setting.