Benchmarking the Minimum Required Hardware to Play “The Phantom Pain”

There’s no doubt that video games are getting more advanced. And while this is good news for graphics and gameplay, it’s bad news for those of us who barely have the minimum required hardware to play the game.

We recently built two gaming PCs live on Twitch inside our popular Phantom 410 cases. One build features the minimum required hardware to play Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and the other features hardware you will find on most high-end gaming PCs. We did this because we were curious to see how the low-end hardware would perform as many NZXT employees (myself included) are still using this older hardware.

If you’re running older hardware inside your PC and are curious how it holds up, here are some benchmarks to help you determine if you need to upgrade or build a new PC.

System Requirements

Konami’s Minimum Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4460 or AMD FX-8320
  • RAM: 4GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 or Radeon HD 5820

Konami’s Recommended Specifications

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 or AMD FX-9590
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 or AMD Radeon R9 280

Phantom Build Specs

Benchmarking the Minimum Required Hardware to Play “The Phantom Pain”

Benchmarking Overview

For the purpose of this test, I used 3DMark because it allows users to benchmark PCs with tests that are designed specifically for the hardware being used. The two benchmarking tests I ran are Sky Diver and Fire Strike.

Sky Diver – for gaming laptops and mid-range PCs

Use Sky Diver to test DirectX11 systems with mainstream graphics cards, mobile GPUs, or integrated graphics that cannot achieve double-digit frame rates in the more demanding Fire Strike Test.

This test contains both graphics worklloads and physics simulations to stress the CPU and GPU. The test uses compute shader based deferred tiled lighting method.

Fire Strike – for high-performance gaming PCs

Fire Strike is a DirectX11 benchmark for high-performance gaming PCs and overclocked systems. Fire Strike is very demanding, even for the latest graphics cards.

The test includes tessellation, illumination, smoke simulation and particles and post processing on the GPU, while the CPU is tasked with running 32 parallel physics simulations.

Hardware Performance Before the Benchmarks

CPUBenchmarking the Minimum Required Hardware to Play “The Phantom Pain”

GPUBenchmarking the Minimum Required Hardware to Play “The Phantom Pain”

RAMBenchmarking the Minimum Required Hardware to Play “The Phantom Pain”

Benchmarking Results

Sky Diver




Fire Strike




Benchmarking Analysis

The Phantom Pain is the first game I’ve ever seen recommend gamers to use an Intel Core i7-4790 or AMD FX-9590 CPU. Even one of the most resource-intensive games I’ve ever played – Grand Theft Auto: V – recommends an Intel Core i5-3470 or AMD FX-8350 CPU.

Based on these tests and Konami’s recommended specifications, it’s safe to assume our low-end Phantom build will struggle to play The Phantom Pain without making some serious adjustments to the graphics settings. As evidenced in NVIDIA’s graphic and performance guide, you’ll need at least a GeForce GTX 960 to for gaming on a monitor with 1080p resolution.

Despite the low frame rates depicted on the Fire Strike benchmark, both the CPU and GPU remained cool under pressure. This is mostly due to using a CRYORIG C1 heatsink which features a Jet Fin Acceleration System that moves hot exhaust rapidly away from the CPU.

We’ll benchmark our high-end Phantom build soon. In the meantime, let us know what hardware you’re using to play Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and if you’re satisfied with the gameplay!