The Witcher 3 – How to Run HairWorks on AMD GPUs Without Crippling Performance

Posted May 20, 2015
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Reddit user FriedBongWater has posted a very interesting tip enabling AMD cards to run The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with HairWorks enabled, without a substantial performance hit.

You can view his post along with a picture guide below:

So thanks to a wonderful user over at Guru3D, it’s been discovered that hairworks can in fact run relatively smoothly on AMD cards. I’m talking 60fps smooth guys, and the trade-off is barely noticeable.

All you need to do is create a profile for witcher3.exe in your Catalyst Control Center, then set Tessellation Mode to “Override application settings”, and finally set the Maximum Tessellation Level to either 2x, 4x, 8x or 16x.

Important: Depending on what tessellation level you set, the hair quality AND performance will vary. For best performance while maintaining realistic hair I recommend 4x or 8x if your card can handle it. I would recommend against using 2x as it severely reduces quality and looks terrible. Here’s a comparison photo that lets you see the differences between 2x, 4x, 8x and 16x tessellation levels. (Thanks to nzweers from G3D for the comparison photo!)

For reference I’m using a r9 290 and I have little to no performance impact if I use 8x, if I bump it up to 16x then I regularly drop to 50 in intense areas (e.g. wolf packs). So there you have it, let me know if this also works for you guys – and also if you happen to find any issues that arise from doing this tweak.

It appears that AMD users have a way of enjoying The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt with the Nvidia HairWorks feature enabled and actually getting better performance than GeForce users not using a Maxwell architecture Nvidia GPU. It seems a bit ironic but exciting nonetheless.

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We have recently provided some beautiful 4K screenshots of the PC version of the game as well as some 4K gameplay footage that showcases the beautiful graphics that The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt can provide at Ultra High-Definition at it Ultra Settings.

While many have argued that the game has lost some of its visual flair since the 2013 reveal trailer, CD Projekt RED claims that they have not changed the textures, and that they have only toned down as sharpening filter that was causing eye  strain. The higher resolution can replicate the sharpening effect to some extend so it does indeed seem quite similar. Certain changes have been made of course to accommodate the console hardware, but the game turned out looking quite good indeed. We have also provided some amazing 4K Ultra settings footage of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, which can be viewed here.

CD Projekt RED removed the “PS4 vs PC” comparison video, posted earlier by PCGamesHardware and went on to detail the differences between the two versions. They claimed that the PC build was not final and that the PS4 version dis not use the day-one patch which not only fixed the PS4 framerate issue but also implemented a few visual enhancements.

PlayStation Access has provided an in-depth look into many aspects of the game in a 46 minutes video which can be viewed here. It covers everything that fans have been asking for and provides answers to most questions without spoiling the experience.

A few gorgeous screenshots from the PS4 version have also been made available, and they reveal some quite beautiful vistas and the amazing lighting system.

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The launch cinematic which was made available yesterday looks amazing. CD Projekt has also revealed the changelog for the day-1 patch which can be viewed here.  docm77, has also made available a video interview with CD Projekt’s visual artist, Jose Teixeira, in which he shares his thoughts on the downgrade subject.

The Witcher 3 is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. We will bring you any new information on The Witcher 3 as soon as it becomes available. Be sure to check out our previous coverage for more information on The Witcher 3, here and here

Thanks to Nico Zweers for the tip!

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