Cyberpunk 2077 Could Be The Crysis of This Decade, Early PC Performance Benchmarks Show AMD Radeon & NVIDIA GeForce GPU Struggling at 4K Even Without Raytracing Enabled

Hassan Mujtaba
Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 reviews are out today and the majority of critics have given it rave reviews but here, we are more importantly going to talk about the PC version which has been tested early on by Tomshardware which gives us a glimpse of what to expect in terms of the game performance running on the latest graphics cards from NVIDIA and AMD.

Cyberpunk 2077 Early PC Performance Tests Show AMD & NVIDIA GPUs Struggle To Run The Title at 4K Even Without Raytracing, DLSS Is a Game Changer & Game Ready Drivers To Further Refine Overall Performance

First of all, one thing that all critics have noticed is that the game is riddled with bugs and the developers are expected to release a chunky 50 GB+ Day 0 patch for the game on launch. The updated promises to fix some of the most glaring issues but we don't have a patch log yet but performance improvements could or could not be a part of it. Another thing is that the reviews consisting of the PC version were tested with early non-optimized drivers from NVIDIA and AMD. This means that the performance you are looking at is definitely not going to be final but just an early look at how the game runs.

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NVIDIA has been working with CDProjektRed for a long time in implementing its raytracing (RTX) effects along with DLSS technology within Cyberpunk 2077 so as expected, they would have a launch driver ready to roll out once the game launches on 10th December 2020. AMD will also & most definitely have a game ready driver rolling out at launch considering the hype surrounding the game and they don't want their Radeon RX users to miss out on an optimized experience while running the game.

With that said, Tomshardware tested the game at the Medium and Ultra preset at 1080p, 1440p & 2160p resolutions. They also enabled NVIDIA's RTX at Medium and Ultra presets. The game also has four DLSS presets which include DLSS Performance, Balanced, Quality, and Ultra-Quality. The performance and balanced mode offer the most tuned performance experience while quality gives a better visual showcase but is more taxing. The Ultra Performance mode offers the biggest boost in performance but the image quality loss is quite evident here. The preset is intended for an 8K resolution only or if you wish to sacrifice quality in favor of performance at 4K resolution.

First up, we have the performance results (all of which are courtesy of Tomshardware) without any Raytracing and DLSS modes enabled. At medium settings, anything above the GeForce GTX 1070 and the AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT is going to net you an average of around 60 FPS. At 1440p, you would need an RTX 2060 SUPER / Radeon RX 5700 XT or above to retain the 60 FPS performance. Moving to 4K, you would require a Radeon RX 6800 XT or an RTX 3080 and above to retain 60 FPS.

Cyberpunk 2077 PC Performance Benchmarks on AMD & NVIDIA GPUs at Medium Preset:

  • 60 FPS at 1080p (Medium) - GTX 1070 or RX 5600 XT at Minimum
  • 60 FPS at 1440p (Medium) - RTX 2060S or RX 5700 XT at Minimum
  • 60 FPS at 2160p (Medium) - RTX 3080 or RX 6800 XT at Minimum

Moving to the Ultra preset, even at 1080p, you would require an RTX 2060 SUPER and an RX 5700 XT or above to reach 60 FPS. At 1440p, the requirements go above those cards and you'd need an RTX 3070 or an RX 6800 series to retain the 60 FPS. 4K is even more demanding and there's no card that can run the game at a consistent 60 FPS with the Ultra preset at 4K. The RTX 3090 only gets 46 FPS while the RX 6800 XT can only manage 34 FPS.

Cyberpunk 2077 PC Performance Benchmarks on AMD & NVIDIA GPUs at Ultra Preset:

  • 60 FPS+ at 1080p (Ultra) - RTX 2060S or RX 5700 XT at Minimum
  • 60 FPS+ at 1440p (Ultra) - RTX 3070 or RX 6800 at Minimum
  • 30 FPS+ at 2160p (Ultra) - RTX 3070 or RX 6800 at Minimum

Moving over to raytracing with DLSS, it looks like even at 1080p, we can expect any good graphics performance out of anything below the RTX 2080 or 2080 SUPER as the RTX 2060 barely does 30 FPS at 1080p with RTX set to Ultra on DLSS quality mode. Maybe balanced and performance modes will help the older Turing cards but the main focus is on the RTX 30 series.

At 1080p, the RTX 3080 can run RTX Ultra natively just slightly below 60 FPS while with DLSS set to quality mode, the performance shoots up to 80 FPS. The same is the case with the RTX 3090 which can deliver a 60 FPS with RTX on Ultra natively but DLSS helps push it beyond 80 FPS. But that said, this is just at 1080p resolution. With 1440p, RTX on Ultra natively is a no go since the FPS drops to an unpleasant 30-40 FPS. Only through DLSS can users achieved about 60 FPS with the Quality preset while balanced mode helps push the FPS above 70 FPS on average. The most taxing mode is 4K where both the RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 can barely break the 20 FPS mark when running RTX on Ultra natively. You definitely need DLSS to achieve over 40 FPS here.

Cyberpunk 2077 PC Performance Benchmarks on AMD & NVIDIA GPUs at Ultra With RT & DLSSt:

  • 60 FPS+ at 1080p (Ultra / RT Ultra / DLSS Q/B) - RTX 3070 and above
  • 60 FPS+ at 1080p (Ultra / RT Ultra / Native Res) - RTX 3090 and above
  • 30 FPS+ at 1440p (Ultra / RT Ultra / DLSS Q/B) - RTX 3080 and above
  • 30 FPS+ at 1440p (Ultra / RT Ultra / Native Res) - RTX 3080 and above
  • 30 FPS+ at 2160p (Ultra / RT Ultra / DLSS Q/B) - RTX 3090 and above
  • 30 FPS+ at 2160p (Ultra / RT Ultra / Native Res) - N/A

Overall, you can tell that the game is surprisingly demading but we expect the performance to get better as the developers sort out the bugs. With that said, the game features the most advanced form of raytracing effects that we have seen to date and the difference is night and day as posted by Venture Beat.

'And speaking of lighting, this is by far the best showcase for ray tracing so far. With an Nvidia RTX 3080 video card and using deep-learning supersampling (DLSS), I was able to run the game at 1440p with RTX maxed out. This includes well-known RTX features like shadows and reflections, which look great. But it also includes RTX global illumination. CD Projekt Red uses a hybrid GI system that doesn’t use RTX for when light bounces off of objects and onto a second object, but all direct lighting is using ray tracing.

The difference between Cyberpunk with RTX lighting and without is massive. With RTX, it looks lifelike with lighting that brings depth to characters as their clothing creates shadows on their bodies and lighting splashes correctly over curved muscles. Without RTX, the game looks significantly flatter and more like a video game. And thanks to DLSS 2.0’s performance setting, I was able to get these incredible benefits at a steady 60 frames per second.'

Venture Beat

Cyberpunk 2077 releases in two days and you can expect game ready drivers for your GPUs to be released for the game in the coming days too. We will also have our own performance benchmarks for the game rolling out in a few days with proper drivers and the initial patches which are meant to improve the overall performance.

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