There is no doubt about it – Cyberbunk 2077 is a demanding game that is heavy on both CPU and GPU, while solid-state storage is also recommended for optimal experience. It’s a game for future computers, but here and now, it’s still possible to have a fantastic PC experience – which we hope will help our optimized systems. Simply put, we tested every graphics system in Cyberbunk 2077, measured performance cost, and determined the overall quality you get on each preset. The idea here is straightforward: to retain in a visual perspective everything that makes the game ‘next-gen’, but to provide the best ‘buck for bang’.
The test rig we used was not important – we combined the Intel Core i9 10900K with the RTX 3090 and 32GB 3200 MHz DTR4, and we played the game from an NVM drive. However, all of our measurements are taken in 4K resolution, which means that as you move the resolution ladder to 1080p you will need to significantly repeat the graphics card requirements. To bring all of this into perspective, our select systems allow an RTX 2060 to play the game without radiation tracking at 4K30 resolution using the uniform version of the DLSS, or hit the 1440p60 (with small tips in the busiest parts of the city). Interestingly, native 1080p actually seems to be a heavier touch than the DLSS 1440b – of course it seems a lot less so.
It gives a kind of idea of how this game is measured on the graphics page – yes, it demands. The RTX 2060 may be a low-capacity Nvidia GPU with next-gen features, but it is still a very powerful kit, relatively speaking. You can certainly make more downward changes and have a better experience, but at that point, you will start to drop to the quality level. Our goal here is to set the bar, retain the wow factor of the game, and achieve this with the RTX 2060. It has its limitations – 6GB out of the VRAM equation if you are not happy with 1080p30 (in this case, you can max out every RT effect, up to the mood-level lights) – but it is still an overall impressive.
First, I suggest watching the video to understand how we designed our optimal settings. On an RTX 3090 system with 4K resolution without radiation tracking or DLSS, moving from flat-out ultra to optimal settings gives a 35 percent improvement in time, turning the 5 meter render. While a frame requires a 16ms render budget based on 60fps experience, this is an interesting term for commendable success in visual quality.
We recommend DLSS quality mode at 1080p, balanced at 1440p and performance at 4K – if you are using an RTX card, of course. For optimal radiation tracking systems, I recommend turning off the detected shadows, turning on the RT lights at medium, and turning on the reflectors. An alternative ‘Lite’ mode will show you turning off reflections, instead of tilting to rasterized screen-space versions. If, as you imagine, the non-standard RT version demands it, the use of radiation detected graphics can add significantly to the load. As you can imagine, using DLSS is essential for maintaining good performance. For now, RT seems to only work on Nvidia cards, even if it uses the DXR API, to allow AMD’s RDNA 2 offerings to work – but since Team Red’s Super Resolution DLSS alternative is not currently available, AMD has better RT performance We know in advance that it will be difficult to get new cards.
I can anticipate heavy system requirements improving here because it is clear that the game has some technical issues. Initially, as you mentioned in the video, driving around the city requires CPU – and it appears that SMT or ‘hyper-threading’ on Raison processors does not work properly, i.e. the main option is the Raison 5 3600 – causing unnecessary distress, especially when speeding through the city. A user-mode fixes the problem, but there is no improvement in performance compared to the CPU, and we hope that CD Project Red will address this whole situation with some urgency. Second, some systems simply do not seem to work. Detail We can imagine that the status of the system includes both the CPU and the GPU, but it makes no difference to the adjustment presentation or actually the performance. This, in turn, has to be fixed with several things.
We expect optimizations from the developer to come in a timely manner, which reaffirms our argument that the time spent with the game is a topic targeting the next generation of hardware, especially if you want to hit 60 frames per second, or something closer without compromising too much on graphical parity.
Yes, there is some scaling on the graphics side of the equation, but the CPU front is low – CDPR’s recommended specifications are aimed at 30 frames per second, where there are at least four core / eight thread processors. Users of four more core, four-thread legacy i5s are going to struggle. Depending on how much the game demands, Cyberbank 2077 may prompt many to upgrade their computers, especially if the RTX 2060-level hardware is unable to retain native 1080p60 in our optimal settings (DLSS offers a free card exit from jail here).
One final purchase I would recommend on the list of possible upgrades is: Variable Update Rate Monitor. Hitting 60 frames per second is one thing, but maintaining it is another. A G-Sync or FreeSink display performance allows you to target a ‘window’ – say 50 to 60 fps – which allows for greater flexibility and ambition in your settings. In a static scenario, achieving consistency means adjusting the presets to the worst situations – which is very tricky. This process means that you have a certain amount of overhead, which means that your GPU can be used for most of your game time. Variable update rate technology solves a lot of problems here.
The final payoff is enormous. The PC version of the Cyberbunk 2077 actually looks a generation beyond the console versions, and can be seen by tapping on the graphics and CPU power of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles and selecting CD Project Red and the computer resources available. Are to activate any radiation tracking effects. This is something to look forward to in 2021, but here and now, there is no question about it: the best place to play PC is if you have the hardware you need to get the job done. We hope that our optimal systems will disprove a lot of graphics cards, but will require more work from CD Project Red to provide meaningful incentives on the CPU side of the equation.