Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Performance Review and Optimisation Guide
Published: 7th November 2019 | Source: OC3D Internal Testing | Price: |
The Strangeness of Red Dead Redemption 2's PC version
It would be wrong of us not to talk about how strange Red Dead Redemption 2's PC version is. With its varying presets for every new graphics card, it's graphical settings that can sometimes change on their own (making benchmarking tricky) and its buggy launcher, it is easy to see why there are a lot of complaints about this game.
Rockstar has created a strange PC release, but also one that seems to look into the future of the PC hardware market. No, we are not talking about raytracing, but a focus on high-resolution gameplay and graphical options that are clearly designed for next-generation graphics hardware.
Most modern games follow this trend; assuming that there are no CPU-based limitations at 1080p. 1440p performance will be between 20-30% slower than 1080p, and 4K performance will be roughly 50% of what it was at 1440p. With Red Dead Redemption 2, the game's 4K performance was approximately 50% of what it was at 1080p, resulting in a 50% performance decrease for a 4x resolution increase.
On the one hand, this results in lower than expected 1080p performance in Red Dead Redemption 2, but relatively easy scaling to 4K displays. Perhaps this will become a trend for many future titles, but like most other games, this also shows that 1440p is now the performance/resolution sweet spot for PC gamers.
In page 2 we highlighted that Red Dead Redemption 2's Maximum preset wasn't close to the game's maxed-out settings. There are a lot of graphics options that Rockstar has left there for future PC hardware generation to enable.
Options like MSAA appear to be a carry-on from Grand Theft Auto 5, while the game's unlocked volumetric raymarch resolution setting appears to be Rockstar's way of throwing performance/graphical efficiency out the window. Just for the giggles, we maxed our Red Dead Redemption 2 on our RTX 2080 Ti and managed to get an average framerate of 15.48 FPS in the game's built-in benchmark (area 4), showcasing how overkill the game's maximum settings are.
Another thing that's worth noting is that Red Dead Redemption 2's MSAA is limited to either 4X or 8X depending on the user's graphics card. This may be due to the memory-heavy nature of the feature.