Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Performance Review and Optimisation Guide
Published: 7th November 2019 | Source: OC3D Internal Testing | Price: |
PC System Requirements and Optimised Settings
Red Dead Redemption 2 was designed to extract all of the performance that today's console has to offer, delivering some of the best visuals of this generation and more than what many thought was possible on today's hardware.
On PC, Rockstar can push things to even higher levels, using the Vulkan API and DirectX 12 alongside one of the most generous graphical options menus that we have ever seen on a PC game.
Red Dead Redemption 2's minimum PC system requirements are designed for 30FPS gameplay, recommending a Radeon graphics card that is not much better than what's available on Sony's PlayStation 4 console. With this in mind, PC gamers shouldn't expect to use Red Dead Redemption 2's highest settings if they are using hardware that's similar to the game's minimum requirements.
OS: Windows 7 - Service Pack 1 (6.1.7601)
Processor: Intel Core i5-2500K / AMD FX-6300
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 770 2GB / AMD Radeon R9 280 3GB HDD
Sound Card: DirectX compatible
OS: Windows 10 - April 2018 Update (v1803)
Processor: Intel Core i7-4770K / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB / AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB
HDD Space: 150GB
Sound Card: DirectX compatible
While Red Dead Redemption 2 offers gamers quality presets, these presets are not the same for every graphics card. "Balanced" means a different thing for every graphics card, and only Red Dead Redemption 2's Maximum preset was the same for every GPU we tested. Beyond this, lies some higher graphical settings that Even Rockstar won't turn on, such as MSAA, though our guess is that many of these settings are engine-level features that Rockstar didn't feel like removing. MSAA and Reflection MSAA are both available in Grand Theft Auto 5.
We decided to create what we'll call "Optimised Presets" for Red Dead Redemption 2, all of which will deliver PC gamers a great visual experience. If your graphics card has more than 4GB of VRAM, you will be able to run this game with Ultra Textures and almost all PC gamers will be able to utilise X16 Anisotropic Filtering without any issues. These two features will prevent Red Dead Redemption 2 from looking like a blurry mess at lower settings.
At 4K, we used our Custom Low settings to get 50-60 FPS gameplay from our Radeon RX 5700 Red Devil at 4K while maintaining some great graphics. Yes, it doesn't look as good as our higher settings, but it still looks excellent on our 4K screen, even when compared to the game's console release.
Below are the settings that we used during our testing. We made sure that all of these settings were in place before and after every benchmark run to ensure the validity of our results.
If we were to change anything, we would enable SSAO in our Low Preset and use Medium Volumetrics Quality at High. This would help to maintain a better balance between performance and graphics in both cases.
|Low||Medium||High||Max Preset||Maxed Out|
|Quality Preset Level||Custom||Custom||Custom||20/20||Custom|
|Global Illumination Quality||Low||Medium||High||Ultra||Ultra|
|Far Shadow Quality||Low||Medium||High||Ultra||Ultra|
|Screen Space Ambient Occlusion||Off||Medium||High||Ultra||Ultra|
|Near Volumetric Resolution||Low||Medium||High||Ultra||Ultra|
|Far Volumetric Resolution||Low||Medium||High||Ultra||Ultra|
|Volumetric Lighting Quality||Low||Medium||High||Ultra||Ultra|
|Unlocked Volumetric Raymarch Res.||Off||Off||Off||Off||On|
|Particle Lighting Quality||Low||Medium||Medium||Medium||Ultra|
|Full Resolution SSAO||Off||Off||On||On||On|
|Water Refraction Quality||Low||Medium||High||High||High|
|Water Reflection Quality||Low||Medium||High||High||High|
|Water Physics Quality||1/4||2/4||3/4||3/4||4/4|
|Parallax Occlusion Mapping Quality||Low||Medium||High||Ultra||Ultra|