Home Entertainment Analysis of Cyberpunk 2077 (PART 4)

Analysis of Cyberpunk 2077 (PART 4)

Performance

Let’s explore the game’s success attributes, because there’s a lot to worry about here. So here’s a rundown of my setup before that. I checked the Windows version of the game, which was tested on a PC running an NVIDIA RTX 2060 Founders Edition (factory + manual OC) and an AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 3000MHz dual-channel DDR4 16GB and the game loaded on a 1TB M.2 NVMe SSD. The game was a retail GOG copy and tested using the patch versions 1.04, 1.05 and 1.06, with 1.06 being the newest at the time of Writiti SSD.

Cyberpunk 2077 is a highly challenging PC title. Although some of it undoubtedly seems justified, such as allowed by ray-tracing, the other facets of it do not yet match up to the hardware standard needed to run it reliably.

Customizing the visual settings is one of the easiest ways to enhance performance. Cyberpunk 2077 includes a number of modification choices, all with various effects on output and visual quality. Here’s a short rundown of them all.

    • Contact Shadows: Low performance impact, high visual impact
    • Improved facial lighting geometry: No performance impact, low visual impact
    • Anisotropy: No performance impact, high visual impact
    • Local shadow mesh quality: No performance impact, low visual impact
    • Local shadow quality: Low performance impact, medium visual impact
    • Cascaded shadow range: Low performance impact, medium visual impact
    • Distant shadow resolution: Low performance impact, low visual impact
    • Volumetric fog resolution: Medium performance impact, high visual impact
    • Volumetric cloud quality: Medium performance impact, medium visual impact
    • Max dynamic decals: Low performance impact, low visual impact
    • Screen space reflections quality: High performance impact, high visual impact
    • Subsurface scattering quality: Low performance impact, low visual impact
    • Ambient occlusion: Medium performance impact, medium visual impact
    • Color precision: Low performance impact, no visual impact
    • Mirror quality: High performance impact, high visual impact
    • Level of detail: Low performance impact, Low visual impact
    • Ray traced reflections: Very high performance impact, very high visual impact
    • Ray traced shadows: Very high performance impact, medium visual impact
    • Ray traced lighting: Very high performance impact, very high visual impact

If you’re trying to configure the game to meet your desired resolution and frame rate goal, you can refer to this list. First, you can go for the settings with high performance effect and strive to reduce them to a point where the game still looks good enough. Meanwhile, since there’s not much to gain from changing them, you should keep the low performance effect settings at their maximum values.

Of course, if you have DLSS, then flipping to the Quality preset with little to no quality loss is essentially free output. It also helps you get away with stuff like a lower SSR output preset as it very efficiently smoothes out the noise in the reflections. However, since the volumetric fog rendering is connected to the game’s internal rendering, even at its maximum setting, if DLSS is allowed, it can end up looking blocky around light sources such as street lights. Other than that, for the DLSS implementation in Cyberpunk 2077, I have nothing but appreciation.

The game also helps you to activate or disable options like film grain, chromatic aberration, field depth, and flare of the lens. One of the more nuanced choices here is film grain, but the other three have a fairly significant influence on the game’s look. None of them really influences the results, so choose what looks better for you. Motion blur has three modification stages and can also be tailored to taste without any particular effect on results.
Although changing the visual settings is a decent first step to improving efficiency if you are GPU-bound, in Cyberpunk 2077, it is highly probable that you will also be CPU-bound. The game is challenging for CPUs and can be very taxing on low-core CPUs.For example, on my 6-core, 12-thread Ryzen 5 2600, I am almost continuously running into Processor bottlenecks, which causes my GPU to drop in utilization while it’s waiting for the CPU to finish the draw calls. There are two facets of this game, crowd density and driving, that will kill your Processor. Luckily, you can change the amount of crowd in the game and setting it to low helps reduce the CPU load a lot. It does, though, make the game at times seem a little empty.

You can’t do anything with the performance declines while driving, sadly. The only option here is to get a solid CPU with a high core count. The developers could probably further customize the engine for weaker or low core count CPUs, but I have seen more and more games, particularly those that use low-level APIs such as DirectX 12, which are incredibly challenging CPUs, and that quad-core i5 or that AMD FX that you’ve been hanging on to can only take you so far. CPU bottlenecks produce even more unpredictable fluctuations in frame times, unlike GPU bottlenecks, leading to jerkier results and stuttering, even though the average frame rate does not decrease.

The other problem with the efficiency of the game is with the use of VRAM or at least the allocation of VRAM, as it is difficult to check how much VRAM an application actually needs. Also at 1080p, Cyberpunk 2077 can comfortably surpass 6GB of allotted video memory at the maximum texture levels. I will regularly run into VRAM bottlenecks in busy areas on my 6GB RTX 2060. The alternative here is to drop one notch below the highest setting for the texture levels, which helps immensely, but makes certain game textures look fuzzy.

It is impossible to predict how the game would work for all, depending on all the various hardware setups out there. I wanted a mix of mainly ultra-settings in my scenario, with a few things turned down, such as screen space reflections and volumetric clouds. And I took the hard decision not to use ray tracing at all. Though the game looks beautiful, the RTX 2060 is not appropriate for applications for ray tracing (other than taking screenshots), even without it, the game still looks fantastic. Ray-tracing also places an extra strain on the CPU and video memory, and I opted not to press my luck, because I was still low on both. I did allow DLSS, however, and set it to Ultra.

I’d get anywhere from 40 to 90fps in the game with those. When driving, the game will be at its lowest in busy streets and highest when out of the main city area and in the desert, but I found it hovering about 70-80fps for much of the normal gameplay, which was not too shabby. I was almost continually bound by my Ryzen 5 2600’s CPU, which meant that even though I lowered the visual settings, I did not get a higher frame rate. However, since I have a variable refresh rate monitor, the changes in frame rates aren’t too annoying unless they drop very low.

Ultimately, the amount of progress and optimization in the game leaves a lot to be desired. Although these concerns are easy to ignore and merely blame the game for being advanced, much of the challenges occur as a lack of optimization within the engine itself rather than because of something amazing happening on the computer. It does not help the credibility of CDPR that they shipped the game in a state where half the threads on AMD CPUs under 8-cores were being used correctly. This was finally patched at 1.05, but only after it was pointed out by the forum . This to me shows that there’s already more that CDPR should do, which takes us to our next issue.

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Courage Bansahhttps://ghdispatch.com
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