Cyberpunk 2077 on GeForce RTX 3000: technical analysis

Cyberpunk 2077 on GeForce RTX 3000: technical analysis
We tried Cyberpunk 2077, of which we have told you everything in our review, with some of the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 cards, thanks to the evolution of the cores dedicated to ray tracing and enhanced tensor cores that guarantee better performance thanks to the DLSS upscaling based on artificial intelligence. The RTX 2000, of course, enjoy the same effects, currently precluded to the cards of the competition, and the launch version will not have DRM, gaining in performance compared to the one intended for reviewers, but it is clear that it is a massive title, a dense, alive and full of detail open world that requires a high-end card to be squeezed thoroughly.

The importance of ray tracing

Cyberpunk 2077 is one of the first titles to look to the next gen, although it was made to run also on the last generation of PCs and consoles. It is not free from bugs but it is nothing short of mammoth both in the attention to detail and in the complexity of an experience that must be considered in its magnitude to be evaluated adequately. The first thing that stands out is the richness of the interiors, meticulously furnished and full of details, starting from the corporate desks to the protagonist's room to get to the exteriors that underline the increase in complexity compared to the past that undoubtedly leaves its mark . All seasoned with an avalanche of passers-by, flying cars and streets full of neon. Among other things, the rendering of the materials is good, regardless of ray tracing, but it is not the aspect on which the developers have focused. The lights do a lot of the work, from the rays that saturate the night air to factors such as neon, advertisements and screens that fill the world with reflections that are more voluminous, detailed and round thanks to ray tracing.

The models of the secondary characters, it must be said, are inferior to those of the supporting characters as companions, protagonists of the quests and characters who are part of the main game sequences and also enjoy much higher level animations. But the overall quality, thanks to a large number of animations, is always very high. All this, among other things, remains intact even by giving up ray tracing, at least with the medium to ultra graphics settings that guarantee good textures, a decidedly effective dynamic lighting and a very high visual distance, with machines and models that populate the background even with the lowest graphics preset. The latter, however, partially renounces definition and dynamic shadows, with a bad blow for the overall yield, however good thanks to the care for the design and the overall polygonal richness of the game world. But the glance is decidedly superior in medium mode which therefore represents the minimum wage to fully enjoy the CD Project title, obtaining a good boost in the framerate.

It is not the case, however, to underestimate ray tracing which in Cyberpunk enjoys a massive application and has a drastic effect on both the overall rendering and the detail. We are talking about huge buildings full of windows that reflect running trains and advertising billboards, of the glass of a banquet that reflects passers-by and luminous signs and of various other reflective surfaces between vehicle floors and wet roads. In some cases the reflections are activated at a greater distance, in others at a greater distance, but overall the effort to make sense of a technology that has also seen the active participation in the development of NVIDIA engineers is evident. Net of the optimization, in fact, it is a massive amount of physically accurate reflections, although the quality of the reflected images is reduced in quality to reduce the weight and this is still massive. But certain views literally leave you speechless in front of an open world that undoubtedly still suffers from some finishing problems, but represents a clear and evident step forward towards the next-gen.

Performance summary

Disabling ray tracing reduces the realism wall and also decreases the reflection distance and reflective materials, even if you keep the settings on the ultra preset, with a net overall decrease in the number of reflections. This can be clearly seen on the buildings and on the windows which are among the elements that suffer most from renunciation. But where reflections don't go away these are undoubtedly convincing, thanks to a careful implementation of the screen space, and contribute to the overall performance effectively. We remember, however, that we are talking about the ultra graphic preset. They are in fact confused with the high graphic preset to become sketchy and inferior in number in the medium mode, however inevitably higher than the minimum one that is satisfied with a few patches of neon light and main lighting sources.

Put in clear the weight of the compromises, we can move on to an initial performance analysis which we will return to in the future. The review version of Cyberpunk is in fact weighed down by a DRM that is not present in the launch version, probably to gain at least a good 10% in performance while also getting rid of some slowdown. That said, set the title to Ultra quality, activated DLSS in performance mode, and selected the highest level ray tracing, we played at around 55-60 frames per second with a GeForce RTX 3060 Ti inside a large housing complex. . We are therefore talking about a rather rich situation of life even if not as much as a square particularly full of passers-by and vehicles, where there is a decidedly distant visual horizon, which has seen the entry level card of the RTX 3000 series slip below 40fps. The experience, however, remained playable, albeit with some more compromises than the decidedly more powerful RTX 3080 which saw the framerate touch 80fps in the interior spaces of the building where the protagonist lives, to always maintain a higher frame count. to 40fps, even in the worst moments. All with an excellent performance guaranteed by the new generation DLSS.

By switching to the GALAX GeForce RTX 3070 SG we were able to play without any problem in 1440p, the reference resolution of the card, in all typical gaming situations, remaining for most of the time above 60fps always in 1440p and with DLSS in performance mode which returns 1080p-like performance with DLSS at maximum quality. There was no lack of slowdowns, some of which actually related to the massive amount of polygons that go to the screen in some outdoor situations, but as we said the launch version should be more digestible for any card and it is still clear GeForce RTX 3070 is sufficient. to play without compromise, and without too many problems, in 1440p, enjoying all the wonder of ray tracing shot to the maximum. Those who prefer the framerate can settle for the classic screen space reflections but still activate the DLSS which returns extreme framerates in 1080p, an excellent fluidity in 1440p and a more than playable experience in 4K. All obviously destined to improve with the launch version and with the first patches for a complex title, also to be refined, which we will undoubtedly return to weigh in the near future.

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