There’s no doubt about it – Cyberpunk 2077 is a demanding game, heavy on both CPU and GPU, while solid-state storage is also recommended for an optimal experience. It’s perhaps a game geared towards the computers of the future, but in the here and now, it’s still possible to get a fantastic PC experience – a process we hope to aid with our optimised settings. Put simply, we tested every graphics setting in Cyberpunk 2077, measured the performance cost and judged the overall quality you get at each preset. The idea here is straightforward: to retain everything that makes the game ‘next-gen’ from a visual perspective, but to deliver the best ‘bang for the buck’.
The test rig we used is hardly mainstream – we paired Intel’s Core i9 10900K with a RTX 3090 and 32GB of 3200MHz DDR4, and we ran the game from an NVMe drive. However, all of our measurements were taken at 4K resolution, meaning that as you move down the resolution ladder back to 1080p, the requirements of the graphics card you’ll need scale back considerably. To put all of this into perspective, our chosen settings allow an RTX 2060 to run the game without ray tracing at 4K30 resolution using the balanced version of DLSS, or to hit 1440p60 (with just minor dips in the busiest parts of the city). Interestingly, native 1080p actually seems a touch heavier than DLSS 1440p – and certainly looks a significantly less impressive.
Hopefully that gives some kind of idea of how this game scales on the graphics side – yes, it’s demanding. The RTX 2060 may well be the least capable Nvidia GPU with next-gen features, but it’s still a fairly powerful piece of kit, relatively speaking. You can of course tweak downwards still further and still have a great experience, but at that point, you’ll start to cut into the quality level. Our objective here is to set the bar, and to retain the the game’s wow factor, and to achieve this with an RTX 2060 is impressive stuff. It does have its limits – 6GB of VRAM takes ray tracing out of the equation unless you’re happy with 1080p30 (in which case, you can max out every single RT effect, right up to psycho-level lighting) – but it’s still an impressive showing overall.