Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Graphics Benchmark: What You'll Need to Play

Julio Franco

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Launched on PC a year after it debuted on consoles, Red Dead Redemption 2 is still a big release that deserves a detailed benchmark analysis, much like what we've done for other titles this year like Borderlands 3 where we compared over 60 GPUs, Metro Exodus, and most recently Fornite Chapter 2. Unfortunately those plans went out the window when we discovered how hard benchmarking this game was going to be.

Permalink to review.


Cycloid Torus

Stone age computing - click on the rock below..
"As for how demanding Red Dead Redemption 2 is, and if those demands can be justified"
@Steve : Hope we can see this in the near future though it certainly seems that Rockstar is hewing each pixel out of granite.
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TS Booster
Great benchmark as always. How's the CPU impact?
According to GN, Ryzen 2 cpus may have weird bios/mb issues and may not even launch the game. They used a 2080ti to alleviate gpu bottleneck where possible.

i5-7600k and older 4 core/4 thread intel CPUs are pretty bad (and the Ryzen 3's probably are too).

The old 7600k engine issue from GTA-V where it had weird stuttering issues for non hyperthreaded CPUs is also back and evident in both the 9600k and 9700k at 1080p.

At 1440p, pretty much all good across the board. 8700k, 9700k and 9900k (stock and OC) are identical in performance (130ish fps cap, 75ish min) Even an R7 1700 at stock was over 100 fps avg, 65 min at 1440p.
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TS Evangelist
The older Pascal cards crash and burn in DX12. They fare much better in Vulkan surprisingly. Just look at the GTX1070 getting beaten by a mere RX590. That never happens.

So for a start the DX12 performance is terrible on older Nvidia cards.

As for the ultra settings they are extreme, they ramp up the performance hit for minimal quality increase. It's like that with a lot of games but in this game it's not going to be worth turning on ultra for about 3 years and a couple of GPU generations.


TS Guru
Can't figure out why recommending DX12 for everyone. Vulkan runs better than DX12 for me, about 8-12fps better. 980Ti, 4790K and 2133MHz

I seen this advice around Radeon=Dx12 and GeForce=Vulkan.
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TS Evangelist
At least you can play the game. Poor Dmitry over in HardwareCanucks hasn't been able to launch the game yet.

Note that Rockstar said the Recommended GPU was a 1060 or RX480. Not minimum, recommended! That's 38 fps at 1080p on only High settings. Recommended? This game is going to need a lot of fixing. Can you imagine the carnage if there was ray tracing as well.
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TS Booster
Listen, if none of the gtx 10x cards of Nvidia won't go above 60fps then in my book the game isn't coded or optimized properly. Not way in hell I'll do an upgrade for 1 game. Rockstar has a tendency to make low effort towards mid to low range anyways. I wasn't expecting anything from them. I got a gtx 1060 6gb and I'm surprised the game wont go above 40fps which is shameful
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TS Evangelist
Thanks for the review. Still running a 980, so glad I haven't bought this game yet. Oh well. Graphics card prices are still insane for minimal improvement, plus I won't downgrade to Win10 to build a new rig. :/

These results won't sell hardware for me.
I'll wait for next week and Tim's optimization guide. My GTX 1080 does a good job in SoTR at 1440p >60 FPS thanks to him and hopefully he can tolerate RDR2's config annyoances long enough to deliver reasonable FPS to those of us with, frankly, still pretty damn good hardware.


TS Evangelist
I can't stop laughing...!

We all know that DX12/Vulkan is the where Developer's are going and you can see Nvidia's outdated Turing, just can't get the job done. This RDNA stuff is extremely potent and 100% meant for games, unlike Nvidia's chips. It shows here.

Read: The $500 5700xt is within 10 FPS of the $1,200 2080ti.... at 4k.

Which is embarrassing. And leaves a big price adjustment needed for Nvidia's lower gen tech. My own $850 RTX2080 is within 5fps of the $500 5700xt. I am downloading the game this weekend and I hope I don't choke my 2080 @ 3440.

Peter Farkas

TS Evangelist
Why not test also lower performance GPUs? It is not like everyone has GTX1060 or higher.
GTX 1060 @1080p is delivering a mind-blowing 34/38 FPS. Why would you consider anything lower than that if even a 1060 is useless in this game at High settings. There are 21 cards on the benchmark charts.
But as we know Steve, if there is enough demand for Low Graphical settings benchmark with low-end cards just to see what is the absolute minimum you can play this game with, he will deliver that.