In context: The RTX 4090 sits at the top of the pile when it comes to consumer graphics cards. With its $1,600 MSRP, Nvidia's flagship can take on most 4K challenges and spit out playable framerates. One exception is Cyberpunk 2077 in its new RT Overdrive mode, which the RTX 4090 can only push to a measly 16 fps in some sections.
On April 11, CD Projekt Red will roll out another major update to Cyberpunk 2077, one that adds RT Overdrive mode. This introduces a fully unified path-tracing solution. Instead of using a hybrid method of rasterization combined with ray-traced effects, as is the case with the game's current RT modes, Overdrive mode only consists of ray traced pixels.
The end result is that an already stunning game looks even better, thanks to path tracing accurately simulating light throughout an entire scene. The mode models the properties of light from a virtually unlimited number of emissive sources, as opposed to a limited number in the standard RT modes, delivering physically correct shadows, reflections and global illumination on all objects.
Nvidia has released a demo video showing the gorgeous, lifelike visual improvements RT Overdrive mode brings to the game. Team green previously said this mode requires 635 ray calculations per pixel, meaning it needs some high-end hardware.
Nvidia uses an RTX 4090 with Cyberpunk 2077 at a 4K resolution in the video. DLSS 3 is also enabled, which is a requirement as the game drops as low as 16 fps in some sections when Nvidia's upscaling tech is disabled. The other two sections show it struggling at around 30 fps in this native resolution. Enabling DLSS 3 pushes the framerates to over or around 100 fps - check out our own tests on DLSS 3 in 9 different games here.
CD Projekt Red hasn't given the official system requires for using RT Overdrive mode, but expect something hefty, possibly an RTX 4000-series card so DLSS 3 can be used. The mode could give Cyberpunk 2077's popularity another boost - the Edgerunners anime helped increase player figures last year - and it might attract more people to Nvidia's GeForce Now RTX 4080 tier.