Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K max details is a strain for even the Nvidia RTX 3090

Cyberpunk 2077
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077 is certainly a demanding game if you want to run higher resolutions and details, and Nvidia’s own benchmarks have shown that even the mighty RTX 3090 graphics card can’t quite hit an average of 60 frames per second (fps) at 4K resolution with maximum graphics details – even with the help of DLSS in performance boosting mode.

As Wccftech spotted, Nvidia just shared its own test results (using a PC with an Intel Core i9-10900K processor) with Cyberpunk 2077 at 4K with ‘ultra’ details and ray tracing (also maxed out) – so basically the game in all its full-on visual finery. And as mentioned, even when using Nvidia’s DLSS tech in performance mode to help boost frame rates considerably, the RTX 3090 achieved an average frame rate of 57.8 fps (without DLSS, the result was a sluggish 22 fps).

Now, 57.8 fps is hardly a bad result, but it does fall a touch frustratingly short of the magic 60 fps. (Consistently maintaining the frame rate above 60 fps is widely regarded as the threshold for buttery smooth gameplay).

An average of 57 fps means that at times, Cyberpunk 2077 could drop its frame rate into something which might be regarded as slightly jerky. And when those moments occur, it’s always going to be annoying to know that if you’d just turned down the details a bit, you wouldn’t have experienced those jitters. A small thing, yes, but still, it kind of makes you feel like you can’t max out everything with no consequences – even with a stupendously fast and expensive GPU like the RTX 3090.

At the same 4K settings, the RTX 3080 came reasonably close to Nvidia’s flagship, managing 51.8 fps, and the last-gen RTX 2080 Ti achieved 38.2 fps (still playable, of course, but far from smooth really).

1440p and 1080p

So what about 1440p resolution? Again, at fully maxed details, except this time with DLSS switched to quality mode rather than performance, the RTX 3090 managed 71.7 fps, and the RTX 3080 hit 65 fps. Nvidia’s RTX 3070 and RTX 2080 Ti were level pegging on a smidge under 50 fps here – and the recently introduced RTX 3060 Ti managed 44.2 fps.

What’s interesting is that without DLSS, even the RTX 3090 seriously struggles at 1440p with graphics and ray tracing maxed, only achieving 44.8 fps.

As for Full HD (1080p) resolution, once again with everything maxed and DLSS on quality mode, the RTX 3090 comes in just short of 100 fps, recording an average frame rate of 96.6 fps. The RTX 3080 achieves 89.1 fps, with the RTX 3070 on 70.6 fps, and Nvidia’s RTX 3060 Ti managing to get over the magic 60 fps mark, with a benchmark result of 64.2 fps.

There’s an important day one patch for Cyberpunk 2077 which applies a huge amount of fixes and optimization, and these results presumably include that. We can likely expect further optimizing measures to be brought in with subsequent patches for the game (and possibly future Nvidia drivers too), so frame rates could improve going forward.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).