Red Dead Redemption 2 humbles even the mighty RTX 2080 Ti at 4K with High settings

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC
(Image credit: Rockstar)

Red Dead Redemption 2 is out on PC today, and while it hasn’t got particularly demanding system requirements – except the amount of drive space the game eats perhaps – if you want to run it smoothly at 4K with the details cranked up to High, well, that’s not feasible even with a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti.

Alongside the release of its new Game Ready Driver which is optimized for Red Dead Redemption 2, Nvidia shared some interesting details on exactly how demanding the game is at various resolutions when gunning for a smooth 60 fps (frames per second).

Using the shooter’s built-in benchmarking tool, Nvidia found that at 4K resolution, 60 fps is achievable but only by its flagship GeForce RTX 2080 Ti – and you need to use a “mix of Medium and High” settings. In other words, if you want to switch everything to High, you won’t get a constant 60 fps plus, even with this mighty GPU.

Nvidia further observes: “If, however, you still wish to run at High across the board at 4K, at 60 fps, consider using our new upscaling and sharpening technology to upscale gameplay to 4K from 3,264 x 1,836 or 2,880 x 1,620, for a sizeable performance improvement, and only a minimal reduction in image clarity.”

Also remember that High isn’t even the maximum setting for Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC; there’s an Ultra detail option for the almost 40 visual settings that can be toyed with.

So what that might do to your GPU doesn’t bear thinking about…

Poetry in motion?

That said, we need to put the brakes on here for a moment. The likelihood is that just turning a few key settings down from High to Medium (or possibly even lower) can probably get you considerable performance improvements without making any real noticeable difference to the visuals. Especially not when you’re actually playing the game, and everything is in motion…

So in reality, saying you can run everything on High is more about boasting of the power of your gaming rig than it is anything to do with the actual quality of your Red Dead Redemption 2 visual experience.

And as Nvidia points out, the other route to take is upscaling for a ‘minimal reduction’ in the sharpness and clarity of the image.

Still, though, there can be no argument that this is a demanding game if you want those higher details at 4K.

What about more normal resolutions? Nvidia recommends the GeForce RTX 2060 for Full HD resolution with the GPU able to achieve 60 fps (or more) with all details turned to High.

And at 1440p resolution, the same feat is achieved by the RTX 2070 Super. Naturally, no recommendation is made on the AMD front, but a Radeon RX 5700 is doubtless what you’re looking at for the rough equivalent of the 2060 in running Full HD at 60 fps on High.

If you were wondering, Rockstar’s recommended (not minimum) graphics cards in the official spec are Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 and AMD’s Radeon RX 480, although you obviously won’t be getting anywhere near 60 fps with these cards in Full HD without turning the details down considerably from High.

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).