Cyberpunk 2077 has finally received its long-awaited Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode update with Patch 1.62. The patch adds a new graphics option to the game (Overdrive Mode) that brings full-blown path-traced lighting, replacing all rasterized lighting with real-time lighting simulation. The effects are phenomenal, but the performance hit is intense. As a result, CD Projeck Red requires an RTX 3090/3090 TI (for 1080P 30FPS) or RTX 4070 Ti or faster to run Overdrive Mode.
Check out our previous coverage here for a full rundown of the game's path-tracing lighting effects. But to sum up, Overdrive Mode replaces nearly all light sources with path-traced 3D simulated light, significantly increasing Cyberpunk 2077's image quality. Previous/lower-end ray-tracing modes used a hybridized approach of utilizing RT effects sparingly to keep performance high. With Overdrive Mode, the game transitions to a fully unified ray-tracing pipeline designed for path-tracing from the ground up.
Before you get confused, NVIDIA and CD Projeckt Red use the terms ray-tracing and path-tracing interchangeably in Cyberpunk 2077's Overdrive marketing. However, the mode revolves around path tracing almost entirely — just to set the record straight. Path tracing is a more performant method of simulating 3D light and produces nearly identical results to ray tracing.
In practice, Overdrive makes a night and day difference to the game's atmosphere, especially in darkly lit and shadowy areas. Where rasterized lighting methods struggled to produce realistic ambient lighting, leading to light leakage, incorrectly shadowed objects, and more. Overdrive's full path-tracing graphics pipeline fixes all these issues.
CD Projekt Red was not kidding about Overdrive Mode's graphics requirements. The game is effectively Portal RTX on steroids since the GPU has to render full-blown path-traced lighting effects in an open-world environment.
According to initial performance results by Digital Foundry, Nvidia's GeForce RTX 4090 runs the game at just 18 FPS at 4K resolution with Overdrive Mode engaged. To achieve 60FPS, DLSS 2 performance mode was required without frame generation. However, with DLSS 3 frame gen enabled, the RTX 4090 achieves nearly 100FPS.
The RTX 4090 appears to fair significantly better natively at 1440P and 1080P. Daniel Owen tested both of these resolutions with Overdrive Mode and found the RTX 4090 could achieve roughly 45FPS at 1440P and over 60FPS at 1080 natively.
Sadly, most of the initial performance coverage largely covers the RTX 4090 only. But we found one performance overview from someone running an RTX 4070 Ti. Unsurprisingly the GPU fairs significantly worse than the RTX 4090 with Overdrive Mode, averaging less than 25 FPS at native 1440P with frame generation enabled. To hit 60+ FPS, DLSS quality and frame generation was required. However, take his results with a grain of salt since we can't verify the validity of his test setup.
Again, Cyberpunk 2077's Ray-Tracing: Overdrive Mode is available only to RTX 3090 series GPUs and RTX 4070 Ti or faster GPUs. However, Overdrive Mode is accessible in the game's photo mode if you have an 8GB graphics card or better. The patch is available now for all Cyberpunk 2077 owners.
I think now is the time.
It's not as funny as GTA, but I do keep coming back to it - I enjoy cyber warfare a lot f'sure. I just wish the world felt more real - it doesn't feel as vibrant as San Andreas, let alone GTAV.
Yes eyes are great they way they adjust to light levels is nothing short of amazing and if that does not work Sunglasses if to bright and night vision goggles if too dark. For a game set in a high tech world it is bad the same can not be said of the game.
From unknown to now mentioned even by big sites as reference.
Thanks for the heads up... gonna give it a go soon I think. I will keep my expectations low. :LOL:
And that's one reason that this is a just a "Technical Preview" for now, so proper standardization of Path Tracing will require further optimizations down the road.
But as odd this may sound, CD Projekt Red has also stated previously that the RT Overdrive mode is going to be hardware-agnostic which means that it won't require proprietary technology to run, and gamers will be able to enjoy it on any graphics card out there, given that it has the processing and compute prowess to run Path Tracing at a stable frame rate.
Curious to know how the AMD RX 7900XTX is going to fare in future iteration of this RT overdrive mode/implementation.
Though I've heard if we fully raytraced games and had the hardware available for everyone to easily run them, raytraced graphics are much easier to work with from a developer standpoint.
Basically it seems like, as a quick summary, since the game was released without PT and it was tacked on later, the developers put quite some time into optimizing "regular" RT, which is naturally missing for PT. That means that it looks better because it was optimized by hand.l, simple as that. Also, PT is advertised as a mere tech demo. It is free for everyone who has CP77, so I don't see an issue with it being imperfect whatsoever. Using or not using it won't impact your experience in the game and it is interesting to see what might be available in the future.
Btw, I further found it very interesting to see how DLSS and Frame Generation help here. I also found a few reviews testing PT on a 4070Ti in 1440p and it actually didn't play too badly, either, with or without FG.