Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Performance Report – Graphics card benchmarks

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Giddy up pardners, it’s Red Dead time. Launch day has been quite the rollercoaster for Red Dead Redemption 2 fans on PC. Some have been busy cruising the wilderness atop their fine steeds, while others are left messing around with launchers and config files, desperately trying to find a way in.

It is a mixed bag, there’s no doubt about it. From the off, it is apparent that Red Dead Redemption 2 isn’t a polished, highly optimised experience. RDR2 is a demanding game with fantastic visuals and spotty performance, and one which only very few will be able to enjoy looking its finest.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Graphics Settings

Check your PC can run Red Dead Redemption 2 System Requirements

Red Dead Redemption 2 Minimum System Requirements

OS: Windows 7 64-bit – Service Pack 1 (6.1.7601) CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K 3.3 GHz or AMD FX-6300 3.5 GHz RAM: 8 GB System Memory GPU RAM: 2 GB Video Memory GPU: GeForce GTX 770 2GB or Radeon R9 280 3GB HDD: 150 GB Available Hard Drive Space DX: DirectX 11

Red Dead Redemption 2 Recommended System Requirements

OS: Windows 10 64-bit – April 2019 Update (v1803) CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.5 GHz or AMD Ryzen R5 1500X 3.5 GHz RAM: 12 GB System Memory GPU RAM: 4 GB Video Memory GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB or AMD Radeon RX 480 4GB HDD: 150 GB Available Hard Drive Space DX: DirectX 11

Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming 8GB | Intel i7-5820K @3.6 GHz| 16GB DDR4

For our benchmarks, we tested out how Red Dead Redemption 2 performed while using an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 MSI Gaming X 8GB Edition graphics card equipped with 8GB video memory. It’s backed up by 16GB DDR4 memory and a 6C/12T Intel Core i7-5820K 6-Core 3.3GHz CPU. This system is in excess of the recommended specs, exceeding both the recommended CPU (Core Intel Core i7-4770K 4-Core 3.5GHz) and GPU (Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060), so we’re expecting it to run pretty well.

These benchmarks were conducted using RDR2’s official benchmark tool.

  1080p 1440p 4K
Low 98.2 70.6 39.5
Medium 82 51.6 27.5
High 63.5 39.5  22.9
Ultra 28.3 23.7 17.6

The overall consensus is that Red Dead Redemption 2 is one for the future. A modern Crysis, if you will. Ultra graphics are rock hard to run at a stable frame rate, even at 1080p with a GeForce GTX 1070. Perhaps some of the newer GeForce RTX 20 Series graphics cards may fare a lot better with Ultra but Nvidia’s previous-gen is certainly suffering with the level of detail.

That said, a GeForce GTX 1070 8GB is still clearly very capable of playable frame rates. We would recommend even 1080p/High, or 1440p/High with a 30FPS cap, depending on whether you want to prioritise frame rate or resolution. The console version of Red Dead Redemption 2 is capped at 30 FPS so it’s still relatively easy to breeze past this with a decent graphics card, although the Xbox One X’s 4K locked 30 FPS is a tough target to beat.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Low vs Ultra Graphics Comparison

Red Dead Redemption 2 benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on GeForce GTX 1070 Gaming 8GB | Intel i7-5820K @ 4.3 GHz| 16GB DDR4

Well, this right here is where my performance reports from the PNY GeForce RTX 2060 XLR8 will go. The problem is, I can no longer run Red Dead Redemption 2, let alone benchmark it. I successfully got to the main menu on my first attempting but never again. I’ve tried restarts, driver re-installs, verifying the game files, tweaking the configs, deleting the configs, closing all other running processes, turning off any antivirus – the works.

Each and every time the game crashes on boot and ends with the error message “Red Dead Redemption 2 exited unexpectedly”. I am not alone, there are hundreds of people reporting the same thing and this appears to be a very widespread issue.

Just as soon as I can even get Red Dead Redemption 2, I will update this with benchmarks (along with the fix that (hopefully) eventually solves the issue.

We will continue to update this article with additional benchmarks and findings as we get to grips with RDR2 on PC.