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Nvidia RTX 4090 GPU humbled by new Cyberpunk 2077 ray tracing

New Cyberpunk 2077 Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode shows stunning visuals but terrible performance, even when running a Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090.

Nvidia rtx 4090 cyberpunk ray tracing overdrive mode

The sheer processing power needed to perform global illumination ray tracing has long been known but a recent Cyberpunk 2077 Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode technology preview has shown just how tough it is.

A video posted on Nvidia’s YouTube channel shows the new demo being run on a mighty Nvidia RTX 4090 yet it still only registers 16fps in some scenes. The demo is being run at an already demanding 4K resolution, but you might hope for a little better from a $2,000 graphics card. The rest of the system consists of an Intel i9 12900K and 32GB of RAM.

Of course, the story Nvidia wants to sell you on is the power of its DLSS technologies, which the video shows taking these paltry sub-20fps frame rates and converting them to over 100fps. This is done through the combination of the upscaling power of older DLSS implementations – where the game resolution is lowered (for higher frame rates) and the resultant image is upscaled – and the new frame-generation power of DLSS 3.

The frame generation takes previously generated frames and movement data from the game and tries to predict what the next frame will look like. It then inserts these pretend frames between normally rendered ‘real’ frames, doubling the perceived frame rate. Although not as revolutionary as DLSS 2, DLSS 3’s frame generation is surprisingly effective in the games we’ve tested.

Check out the full video below:

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To find out what frame rate your system might get, and check if your PC can run the game at all, you can check the Cyberpunk 2077 system requirements on PCGameBenchmark for minimum requirements and recommended specs and download our free FPS monitor to keep an eye on your frame rate.

Are you one of the lucky ones to own an RTX 4090? Are there any other games you’ve played that it has struggled this much on? We’d love to hear about it on our Custom PC Facebook page or via Twitter. Meanwhile, for those of us on a slightly tighter budget, you may want to check out our best graphics card buyers guide to guide your next purchase.