Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Performance Review and Optimisation Guide

How to tame the PC gaming Wild West

Red Dead Redemption 2 PC Performance Review and Optimisation Guide


Red Dead Redemption 2 was easily one of the biggest console game releases of 2018, and since its release PC gamers have been wondering one thing. When's it coming to PC? Now Red Dead Redemption 2 is available on PC, complete with new graphical features, support for 60+ FPS framerates and enough settings to aggravate every PC games analyst in the world. 

In this piece, we will be looking at how Red Dead Redemption 2 performs on PC and how the optimise your graphical settings to best suit your current hardware. Be warned, Red Dead Redemption 2 is a forward-looking game, and as such it contains features to practically nobody should be using, even those with GPUs like Nvidia's RTX 2080 Ti. This game pulls no punches when it comes to hardware demands at max settings.  

Like Grand Theft Auto V before it, the PC version of Red Dead Redemption 2 features an insane number of graphics settings, including features such as MSAA and the ability to unlock Red Dead Redemption 2's framerate. 

Here, we plan to prove to you that you don't need insane hardware to run Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC with great graphics. That's why we have created "Optimised Presets", each of which is designed to offer a great balance between Red Dead Redemption 2's visuals and framerates. We will also let you know which settings PC gamers should adjust first to get a quick framerate boost over the game's maximum preset. 


PC System Requirements and Optimised Settings
Graphics Settings Comparisons - Do our Optimised Presets look good?
- Low, medium, High and Ultra - What do our custom presets look like?
- CPU Performance - Does this game need a high core count system?
- Optimisation Tips - Lower Volumetric Quality for boosted performance
- Optimisation Tips - Try Resolution Scaling 
RX 5700 VS RTX 2060 - Performance Scaling - Low, Medium, High and Max
- 1080p Performance
1440p Performance
4K Performance
- DX12 VS Vulkan - Why we tested using Vulkan
- The Strangeness of Red Dead Redemption 2's PC version

GPU drivers

When testing Red Dead Redemption II's PC version, we opted to use the newest drivers from both the Radeon and Geforce camps. These drivers are AMD's Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition 19.11.1 driver as well as Nvidia's Geforce 441.12 driver.

Testing Methodology

OC3D is a website that is dedicated to PC hardware, so you better believe that we test every game on a wide range of hardware configurations. This commitment to variety means that we will be using both Intel and AMD based testbeds as well as a range of GPU offerings from both Nvidia and Radeon. 

Our primary test system uses Intel's X99 platform, containing an Intel Core i7 6850K at a fixed clock speed of 4GHz. This testbed will use 32GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4 memory and will be powered and cooled by an HX1200i PSU and an H110i AIO liquid cooler respectively, with everything sitting inside a Corsair 460X chassis. In this system, we are using an ASUS Strix X99 motherboard.

The system below will be used to conduct the majority of our game testing. This system will be used in this review unless otherwise stated.


Game Test Rig

Intel i7 6850K @4.0 GHz
ASUS X99 Strix
Corsair Vengeance LP 4x8GB DDR4 3200MHz
Corsair HX1200i
Corsair H110i GT
Windows 10 x64 "May 2019" Update


GPU Selection

No gaming test suite would be complete without a large selection of GPUs. At OC3D out current test suite covers Nvidia's RTX 20-series and GTX 10-series alongside AMD's RX Vega and RX 500 series graphics cards.

Starting with Metro Exodus, we began testing new PC games with Nvidia's latest RTX series of graphics cards. In our testing, we currently use the mid-range RTX 2060 and uber high-end RTX 2080 Ti entering our graphics card lineup. In time we hope to have a Radeon RX 5700 graphics card for RTX 2060 VS RX 5700 comparisons. 

With this performance analysis, OC3D's main review staff has been able to work together from across the UK to deliver wider levels of performance testing than is common for our gaming content. This has enabled us to add a wider range of GPUs to our test suite for this review. 

Radeon RX 5700 Series - Navi (RDNA)

- Powercolor Radeon RX 5700 XT Red Devil 
- Powercolor Radeon RX 5700 Red Devil

PowerColor Red Devil RX 5700 and RX 5700 XT LE Cooler

Geforce RTX 20-Series

- Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
- Nvidia RTX 2080 SUPER Founders Edition
- Nvidia RTX 2070 SUPER Founders Edition
- Nvidia RTX 2060 SUPER Founders Edition
- Nvidia RTX 2060 Founders Edition

nVidia RTX 2080 and RTX 2080Ti ReviewnVidia RTX 2060 Review

Geforce GTX 10-series

- Nvidia GTX 1080 Founders Edition
- Nvidia GTX 1070 Founders Edition
- ASUS GTX 1060 Strix Gaming OC


No Man's Sky PC Performance ReviewFar Cry 5 PC Performance Review

AMD RX Vega Series

- AMD RX Vega 56

AMD RX 500 Series

- AMD RX 580 Strix OC

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Most Recent Comments

07-11-2019, 19:31:24

If Nvidia don't release a driver that massively improves performance, I can imagine when AMD release their RTX 2080 Super competitor whenever they do, it could actually match a 2080Ti. It's interesting considering GTA V has been one of AMD's worst games. It's one of the most popular of all time yet AMD could never catch Nvidia.Quote

07-11-2019, 20:03:47

I am just surprised he got the game to launch let alone testing it Quote

07-11-2019, 20:12:27

LOL, yeah I hear this game wreaks havoc on certain antivirus software.Quote

08-11-2019, 13:59:59

BIG Congrats TOM with getting out this guide , it's the first I found !

That's the way to do it alive and kicking Kudos.Quote

08-11-2019, 14:09:25

Another fantastic article, thank you Mark !

Nice to know that with reduced settings I can play this at 4k on pretty much any of the three rigs I will have shortly. Whether I will get it though? IDK. I'm not a fan of Rstars games really. Well, apart from Max Payne 3.Quote

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