Red Dead Redemption 2 On Laptop – Beautiful, but resource intensive. Compared to the console version, the PC port of Red Dead Redemption 2 is not liked by the community. Many players complain about crashes and other problems. Read our review to find out what we experienced playing this title.
GTA developer Rockstar Games has had nearly a month to patch up the PC port of Red Dead Redemption 2. We think it’s about time we take a closer look. The title has some issues, but Red Dead Redemption 2 isn’t what you’d call a total disaster.
Red Dead Redemption 2 On Laptop
Before launching the game, you have to go through a massive download that reaches around 113 GB. Red Dead Redemption 2 takes up a huge amount of storage space on your device. In the past, we have come across very few titles that exceeded the 100 GB mark (eg Final Fantasy XV and Call of Duty Modern Warfare). The fact that the title comes with Rockstar Games’ proprietary game launcher, which means you have to create a new account, won’t please many players. We already have Steam, Origin, Uplay, Battlenet, Bethesda Launcher and Epic Games Launcher installed on our system, making this the seventh game launcher – it’s neither clean nor easy to use.
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However, we haven’t experienced any of the crashes that some players have reported experiencing when using the Rockstar Games Launcher. The game also doesn’t crash unless there’s a good reason for it, like a lack of VRAM. Minor graphical errors that appear here and there do not detract from the fun of the gaming experience.
Speaking of the gaming experience: When it comes to the gameplay itself, there is very little to criticize. The narrative western impresses not only with surprisingly good narration, well-developed characters and meaningful dialogues, but also with a dense atmosphere, which is largely created thanks to the quality of the graphics. Sure, a few textures here and there could have been a little better, but overall RDR 2 has a very nice number in terms of visuals.
In the positive box, we have first-class effects such as explosions, fire, smoke or snow trails. Rich vegetation, long distances and impressive lighting also help the mood. Believable animations and excellent physics simulations complete the package.
PC users will also be pleased with the very comprehensive graphic menu, which offers 51 different settings – almost no other title has such a comprehensive graphic menu. Changing graphics settings also does not require a restart.
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A large amount of graphics memory is available for convenience. Since the default settings vary depending on the hardware configuration, we decided to choose custom settings profiles – like GTA V – for benchmarking purposes. There is a file called system.xml (C:UsersxxxDocumentsRockstar GamesRed Dead Redemption 2Settings) that contains all the information about the settings used by the game.
You can also use this file to bypass some restrictions. For example, if there is not enough VRAM, some settings in the graphics menu will be grayed out. This is especially annoying because each GPU appears to have 1GB less VRAM than it actually has in the settings menu. We were unable to change the resolution on some GPUs due to alleged lack of VRAM – this appears to be a bug (we suspect Nvidia’s Optimus technology is responsible for this bug).
For 1080p at maximum settings (without MSAA and FXAA), RDR 2 requires almost 4GB of VRAM. At 1440p VRAM usage is 4.4 GB and at 4K up to 5.3 GB. This means that a GPU with 6GB of VRAM is preferred for this title. We ran our benchmarks without resolution scaling (this option is at the bottom of the graphics menu) and without MSAA or FXAA (TAA is on by default). We used Vulkan instead of DirectX 12 for benchmarks.
The developer deserves a lot of credit for the built-in benchmark. It lasts 4.5 minutes, which means that the benchmarking process is very time-consuming, but on the other hand, it contains a lot of different scenes, views, hours of the day and weather conditions, covering most situations in the game.
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Unfortunately, the metrics provided by the built-in benchmark are quite limited. The frame rate is not specified in the benchmark. After completing the benchmark, you will only get the minimum frame rate, average frame rate and maximum frame rate. It is also worth noting that the minimum frame rate is suspiciously low even on high-end devices (perhaps a measurement error).
To really enjoy RDR 2, you need a modern mid-range GPU or an old high-end graphics card. GeForce GTX 1050 (Ti) can run Red Dead Redemption 2 at 1080p at lowest settings. For a combination of 1080p and medium settings, you’ll need a GeForce GTX 1650 or GTX 1060. If you want to play at high settings, a GeForce GTX 1660 Ti or GTX 1070 is your best bet. For the highest settings, we recommend a GeForce RTX 2060 or GTX 1080.
The GeForce RTX 2070 is what you need if you want to roam the prairie at 1440p at the highest settings.
No current laptop can handle Red Dead Redemption 2 in 4K at the highest settings. Even Nvidia’s flagship GPU, the GeForce RTX 2080, can only hit 30 FPS, which doesn’t make for a very smooth gaming experience.
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As comparing games is time-consuming and often limited by installation/activation restrictions, we were only able to provide a portion of our Red Dead Redemption 2 performance analysis at the time of release. More graphics cards will be added in the coming days and weeks. .
Editor of the original article: Florian Glaser – Gaming Notebook Editor-in-Chief – 550 articles published since 2009
I discovered my interest in computers as a child and grew up with MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 in the early 1990s. Computer games have fascinated me since I was a child. From Monkey Island to Lands of Lore to Doom, I tried every game I could get my hands on. I have been working since 2009, focusing mainly on powerful gaming laptops.
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