Red Dead Redemption II Performance Preview

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It is no surprise in this game that the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE is the fastest video card, and the GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER the slowest.  There is a big disparity in performance between those two extremes.  The GeForce GTX 1660 SUPER is nowhere near playable at these settings at 1440p. 

The GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE is playable, and we’d expect it to be, but it isn’t smashing this game either like it does in so many other games.  It’s a fast video card, but this game is starting to tax even that video card.  Also, keep in mind that these aren’t even the game’s highest possible graphics settings.

What is most interesting are the video cards in the middle.  There we see the AMD Radeon VII, GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER and AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT all performing close to each other.  Then, we see the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER and AMD Radeon RX 5700 performing close to each other.

The AMD Radeon VII isn’t performing as fast as we thought it would.  It may come down to specific optimizations with the video card simply not being done.  AMD has phased out the Radeon VII, and it just may not be getting the same kind of support the new NAVI GPUs are getting in games today.  The Radeon RX 5700 XT is very close to Radeon VII performance in this game, so the Radeon VII isn’t really necessary anymore.


In terms of playability, we’d only consider the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER and GeForce RTX 2080 Ti FE playable at 1440p at this graphics setting.  All the other video cards below those are not so playable. We would either need to drop graphics settings to make them playable at 1440p or drop the resolution.  This shows how graphically intense this game really is.

We are amazed at how the GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER and AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT are neck-and-neck in this game.  The AMD Radeon NAVI GPU based video cards are looking very good.  The AMD Radeon RX 5700 keeps up with the GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER as well.

Final Points

As we stated this is just a short preview of performance.  We lined up today’s latest video cards, eight of them, and compared performance at 1440p with “Favor Quality” preset set.  These aren’t even the highest possible in-game settings and yet they are very taxing on GPU performance.  This game really puts fast video cards like the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti in its place. 

If you want the best experience though there is no denying that the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER is probably the best balance of cost and performance.  If cost is no concern then the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is going to provide the ultimate performance.  However, if you plan to play at 4K even with that video card you will have to lower in-game settings.  At 1440p the best option is the “Favor Quality” option, which again is not the highest possible settings, but it will provide a smooth experience with great graphics.

If you have anything under an RTX 2080 SUPER though, like the RTX 2070 SUPER or Radeon RX 5700 XT you will definitely have to lower graphics settings at 1440p.  These video cards are neck-and-neck, but they aren’t fast enough to allow the highest graphics at 1440p.  For the GPUs below that, 1080p is your best option.

Overall, we are impressed with how well the new Radeon RX 5700 series is holding up.  It’s proving to be very competitive in a brand new graphically intense game right now.  I wish we could test between Vulkan API and DX12, but as it is right now DX12 is broken in this game. 

We may look into performance and graphics in this game in more detail when we have the time to do so.  Right now this short preview should give you an idea of what to expect and what video card you may want for this game.


Brent Justice
Former managing editor of GPUs at HardOCP for 18 years, Brent Justice has been reviewing computer components since the late 90s, educated in the art and method of the computer hardware review, he brings experience, knowledge, and hands-on testing with a gamer-oriented and hardware enthusiast perspective. You can follow him on Twitter - @Brent_Justice You can sub to his YouTube channel - Justice Gaming You can check out his computer builds on KIT - @BrentJustice

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