The Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty expansion is set to arrive on September 26, just two weeks from today, and lead scene programmer Filip Pierściński has some important advice for people eager to dive into it: Make sure your PC cooling is up to snuff before you do.
With PCs, as with battlemechs, heat is the enemy: The harder you push, the hotter it gets, and if you can't dump it you're going to have big problems at the worst possible times. Maintenance is vital to keeping it all flowing smoothly, a point that Pierściński emphasized (although without the snappy Battletech analogy) in a warning posted to Twitter.
"Before release CP2077 2.0 and PL please check conditions of your cooling systems in PC," he tweeted. "We use all what you have, so workload on CPU 90% on 8 core is expected. To save your time please run Cinebench or similar and check stability of your systems."
Cinebench is a program that tests a computer's hardware capabilities and stability while under a heavy load. It's not exactly the same as real-world usage, but generally close enough that if your PC can handle a Cinebench test without crashing, it'll be fine with whatever else you want to do with it.
Pierściński's caution understandably alarmed some people, who worried that either Phantom Liberty isn't going to run well on their rigs, or worse, that it could cause them to catch fire, melt, and/or explode. In replies he told his followers that Phantom Liberty will not push PCs as hard as a synthetic benchmark, "but still you can hit thermal throttling [during gameplay], if you have [an] insufficient cooling system. It will [deliver] results below expected performance or even crash in extreme."
The worries were persistent enough that Pierściński posted a follow-up tweet reassuring everyone that there's really nothing to worry about—that, as he said in an earlier tweet, he merely wanted to ensure that his followers "take care of [the] hygiene of [their] PC."
"My intention was to highlight the need to maintain your cooling systems and check them regularly," Pierściński tweeted. "Neither Cyberpunk 2077 after 2.0 nor Phantom Liberty will melt your PCs. Game will perform well on recommended hardware."
The Phantom Liberty expansion does bring slightly elevated minimum system requirements to Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt said in June that the new minimum specs "better represent the minimum PC configuration required to run the game at 1080p, while maintaining an average of 30 FPS at low preset."
It's a fair jump—the original minimum requirement was a Core i5-3570K or AMD FX-8310 with 8GB RAM and a GTX 780 or Radeon RX 470, compared to a Core i7-6700 or Ryzen 5 1600, 12GB RAM, and a GTX 1060 or Radeon RX 580, and hard drive support has been dropped completely—but it'll be close to three years between the release of Cyberpunk 2077 and the Phanom Liberty expansion, which is an awful lot of time for things to change in the world of PC hardware.