Cyberpunk 2077's delay means we've got a big decision to make: Nvidia Ampere or Big Navi?

(Image credit: Nvidia/CD Projekt)
Reach immortality with these Cyberpunk guides


(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Cyberpunk 2077 lifepaths: Which to choose
Cyberpunk 2077 map: What you need to know
Cyberpunk 2077 romance options
Cyberpunk 2077 builds: Best so far
Cyberpunk 2077 Braindance: How it works
Cyberpunk 2077 cars: Race around Night City
Cyberpunk 2077 hacking: How to do it

Cyberpunk 2077 has been delayed, which means we'll have to wait until November 19 to immerse ourselves in the criminal underbelly of Night City. But there's at least one hunk of positivity to come out of this (besides a better game and happier devs, but that's a different story). Yes, if you've been keen to experience Cyberpunk 2077 at its absolute best come November 19, you may now have the chance to do so with next-generation Nvidia and AMD silicon.

But which graphics card do you choose: Nvidia Ampere or AMD Big Navi? There's a good chance you'll have your pick of the bunch by the time CD Projekt Red's sci-fi epic hits the shelves. 

AMD is convinced that it will get RDNA 2 graphics cards out of the door before the year's up, and Nvidia is rumoured to be readying a GeForce-grade RTX 30-series Ampere graphics card announcement this August, with a view to get these cards into the market in September. That's the general scuttlebutt, anyways.

We're not certain of the exact dates for either company's next-gen kit yet, but you can be sure that, if we are to see these cards in 2020, they'll be available before November 19.

AMD RDNA 2 will be the first architecture from the company to introduce real-time ray tracing acceleration under the hood, yet Cyberpunk 2077 is already confirmed with Nvidia RTX support, suggesting Nvidia Ampere's touted ray tracing gusto alone will be best able to deliver on the game's promised ray-traced ambient occlusion and diffused illumination.

That feels like a big win for Ampere, but don't rule out team Radeon just yet. The ray-traced future might be green, but we're optimistic for Big Navi to challenge Nvidia's 4K dominance and offer a genuine alternative in the high-end—one which should be competitive in price, too.

The RDNA architecture represented a significant shake-up over the GCN architecture when it was introduced last July, and we're expecting further gains for the gaming-first architecture with its second iteration. Of course, as PC gaming enthusiasts, we're most enthused by Big Navi, the promising high-end 4K card, but the architecture will also make its way into mid- and entry-level graphics cards.

(Image credit: CD Projekt)

While we don't know how demanding Cyberpunk 2077 will be of your PC parts on release, it certainly looks to be quite demanding in scope and scale alone. Colossal textures and ray tracing beget mammoth GPUs, and likely increased costs, and the Nvidia Ampere generation, or what we expect of it so far, sure sounds like it is able to deliver in swathes—we may even see a brand new SKU, the RTX 3090 Ti, join the fray at launch.

So which GPU will be your gateway to Night City and all that Cyberpunk 2077 has to offer? The prestigious title of best graphics card may be hotly-contested come November, but there's one component we're sure will make the cut: AMD Ryzen 4000 CPUs. 

Despite on-again, off-again rumours aplenty, which you'd do well to dismiss for the most part, AMD has confirmed that Zen 3 CPUs are heading our way before the year's up too. While Intel still holds the lead with its recently released Comet Lake CPUs, and its top chip, the Core i9 10900K, we're desperately awaiting AMD Ryzen 4000's arrival.

These fresh chips, hot off of the TSMC 7nm manufacturing line, will surely be the chip of choice come November, and we're betting it will take pride of place within many a Cyberpunk 2077 build, too.

What's your ideal Cyberpunk 2077 PC build? An AMD Ryzen 4950X and Nvidia RTX 3090? Yeah, we thought as much. The combination is sure to get any enthusiast salivating, but I'm also aware such a puissant PC build would likely deal my bank account a mortal blow. Here's hoping for generous 1440p performance on a budget come November.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.