In case you missed it, Cyberpunk 2077 (opens in new tab) has just enjoyed a massive update, and among the countless bug fixes and long-overdue features, like finally being able to change V's nail varnish (opens in new tab), CDProjekt Red also added a benchmark. It may not seem like a big addition, but it means you'll be able to assess how your machine should cope before embarking on a serious playthrough.
The benchmark lasts just over a minute and involves swirling around the El Coyote Cojo bar in Heywood before heading up the alley behind it and then settling peacefully on some palm trees above reasonably populated streets. There are no firefights, so you'd be forgiven for thinking it wouldn't be representative of the game's action scenes, but the averages do line up with in-game frame rates, even if the minimums are a bit off.
Until now anyone trying to work out the best settings for their system had to make do with charging around Night City trying to find a spot that was representative of the game's various environments and play styles. This generally led to complicated runs that took way too long and were all too easy to derail with some random gang fights or pile-ups. It's a living breathing city after all, and one that has a penchant for violence.
Well, now you can banish such trials to history and simply hit the B key on the settings screen to see exactly how your machine will fair. That's the theory at least. This being Cyberpunk 2077 I found the results were a little janky unless you restarted the game between changes, otherwise, you'll find that the settings have little-to-no impact on the frame rate. Not a major hardship, although it does drag things out a little.
As an indication of the kind of performance you can expect from the benchmark, I ran through the six presets offered by the game (restarting between each one) using an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (opens in new tab) and AMD Ryzen 5 5600X (opens in new tab) at 1080p. Note that the two ray-tracing runs are artificially high as the presets use DLSS to offset the added computational load of tracing those rays.
It's good to see Cyberpunk 2077 getting some much-needed love, even if it's just little things like adding a benchmark and letting you personalise V's room a little. These little touches all add up to make for a better experience for anyone that has been putting off playing it until it's in better shape. It's still a bit janky, because of course it is, but it's in a better state now than it was at launch.