We’re on the eve of the big one. Red Dead Redemption 2 unlocks on PC tomorrow, globally, at 1pm GMT. In preparation, Nvidia has dropped its Red Dead Redemption 2 GeForce Game Ready driver which includes all the last minute performance tweaks and optimisations to ensure Rockstar’s Western epic runs as best it possibly can.

But that’s all secondary really, because Nvidia also revealed the first tantalising performance details. Based on what Nvidia is saying, the official system specs may be underestimating just how demanding Red Dead Redemption 2 really is. Or they’re trying to sell more GeForce RTX graphics cards, but we’ll know it all for sure this time tomorrow. 

First things first, RDR2 comes with a built-in benchmark tool. If you want to play Red Dead Redemption 2 at 4K/Ultra, 60 frames per second then no single GPU solution is going to be able to cut it. A Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is required to run Red Dead 2 at 4K/60 FPS with a mixture of Medium and High graphics settings. Gulp.

Not many folks will be even thinking about 4K though. For 1080p/60 FPS, the GeForce RTX 2060 can handle High detail level. For those who want to enjoy Ultra at 1080p, Nvidia recommends a Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 or Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super 8GB.

At 2560x1440 screen resolution, a GeForce RTX 2070 Super can handle High @ 60 frames per second. A GeForce RTX 2080 Super will provide some additional headroom on Very High while the top-end GeForce RTX 2080 Ti is required for 1440p Ultra at 60 FPS in Red Dead Redemption 2. 

Lastly there’s the aforementioned 4K support, which looks as if it may exclusively be in the realm of the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. Those fortunate another to be running a SLI RTX 2080 Ti configuration could potentially be able to run RDR2 at 4K Ultra, although it depends of multi-GPU support.

Nvidia GeForce Graphics Cards Required for Red Dead Redemption 2 @ 60 FPS

Resolution Detail Level Graphics Card
1920 x 1080 High GeForce RTX 2060
2560 x 1440 High GeForce RTX 2070 Super
3840 x 2160 Medium-High GeForce RTX 2080 Ti

In terms of finding the performance settings which best suit your rig though, there’s going to be plenty to mess around with. RDR2 features a grand total of nearly 40 distinct graphics settings. We’ll have our graphics options performance impact benchmarks with you tomorrow afternoon, so stay tuned.

As for the GeForce 441.12 WHQL graphics card driver, it also includes Game Ready performance for the imminent Need For Speed Heat, along with the latest optimisations for Borderlands 3 (remember that game?). 

This graphics card drive is available to download right now, either directly from Nvidia or through your current GeForce Experience installation.