A mode to bring even the top-end RTX 4090 to its knees.

Cyberpunk 2077 was updated today with a new and very, very demanding ray tracing option. Beyond the existing "Psycho" RT mode, players will now see an "Overdrive" mode that goes well above and beyond what you're used to seeing. This is the mode that utilizes path-tracing, which can otherwise be considered to be "full" ray tracing.

While Nvidia says that any GPU with hardware ray tracing capabilities, including the RTX 20-series, you're going to find that you probably won't want to do that. Digital Foundry offered up a preview of the new Overdrive technology and found that with Overdrive enabled at native 4K resolution, they were only able to hit 18FPS in some relatively simple scenes. Things did improve substantially when trying DLSS modes. 4K resolution with DLSS 2 Performance Mode saw that 18FPS jump up to 59FPS. 4K DLSS 3 Performance Mode (with frame generation) saw that framerate jump again to 95FPS.

It's important to keep in mind that only Nvidia's 40-series is capable of DLSS 3 with the frame generation tech. Obviously, if you are running on lower resolutions or have weaker hardware, your situation will be vastly different. Just don't expect a 20-series card or lower-end 30-series cards to perform very well with Overdrive enabled.

Bar graphs showing the performance of PC hardware running a new and highly taxing graphical mode in a game.

Benchmarks ran by Gamers Nexus provides a fair bit of additional information and offers a look at the performance of Overdrive across different resolutions and with and without the use of DLSS 3 frame generation. The main focus of these initial benchmarks is seeing how the RTX 4090's performance scales with different features enabled or disabled, especially when used at 4K resolution.

You can see their full video below or glance up above to see one of their charts that show the performance tested with a variety of different options running at 4K resolution.

Overdrive is part of the 1.62 update for Cyberpunk 2077. While the main focus for this update is the implementation of Overdrive with its path-tracing eye-candy, the update also adds in support for Nvidia DLAA and Intel XeSS technologies.

Changelog for Cyberpunk 2077 Patch 1.62

Together with NVIDIA, we’re bringing a completely new, fully ray-traced, aka path-traced, rendering mode to the game with this patch – Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode. We’re proud of it. It pushes the boundaries of what's possible in technology. However, because it is so new and fundamentally different from what we've been using so far, we know it's not going to be perfect from the start and players might experience some issues – that’s why we’ve decided to call it a “Technology Preview”. This is a vision of the future that we want to share, and we're committed to continue working on and improving this feature.

The technology preview of Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode is currently supported on NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 Series (4070 Ti and up) graphics cards. Also, on NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 (1080p, 30 fps). As this is a cutting-edge feature, it requires the highest-performing hardware available to run it properly. Ray Tracing: Overdrive is very GPU intensive, therefore it’s set to "off" by default.

For other ray-tracing-capable PC graphics cards with at least 8GB VRAM, we included an option to render path-traced screenshots in Photo Mode. This is possible because it means rendering just one frame, as opposed to rendering several frames every second (i.e. FPS), which would happen when playing the game.

You'll find the list of changes for patch 1.62 below:

Path Tracing: Technology Preview

Added a Ray Tracing: Overdrive preset which includes the Path Tracing technology. You can enable the Ray Tracing: Overdrive preset in Settings > Graphics > Quick Preset, or just Path Tracing separately in Settings > Graphics in the Ray Tracing section. To make sure Ray Tracing: Overdrive Mode works correctly on your PC, update your NVIDIA Game Ready Driver to version 531.41 at minimum.

Additionally, we included an option to render path-traced screenshots in Photo Mode for other Ray-Tracing-capable graphics cards with at least 8GB VRAM. If your graphics card has more than 8GB VRAM and this option is still greyed out, it means you need to lower your in-game resolution. Note that the higher the resolution and the less powerful the GPU is, the longer it will take to take a screenshot (between a few seconds to several minutes). You can enable Path Tracing for Photo Mode in Settings > Graphics in the Ray Tracing section.

Added NVIDIA DLAA, an AI-based anti-aliasing mode designed to improve image quality. DLAA requires a NVIDIA RTX graphics card. It can be enabled in Settings > Graphics in the NVIDIA DLSS section.

Intel XeSS
Added support for Intel Xe Super Sampling 1.1, an upscaling technology using machine learning to provide improved performance with high image quality. It can be enabled in Settings > Graphics in the Resolution Scaling section.

Benchmark improvements
Improved the Benchmark to display more information in the results screen, including PC specs, GPU driver version and selected settings.​