It's hard for me to review Red Dead Redemption 2 Not because I hate it – it's an amazing game in many ways – but because it crashes every 30 to 45 minutes.
My first day with Red Dead 2 was pretty good, so I did not read too much in reports about Internet performance issues that point to a poor port across the board. But these problems now dominate the larger online conversation. Some players report that is frozen on the first arrival at Valentine. Audio distorts and occasionally crackles, which happens to me quite often. Other report random crashes such as my own, frequent freezing and stuttering, missing textures, and all sorts of minor ( and terrible ) bugs.
Reddit and YouTube are amplifying the problems of a loud minority on the release day of a game, but as my colleagues began to deal with their own issues, I really began to worry. Harry Shepherd experiences glitches every 30 seconds with an AMD RX 480 and Intel i5-6500 that meet the minimum system requirements . I've seen light stutter, even with an RTX 2080 and i9-9900K (more if the Vulkan API is used as a DX1
Hardware editor Jarred Walton is another victim of frequent beatings. Working on some detailed benchmarks for RDR2, he knows much more about where the problems are and says that slower CPUs are doing the worst right now.
"With i7-8700K and RTX 2080 Ti it looks pretty good Overall good, in my experience: With i5-8400 and the same RTX 2080 Ti, I get periodically long breaks – sometimes several seconds, but it's usually just a bit stuttering for a few seconds. "
It gets weirder.
"And that's pretty much independent of the settings, in fact, 1080p and minimum quality often seem inexplicably inferior to 1080p high or ultra," says Jarred. "A Core i3-8100, also with 2080 Ti, ends up with several long delays of four to five seconds every 30 seconds or so, depending on what I do, and by default it's not playable."
Red Dead 2 is a beautiful game with huge draw paths. We expect it to put a strain on our hardware, but if performance improves after using an external application that limits the maximum CPU utilization of a game, something else has to happen.
Andy Kelly has experienced the same stuttering that he has only through the use of Battle Encoder Shirasé a program which limits CPU usage for certain applications. After installing BES and following the instructions in this reddit thread Andy says the stutter has completely disappeared, at least in the last 45 minutes of the game. Jarred saw the same success with the CPU limit in DX12 on an i3-8100. If you work with an older CPU, this is definitely worth a try.
It does not take either first-rate programming skills or extensive hardware knowledge to suspect that something in Red Dead 2's code is overburdening the CPUs and distributing the processing workload across the cores or not having the proper checks, around the processes accordingly to restrict the used CPU correctly.
I imagine it's like giving too many apples to a horse. A horse will continue to eat apples when it presents them, I know that. And the horse feels stimulated by the apples and runs at a steady and efficient speed per second until his belly reaches the maximum apple capacity and the horse stops or stutters to hand over apples to make room for more apples. A CPU that suddenly receives too many chunky calculations may choke similarly, as indicated by intermittent hitching in the game.
BES and CPU limitation prevent RDR2 from pushing the CPU to the breaking point and allowing the game to cool down before knocking The brain of your computer is on your ass.
Older, slower CPUs (horses, if you still remember the analogy) reach this processing limit faster than Slicker CPUs and probably more abrupt ones , longer problems. That probably explains why I hardly noticed anything stuttering on my i9-9900K and it was very rare. Of course, I only spit out theory. We will probably hear the full story in due course.
While we expect smoother launches, especially from established developers like Rockstar, improvements are being made in the studio. This morning has released an update that crashes related to antivirus software and another update that fixes launcher error for some AMD processors.
Asked about the widespread stuttering and crashing, a rock star representative told PC Gamer, "We are aware of the current issues and are actively working to resolve them."
We have no idea when these issues will be resolved, but at the speed with which minor corrections were introduced – two today – I can not imagine that we will spend too much time with them.
I do not hope so. I have lost too many damned skins due to accidental falls and I have to save enough money to buy a fishing rod. It's a wonderful world, a simulation of a much slower life, interrupted by plot moves, and I imagine the PC crowd finding a nice home in it. (Please join my Deadwood RP group.) I really want to explore the world, trade furs, bury some bodies and buy some sick hats, but my swing slows down more and more every crash.
As it stands, I would just wait until the major performance issues of Red Dead 2 are resolved before I try it myself. I do not want someone else to lose a big fish on a leash.