Cyberpunk 2077 Mod That Promises Up to 40% Faster Path Tracing Performance Gets an Update

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A new version of the Cyberpunk Ultra Plus Better Path Tracing and Stutter Hotfix mod is now available for download via NexusMods.

See full article...
 
If it sounds too good to be true that's probably because it isn't true.

I doubt CDPR is so incompetent that you can improve performance by 40% with no impact just by tweaking a few things.
My experience with these types of visual mods is that they usually end up making things worse instead of better.
 
I doubt CDPR is so incompetent that you can improve performance by 40% with no impact just by tweaking a few things.
I was kinda thinking the same thing. Especially since it's not like the modders actually delved into the source code.
 
Agree, it sounds a little too good to be true. Maybe even some sort of social experiment to see if people even notice when they lower quality settings, or something like that.

When I get around to playing Phantom Liberty, I'll have to try this mod to see for myself.
 
Agree, it sounds a little too good to be true. Maybe even some sort of social experiment to see if people even notice when they lower quality settings, or something like that.

When I get around to playing Phantom Liberty, I'll have to try this mod to see for myself.
CDPR probably has a better patch out by then, they are still working on improvements, but we will see.
 
Here's a paste from the technical explanation on their Nexus page.

NVIDIA NRD

For the curious. NVIDIA ray reconstruction is not really "ray reconstruction", it's NVIDIA NRD, which I've been following for a while. The term "ray reconstruction" is a little misleading (sorry NVIDIA). Instead, it does a few things: 1) It saves rays calculated from previous frames to be reused in the current frame, 2) it calculates all rays in a single procedure enabling a single denoise pass (rather than multiple denoise passes in previous-gen RTX)... enabling 3) a new denoise method. I've simplified the methods here a little.

Within NRD, there are several choices to be made by game devs, one of which is "which denoiser to use" — I.e. ReLAX or ReBLUR.

CDPR chose ReLAX, likely because it is "faster". Specifically, as you move around in-game, ReLAX "resolves" the image in fewer frames, meaning within 1–2 frames, you have a stable image (and for this argument, clear reflections).

However, in my opinion this was the wrong decision. Here's why:

Step 1: Let's go into game and play with how many rays (R) and bounces (B) there are using ReLAX. The first thing you'll notice is three things:

  1. In several common scenarios, the scene requires around 4 rays to yield accurate lighting (the game's effective default is 2R)
  2. In several common scenarios, there is significant scene noise with only 2 rays, especially at the edges of objects/actors (especially at 1080p with DLSS)
  3. However, both scene noise and accurate lighting are "stable" after only one or two frames (even with some problems)

Step 2: Let's switch to ReBLUR. What we notice:

  1. The scene takes longer (around 6 frames) to become "stable"
  2. The reflection quality is slightly less sharp
  3. However, lighting appears accurate and does not reduce at 2 or even 1 rays (more rays is brighter, but not significantly lower quality)
  4. The edges of objects/actors improves

With the above, it's very important to understand ReBLUR requires tuned sensitivity to darkness, and some other specific settings, per NRD's documentation, and these are not enabled in CP by default, but the NRD API for this functionality is implemented, so we can enable them.


SammiLucia's "opinions"

What does this all mean. Well, it's my opinion that:

  1. For stable/reliable image quality in the majority of scenarios ReLAX requires a minimum of 4 rays (CP uses 2R), which significantly reduces performance from the defaults in CP
  2. Therefore ReBLUR is the most appropriate option for general use, having more stable/reliable image quality with far better performance. In fact, I would argue this is exactly why NVIDIA developed ReBLUR

So, why would CDPR select ReLAX? Enter: Unreal Engine Lumen.

If you have played a UE5 game, you've likely noticed the crystal clear reflections produced by Lumen. This, I think, served as primary motivation to prefer ReLAX's faster, slightly sharper reflections. If not, surely people would notice NVIDIA path tracing can look inferior to Lumen.

(By the way, Lumen is a kind of "path tracing", but I'm not going to go open that can of worms here.)


Which to choose? ReBLUR or ReLAX

So what does ReBLUR look like while playing? To be honest, most people won't notice the slightly slower ReBLUR while running around like a lunatic in game. On balance the visual quality is much better in most situations with ReBLUR.

If I had a high-end 4000 series I would definitely choose ReLAX. But I don't, and I'm extremely happy with ReBLUR.


On CDPR

I'd like to state for the record, I am a huge fan of CDPR, and believed in them when Cyberpunk 2077 released. The thinking behind decisions such as above are very technical and I'm not criticising, simply offering my own (correct) perspective 😝

You will also notice (as usual) there are two versions of CP Ultra+ for the very reasons I've stated above, however the Insane version reconfigures ReLAX to the settings I believe it should have. Nerds are allowed to differ, and I offer CDPR BIG HUGS and much love for all their games, and for bringing so much heart and passion to the industry 💕
 
Here's a paste from the technical explanation on their Nexus page.

NVIDIA NRD

For the curious. NVIDIA ray reconstruction is not really "ray reconstruction", it's NVIDIA NRD, which I've been following for a while. The term "ray reconstruction" is a little misleading (sorry NVIDIA). Instead, it does a few things: 1) It saves rays calculated from previous frames to be reused in the current frame, 2) it calculates all rays in a single procedure enabling a single denoise pass (rather than multiple denoise passes in previous-gen RTX)... enabling 3) a new denoise method. I've simplified the methods here a little.

Within NRD, there are several choices to be made by game devs, one of which is "which denoiser to use" — I.e. ReLAX or ReBLUR.

CDPR chose ReLAX, likely because it is "faster". Specifically, as you move around in-game, ReLAX "resolves" the image in fewer frames, meaning within 1–2 frames, you have a stable image (and for this argument, clear reflections).

However, in my opinion this was the wrong decision. Here's why:

Step 1: Let's go into game and play with how many rays (R) and bounces (B) there are using ReLAX. The first thing you'll notice is three things:

  1. In several common scenarios, the scene requires around 4 rays to yield accurate lighting (the game's effective default is 2R)
  2. In several common scenarios, there is significant scene noise with only 2 rays, especially at the edges of objects/actors (especially at 1080p with DLSS)
  3. However, both scene noise and accurate lighting are "stable" after only one or two frames (even with some problems)

Step 2: Let's switch to ReBLUR. What we notice:

  1. The scene takes longer (around 6 frames) to become "stable"
  2. The reflection quality is slightly less sharp
  3. However, lighting appears accurate and does not reduce at 2 or even 1 rays (more rays is brighter, but not significantly lower quality)
  4. The edges of objects/actors improves

With the above, it's very important to understand ReBLUR requires tuned sensitivity to darkness, and some other specific settings, per NRD's documentation, and these are not enabled in CP by default, but the NRD API for this functionality is implemented, so we can enable them.


SammiLucia's "opinions"

What does this all mean. Well, it's my opinion that:

  1. For stable/reliable image quality in the majority of scenarios ReLAX requires a minimum of 4 rays (CP uses 2R), which significantly reduces performance from the defaults in CP
  2. Therefore ReBLUR is the most appropriate option for general use, having more stable/reliable image quality with far better performance. In fact, I would argue this is exactly why NVIDIA developed ReBLUR

So, why would CDPR select ReLAX? Enter: Unreal Engine Lumen.

If you have played a UE5 game, you've likely noticed the crystal clear reflections produced by Lumen. This, I think, served as primary motivation to prefer ReLAX's faster, slightly sharper reflections. If not, surely people would notice NVIDIA path tracing can look inferior to Lumen.

(By the way, Lumen is a kind of "path tracing", but I'm not going to go open that can of worms here.)


Which to choose? ReBLUR or ReLAX

So what does ReBLUR look like while playing? To be honest, most people won't notice the slightly slower ReBLUR while running around like a lunatic in game. On balance the visual quality is much better in most situations with ReBLUR.

If I had a high-end 4000 series I would definitely choose ReLAX. But I don't, and I'm extremely happy with ReBLUR.


On CDPR

I'd like to state for the record, I am a huge fan of CDPR, and believed in them when Cyberpunk 2077 released. The thinking behind decisions such as above are very technical and I'm not criticising, simply offering my own (correct) perspective 😝

You will also notice (as usual) there are two versions of CP Ultra+ for the very reasons I've stated above, however the Insane version reconfigures ReLAX to the settings I believe it should have. Nerds are allowed to differ, and I offer CDPR BIG HUGS and much love for all their games, and for bringing so much heart and passion to the industry 💕
Oh sh1t, interesting information indeed...
 
I noticed you can get the bundle pack of CP + Phantom Liberty DLC for like $36 on Epic if you use the coupon on the front page. Tempted, but I can wait for lower.... and I'm "in the middle of" at least 5 games right now. Need to focus on those instead of spending more money..... I keep telling myself.
 
I noticed you can get the bundle pack of CP + Phantom Liberty DLC for like $36 on Epic if you use the coupon on the front page. Tempted, but I can wait for lower.... and I'm "in the middle of" at least 5 games right now. Need to focus on those instead of spending more money..... I keep telling myself.

I'd consider it if I weren't still pissed off at Epic for their "exclusivity" crap.

It's going to be a long time before I ever have the Epic Games Store on any machine of mine.
 
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