'Can it run Dragon's Dogma 2?' It's an amazing RPG by all accounts, but it totally crushes CPUs

Dragon's Dogma 2 reviews praise a fantastic game, but it can bring an RTX 4090 to its knees in towns or cities - if the GPU isn't paired with a top CPU.

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Dragon's Dogma 2 is out in a couple of days, but the review embargo is lifted, and to say there's some high praise is an understatement - although it's tempered by concerns on the performance front for PC gamers.

Cleary, this much-awaited open world action RPG sequel has been extremely well received, offering immersion and depth aplenty, and an innovative pawn system, and... well, the positivity gushes on, frankly.

James Galizio, who reviewed the game for RPG Site, enthused: "At the best of times, Dragon's Dogma 2 feels far less like a game and more like a world you're exploring - learning about those that live in it, and in turn yourself by how you choose to engage with those same people. It's unlike any other RPG."

However, as Galizio outlines in the above tweet, there's a problem with performance for what'll be the majority of PCs out there which aren't running a top of the range CPU.

Dragon's Dogma 2 is very hard going on the processor, with Galizio's Ryzen 7 7700X being brought to its knees, limiting the RTX 4090 in the gaming PC to around 50 fps or just over in the game's capital city.

In short, CPU bottlenecking is a huge issue, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun observes that when going into large settlements, or even busy camps, frame rates can be more or less halved. Nasty.

As testing from Rock, Paper, Shotgun illustrates, unusually this processor bottlenecking is hampering mighty GPUs like the RTX 4090 even in higher resolutions like 4K.

In short, you need a big old beefy unit of a CPU, like a Core i9 flagship, to see the best from Dragon's Dogma 2. Or realistically, not to experience choppiness anywhere away from the wilderness, no matter how expensive the GPU is inside your rig.

Things can only get better

Is there a chance that things might get better? Well, you can play around with the various graphics settings, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a pretty useful guide to what tweaks are best. The end gains were in the order of around 8% for the site, so that's definitely worthwhile - but it won't have the game running smoothly all of a sudden.

An optimization patch is obviously the big hope, but really, how much difference can that make? It's difficult to believe that Capcom has released Dragon's Dogma 2 in a state whereby it can be fixed up to run, say, twice as fast in towns. We guess this isn't unfeasible, though, and patching will doubtless improve performance as time goes on, as well as work on the graphics driver side perhaps, too.

Another potential hope is while DLSS is supported in Dragon's Dogma 2, frame generation isn't - yet. So, maybe DLSS 3 will be inbound for the game, and at least for NVIDIA's Lovelace GPUs, this could mean much more acceptable frame rates.

Of course, all this said, Dragon's Dogma 2 is still an amazing effort of an RPG, and already a prime candidate for Game of the Year, despite all the ropiness and caveats around PC performance levels.

Read more: NVIDIA's RTX 5000 GPUs on track for Q4 2024 launch but don't expect a Lovelace performance leap

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Darren has written for numerous magazines and websites in the technology world for almost 30 years, including TechRadar, PC Gamer, Eurogamer, Computeractive, and many more. He worked on his first magazine (PC Home) long before Google and most of the rest of the web existed. In his spare time, he can be found gaming, going to the gym, and writing books (his debut novel – ‘I Know What You Did Last Supper’ – was published by Hachette UK in 2013).

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