While it is easy to tell if a video game needs high-end hardware overall, not many can tell what specific hardware it could demand more from. Even some of the most minimalistic games could have highly detailed graphics, and even some of the most graphically moderate or classical games could have a vast world to demand more calculations from the processor.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a game that ideally demands a high-end CPU and graphics card. It has one of the richest open worlds, with many characters and storytelling playing in the vicinity.
Not to forget how crowded the game gets at nighttime. Traditional open-world crowdedness alongside flying vehicles and all sorts of futuristic flamboyance. It is also one of the most graphically detailed games of the years surrounding its release (despite the glitches and bugs), and is ideal even more demanding due to its utilization of ray tracing.
Nonetheless, due to its vast open-world depiction, Cyberpunk 2077 is a more CPU-intensive game. It may utilize high-end graphical features like ray tracing and require a lot of VRAM, but with its vast world, more calculations and simulation are essential, which warrants a high-tier CPU requirement.
What are the Best CPUs for Cyberpunk 2077?
Since Cyberpunk 2077 is a highly CPU-intensive game, it is a no-brainer to say that the stronger the processor is, the better the performance will be.
But what we mean by the ‘best’ CPU for Cyberpunk 2077 is a processor that meets the recommended criteria for the game without being overkill so that those wanting to buy a PC for Cyberpunk 2077 specifically don’t overspend on a processor.
This is why the intention is to list processors that cost under $400 for 1080p performance and processors that cost under $500 for 4K performance.
Here is a list of some of the best processors for Cyberpunk 2077:
- AMD Ryzen 9 5900X – phenomenal 1080p performance.
- Intel Core i7-10700K – another high-tier 1080p option.
- Intel Core i9-9900K – good 4K performance.
- AMD Ryzen 7 5800X – good AMD processor for 4K performance.
- Intel Core i7-4790 – officially recommended Intel processor.
- AMD Ryzen 3 3200G – officially recommended AMD processor.
Official Cyberpunk 2077 Minimum System Requirements
- CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K or AMD FX-8310
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB or AMD Radeon RX 470
- RAM: 8 GB
- Disk Space: 70GB Hard Disk Drive
- Operating System: Windows 7 (64-bit) or Windows 10 (64-bit).
Official Cyberpunk 2077 Recommended System Requirements
- CPU: Intel Core i7-4790 or AMD Ryzen 3 3200G
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB or AMD Radeon R9 Fury
- RAM: 12 GB
- Disk Space: 70GB Solid State Drive
- Operating System: Windows 10 (64-bit).
What Makes a Game CPU Intensive?
People often make the mistake of judging a game’s potential requirements based on the graphics alone. Sure, more detailed graphics do require overall high-end specifications. Still, some graphically minimalistic games often end up demanding high-end processors, and that is why graphics alone are never a good giveaway of a game’s processor requirements.
Multiple factors make a game CPU intensive, and graphics are among them too. But since the GPU overtakes the job of handling pictures, the CPU fixates on taking calculations and simulation.
The more data and information a game has, the more analysis the CPU has to do. This is why open-world video games like Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto V (relative to the time of its release), Cyberpunk 2077 itself, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Far Cry 5 are featured in most lists about CPU-intensive games.
Open-world games feature many non-playable characters (NPCs) and are simulating them more and more uniquely with time.
Another important aspect is the complexity of the AI involved in the game. The more complexity of instructions there is, the more CPU-intensive a game is. The more activity there is in fun, the more power is demanded from the CPU, regardless of the game’s graphics.
Simulation games like Total War: WARHAMMER, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Cities: Skylines, and Civilization VI allow iterating things in excess due to the provided creative freedom, which can trouble any CPU.
So, the more calculation and AI complexity there is, the more CPU-intensive a game becomes.
What Makes a Game GPU Intensive?
While it is easy to tell what games may or may not be highly GPU intensive based on their graphics alone, several factors could make a game GPU intensive, mainly depending on the user’s graphical demands. Cyberpunk 2077 is quite GPU intensive, but primarily for people who want to play it with ray tracing. With ray tracing, even the most recent GPUs fail to attain a great FPS rate on 4K.
A game that is qualitatively GPU intensive would require a higher CUDA core count, whereas games that have lots of things to render would require an extremely high VRAM count.
Certain games may involve very few renders, but the rendering quality may require a high CUDA core count to handle the rendering complexity faster. CUDA cores also greatly assist ray tracing. VRAM is also needed when the textures and renders are incredibly high in resolution.
Since most PC games can adjust graphic settings, the GPU intensiveness of a game is nothing absolute.
While Cyberpunk 2077 requires intensiveness from both CPU and GPU, the game is much more CPU intensive due to its vast open world, non-playable character uniqueness, and relatively good AI. The game’s CPU intensiveness increases alongside the distance between Night City and the sun as the lush futuristic setting gets crowded even more.
It may not have an extremely large world, and nor may it allow excessive simulation, but even at its default state, Cyberpunk 2077 is very CPU intensive.
Have questions about the hardware intensity of other games? Don’t forget to check out more of our game specification articles.