Alan Wake 2 is finally out. Like Remedy’s past games, it pushes the boundaries of 3D rendering, mainly in the lighting department. We tested the game across multiple present and previous-gen graphics cards to visualize its performance. Alan Wake II is quite demanding. You’ll need upscaling even if you’re not using ray tracing for a smooth experience. Path tracing is the overboss that requires Frame Generation for playable frame rates.
- CPU: Intel Core i9-13900K.
- Cooler: Lian Li Galahad 360
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 Hero.
- Memory: 16GB x2 @6000MT/s CL38.
- PSU: Corsair RM1000E.
- This color is for RTX 4090 and this is for RX 7900 XTX frame rates.
Alan Wake 2 Benchmarks: NVIDIA RTX 4090 vs AMD RX 7900 XTX
At the “Ultra” settings without ray tracing, our fastest GPUs managed an average of over 100 FPS. At 1080p Ultra, the GeForce RTX 4090 averaged 117 FPS, followed by the Radeon RX 7900 XTX and the RTX 4080 with 101 FPS and 93 FPS, respectively. The RX 7900 XT nets 90.6 FPS, while the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti ends last with a 70 FPS average. The RX 6800 XT averages 69 FPS with lows of over 40 FPS.
At 1440p, the last-gen cards drop under 60 FPS, leaving the RX 7900 XT with a precarious 65.5 FPS. The RTX 4080 is relatively smoother with a 69 FPS average and lows of 50+. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX and the RTX 4090 average a comfortable 73 FPS and 87 FPS, respectively.
At 4K, none of the GPUs hit 60 FPS, leaving the GeForce RTX 4090 with 51 FPS and the RX 7900 XTX with 42 FPS. The RTX 4080 barely makes it to the 40s. The RX 7900 XT drops to 35.7 FPS, while the RTX 3080 Ti and 6800 XT cling to 24 FPS. And this is without any ray or path tracing.
The Radeon GPUs suffer from severe, intermitted stuttering even when their averages are higher than their GeForce counterparts. Compare the RX 7900 XTX and the RTX 4080. Same with the RTX 3080 Ti and the RX 6800 XT.
Alan Wake 2 Ray Tracing Low: No Path Tracing
At the Ray Tracing “Low” quality preset, Alan Wake II uses direct lighting and reflections. Indirect or diffuse lighting based on path tracing is disabled. Screen space reflections and rasterized global illumination remain enabled. Players with NVIDIA RTX GPUs can enable Ray Reconstruction, which uses an AI-based denoiser to improve lighting quality and performance.
At 1080p, the GeForce RTX 4090 is the only GPU that manages an average of over 60 FPS, while the rest drop to <40 FPS and lower. Unlike rasterization, the RTX 3080 Ti is faster than the Radeon RX 7900 XT and the 7900 XTX.
At 1440p, the RTX 4080 and 4090 exhibit playable averages of over 45 FPS while the rest drop to under 30 FPS. The lows in particular are dire, nearing single-digit figures on the Radeons. The NVIDIA Ada flagship averages 63.6 FPS while the Radeon RX 7900 XTX nets 27 FPS with lows of 12.7 FPS. This makes the RTX 4090 twice as fast as the RX 7900 XTX.
At 4K, the GeForce RTX 4090 maintains an average of 30 FPS while the rest of the GPUs (except the RTX 4080) drop to early-to-mid teens, with single-digit lows.
Path tracing benchmarks on the next page…