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Alan Wake 2 PC Optimized Settings and Benchmarks

Here are the best graphics settings for Alan Wake 2, optimized for your PC

Alan Wake 2 is hands-down the most performance-intensive game on PC. With path-traced diffuse lighting, reflections, and global illumination, even the mighty GeForce RTX 4090 can’t hit 60 FPS at 4K without frame generation. Remedy’s latest title runs much better on NVIDIA GPUs, with ray reconstruction improving ray tracing quality and performance. Frame generation is only available on the RTX 40 graphics cards, making path tracing inaccessible to gamers running Radeon or older RTX parts.

Alan Wake 2 PC Requirements

Alan Wake 2’s raster requirements are relatively modest. You’ll need a GeForce RTX 4070 or a Radeon RX 7800 XT for 4K “High”, while an RTX 3070 or an RX 6700 XT should suffice for 1080p “High.” With ray-tracing enabled, the RTX 3070 becomes the baseline for 1080p 30 FPS using the “Low” RT preset.

For 60 FPS at the “Medium” RT preset, you need an RTX 4070 and an RTX 4080 for the highest quality. Interestingly, the CPU requirement remains the same with and without ray-tracing. The octa-core Ryzen 7 3700X is recommended for 1440p “Medium” and 4K “High” with RT maxed out. Similarly, the memory requirement stays at 16GB throughout, alongside 90GB of SSD storage. These recommendations assume you’re enabling FSR 2 or DLSS 3.5.

Our Test Bench

  • CPU: Intel Core i9-13900K.
  • Motherboard: ASUS Z790 Maximus Hero.
  • Cooler: Lian Li Galahad 360.
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090.
  • Memory: 16GB x2 DDR5-6000 CL30.
  • Power Supply: Corsair RM1000e.

Resolution Scaling: 1080p vs 1440p vs 4K Benchmarks

The resolution has a major impact on performance. Each 1080p frame comprises ~2 million pixels, 4 million for 1440p, and >8 million at 4K. Upon going from 1080p to 4K, Alan Wake 2 cuts the performance of the GeForce RTX 4090 by more than a third. From a healthy 153.6 FPS at FHD, it drops to a mere 59 FPS at UHD.

Luckily, most gamers with a GeForce RTX 4060 and above should be able to play the game at 1080p “High” at 60 FPS without any issues. The same applies to RTX 4070/4070 Super owners at 1440p.

4K “High” is only doable on an RTX 4090 without upscaling or frame generation. Luckily, Alan Wake 2 has plenty of graphics settings to play around with to fine-tune the performance.

Alan Wake 2 Ray Tracing Benchmarks

Ray tracing and path tracing, are unsurprisingly, the most taxing options in the game. The highest-quality ray tracing preset produces some horrendous results. The RTX 4080 Super falls short of 60 FPS at 1080p, while the Radeon RX 7900 XTX averages 20.8 FPS, falling behind the RTX 4070 and the 4070 Ti Super.

Best Ray Tracing Settings for Alan Wake 2

Dialing it down to “RT Low” gives the cards some breathing room. The Radeon RX 7900 XTX nets 47.5 FPS, still slower than the GeForce RTX 4070/4070 Super/4070 Ti Super. The RTX 4080 Super posts an average of 82 FPS, second to only the RTX 4090’s 103.6 FPS.

Best Ray Tracing Settings for Alan Wake 2

Increasing the resolution to 1440p reduces the RTX 4080 Super to 55 FPS, and the RX 7900 XTX to 31.5 FPS. The RTX 4070 Super averages 38 FPS, while the 4070 Ti Super hovers above 40 FPS. Once again, the RTX 4090 is the only GPU to maintain its average above 60 FPS.

Best Ray Tracing Settings for Alan Wake 2

Best Ray Tracing Settings for Alan Wake 2 on PC

Alan Wake 2 has a separate “Ray Tracing Preset” that controls the lighting quality in the game. The lowest preset “Low” only enables ray tracing for direct lighting and reflections. This doesn’t include multi-bounce diffuse lighting (global illumination) or high-quality reflections.

The “Medium” preset sets reflection quality to “High” and diffuse lighting to “Medium,” while the “High” preset sets path-traced global illumination to “High.” Through indirect lighting, this setting also controls reflections, shadows, and ambient occlusion.

Best Ray Tracing Settings for Alan Wake 2

The GeForce RTX 4090 averages 95 FPS at 1440p “High,” with ray-tracing disabled. The “Low” ray tracing preset brings down the average to 62 FPS, while “Medium” and “High” further reduce it to 53 FPS and 51 FPS, respectively.

Best Graphics Preset for Alan Wake 2 on PC

Note: 1440p Max RT Off implies that all the settings except ray-tracing are maxed out.

The RTX 4090 averages 124 FPS at 1440p “Low,” up from 95 FPS at the maximum quality settings. That’s a 30% improvement going from low to max. Unlike most games, the performance is distributed evenly between the four different presets, each granting 6-12% higher frame rates than the previous one.

Texture Filtering

Texture filtering improves texture quality by continuously sampling the MIP maps. It resamples the textures perpendicular to the screen which would otherwise look dull and blurry.

There’s a negligible difference in performance between the three options under “texture filtering.”

Volumetric Lighting and Global Illumination

Volumetric Lighting has a modest impact on performance, with “High” being 5% slower than “Low.”

Best Graphics Settings for Alan Wake 2

Volumetric Spotlight refers to the light shafts near windows and other translucent surfaces. Its impact on performance is unnoticeable.

Best Graphics Settings for Alan Wake 2

Global illumination calculates the effect of diffuse light rays in the scene. Generally, it’s quite taxing, but in this case (Forest), it’s imperceptible.

Best Graphics Settings for Alan Wake 2

Shadow Quality and Performance

Shadow Resolution is one of the settings you should be aware of. The “Low” setting is 15.5% faster than the highest.

Best Graphics Settings for Alan Wake 2

Shadow Filtering and Detail are different settings that subtly affect performance, with the latter having a more pronounced impact.

Best Graphics Settings for Alan Wake 2

SSAO or screen space ambient occlusion refers to ambient shadows generated for on-screen objects in real time. It dramatically improves visual fidelity but makes the game 6% slower.

Best Graphics Settings for Alan Wake 2

Reflection Quality and Performance

Reflections usually refer to cube-mapped reflections that aren’t as accurate but have a minimal impact on performance. However, this particular implementation reduces the frame rates by over 10%.

Best Graphics Settings for Alan Wake 2

Screen Space Reflections” (SSR) is the most taxing graphics setting next to ray/path tracing. Enabling it can make the game up to 20% slower.

Best Graphics Settings for Alan Wake 2

Terrain, Fog, and Far Object LOD

Terrain and Fog are critical elements of Alan Wake 2, improving realism while adding a hint of mystery. Both subtly impact performance, but can be a sizable drain on frame rates in certain scenes.

Best Graphics Settings for Alan Wake 2

Far Object LOD controls the quality of far-off objects, most of which you won’t notice while playing. It reduces performance by 6%.

Scattered Object Density Performance

“Scattered Object Density” controls the number of litter and other man-made objects in the game. It can also refer to leaves, paper bits, or traffic pollutants. Depending on the in-game area, it can be mild to moderately taxing. The “Low” setting is 10% faster than the “Very High.”

Best Graphics Settings for Alan Wake 2

Alan Wake 2 CPU Bottlenecks

Alan Wake 2 is easy on the CPU, with the game being completely GPU-bound without ray-tracing. Even with the “Low” RT preset at 1440p, the game is GPU-bound 96% of the time.

Alan Wake 2 CPU Bottlenecks
4K RT Low

Increasing the resolution to 4K boosts the ray count, making it slightly CPU-bound (10%). Interestingly, even the highest RT preset doesn’t make the game CPU-bound.

Alan Wake 2 CPU Bottlenecks
1080p RT Ultra

Only at 4K (ray tracing “High”) does the game become 17% CPU-bound. The extensive use of path tracing (multi-bounce ray tracing) in a highly detailed world makes this justified. Dragon’s Dogma 2, on the other hand, is CPU-bottlenecked 50% of the time without any path tracing.

4K RT Ultra

This is all thanks to mesh shaders and other DX12 features that make the geometry pipeline (now mesh pipeline) efficient, flexible, and more multi-threaded than ever.

Alan Wake 2 VRAM Usage

Alan Wake 2 consumes more than 8GB of graphics memory even at the “Low” quality preset, without any ray tracing. Medium, High, and Very High/Ultra require 11GB to 12GB. The highest RT preset can use over 16GB of VRAM. If you’re running an 8GB card, be sure to enable FSR or DLSS 2 to alleviate the memory shortage.

Alan Wake 2 VRAM Usage

Upscaling Performance: DLSS, Frame Generation and DLAA

Upscaling and Frame Generation are the most important settings of Alan Wake 2. If you plan on enabling ray/path tracing, you’ll need it even if you have a GeForce RTX 4090 (for 4K).

Upscaling Performance

DLSS Performance improves frame rates by 76%, followed by Balanced (+63%) and Quality (+45%). Enabling Frame Generation (with any upscaling) provides the same uplift as Performance, while FG + DLSS Quality nets a 2.4x improvement. Switching to Balanced and Performance increases the gains to 2.65x and 3x.

Best Graphics Settings for Alan Wake 2

High-end PCMid-Range PCLow-end PC
Resolution4K1440p1080p
Texture ResolutionUltraUltraHigh (Ultra if your GPU has 12GB VRAM)
Texture FilteringHighHighHigh
Volumetric LightingHighHighMedium
Volumetric SpotlightHighHighHigh
Global IlluminationHighHighHigh
Shadow ResolutionHighMediumMedium
Shadow DetailHighHighMedium
Shadow FilteringHighHighMedium
Ambient OcclusionOnOnOn
Global ReflectionsOnOnOn
SSRHighLowOff
FogHighHighMedium
TerrainHighHighHigh
Far Object LODHighHighMedium
Scattered Object DensityUltraUltraMedium
UpscalingDLSS Balanced + FGDLSS Performance + FGDLSS/FSR Performance
Post-ProcessingPersonal choicePersonal choicePersonal choice

The following ray-tracing settings are for NVIDIA RTX users only. Folks with a Radeon or a GTX card are advised to turn RT off.

High-endMid-rangeLow-end (1080p)
Direct LightingOnOnOn
Path Traced LightingHighHighMedium (Off for 8GB cards)
TransparencyHighHighHigh
Ray ReconstructionOnOnOn

Definition of High-end, Midrange, and Low-end

High-end (4K)Mid-range (1440p)Low-end (1080p)
CPUCore i7-13700K/Ryzen 7 7800X3DCore i5-13600K/Ryzen 5 7600XLess than: Core i5-12400/Ryzen 5 3600
GPURTX 4070 Ti Super/RX 7900 XTRTX 4070/RX 7800 XTLess than: RTX 4060/RX 7600
Memory32GB (dual-channel)16GB (dual-channel)Less than: 16GB (dual-channel)

PS5 Equivalent Settings

PS5 Performance ModePS5 Quality Mode
Post-ProcessingLowLow
Texture ResolutionMedium+Medium+
Texture FilteringLowMedium
Volumetric LightingLowMedium
Volumetric Spotlight QualityLowMedium
Global Illumination QualityMediumHigh
Shadow ResolutionLowMedium
Shadow FilteringMediumHigh
Shadow DetailMediumMedium
SSAOOnOn
Global ReflectionsLowLow
Screen-Space ReflectionsLowLow
Fog QualityMediumHigh
Terrain QualityMediumHigh
Far Object DetailMediumHigh
Scattered Object DensityMediumUltra
Source: Eurogamer.

Areej

Processors, PC gaming, and the past. I have been writing about computer hardware for over seven years with more than 5000 published articles. Started off during engineering college and haven't stopped since. Find me at Hardware Times.com and PC Opset. Contact: areejs12@hardwaretimes.com.

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