The release of Cyberpunk 2077, the most anticipated game of 2020, has been a disaster. After months of delay, when ultimately the game was released on December 10, it was plagued by bugs, leaving gamers disappointed. While Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red (CDPR) apologized to the gamers and released a patch to fix multiple issues, some gamers had already made their own patches and distributed them to improve performance on some specific fast PC hardware.
Amid dozens of issues, one particular problem gamers noticed was that on AMD Ryzen CPUs, the game was using only physical cores, limiting processor utilization to about 40 to 60 percent. As the game was not able to use the processor's simultaneous-multithreading capability (SMT), it resulted in a significant drop in the frames (FPS).
All Hail the Modders
However, the problem was limited to some users with AMD Ryzen CPUs. Some Redditors attributed the problem to the Intel compiler. But soon, others found the real issue. The problem was in AMD's own GPUOpen software suite. Cyberpunk developers used the open-source software to detect the processor and assign half of the threads to the CPU for the game.
While it has benefits, the developers didn't optimize the game for SMT well. Hence CPUs with higher core counts (usually AMD) could not run the game at its best, leaving performance on the table. However, all thanks to modders, a one-line patch was enough to solve the problem for most gamers. By altering one line in the game code using a hex editor, the modders allowed the game to assign the maximum number of threads available.
The fix resulted in double-digit FPS gain for many and the processor utilization went from 50 to 75 percent on average. Some gamers said that the patch also fixed stutters on Ryzen CPUs while one user with a Ryzen 5 3600 reported an increase of 20 FPS. On 12-core Ryzen 3700X, there was an improvement of 10 FPS. As for older Ryzen CPUs (2000-series), the fix made the game playable with up to 25 to 30 percent performance improvements.
"The game is finally playable now! Obviously, I'm still CPU bottlenecked by my R7 1700 paired with RTX 3080 but with this tweak, my CPU usage went from 50% to ~75% and my frametime is so much more stable now," one Redditor commented.
While the patch seemed to work for Ryzen CPUs with up to 12 cores, it didn't work for 16-core Ryzen 3950X or the latest 5900X and 5950X. Hence, it is not recommended to use the patch for such processors. However, CD Red Projekt has released hotfix 1.04 for PC and PlayStation console that addresses almost all the issues. However, if the official patch does not solve the problem, there is no harm in trying out the unofficial fix as many seem to have benefitted from it.
However, despite the patch, Xbox One users continue to face numerous problems. While the Polish developer has promised to fix most of the problems including "clipping errors" in the upcoming patch for XB1, it is yet to release a patch. Overall performance improvement and other fixes could take months and if someone is not willing to wait till then, the CDPR said it would issue a refund.