AMD and Nvidia Ray Tracing Needs Fixing on The Witcher 3 Version 4.0

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UPDATED TO VERSION 4.0 HOTFIX AS OF 12/21/2022

These are the issues I've discovered so far and hope the devs will fix soon.

  • Ray Tracing crashes the game nearly every single time it's enabled.
  • If Ray Tracing does work, the performance is poor and frametime is erratic.
  • AMD FSR 2.1, dynamic resolution, lowering settings doesn't help with Ray Trace performance at all.
  • Loading saved data with Ray Tracing enabled instantly crashes game no matter old or new.
  • Some sound issues with the audio clipping at times.
  • Both DX11 and DX12 stutters can occur and sometimes frequently.
Here are some of my PC specs down below if needed for further testing.
  • AMD Ryzen 9 3900XT (stock)
  • AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT (stock)
  • 2x16GB RAM at 3466MHz CL16 (overclocked from 3200MHz CL16)
  • Smart Access Memory (SAM) enabled in BIOS
  • Super Flower Leadex III ARGB 750W 80+ Gold PSU
  • Windows 11 Pro (22H2) on Crucial MX500 1TB SSD
  • The Witcher 3 Version 4.00 was installed in drive C
  • Played on GOG Galaxy version 2.0.55.99 (beta)
  • AMD driver Adrenalin 22.11.2 Recommended (WHQL)
  • AMD Chipset Drivers Revision Number 4.11.15.342
I've attached 4 screenshots of DX11 and DX12 at 1440p (FSR Quality and RT off), uncapped fps and maxed settings.
The 3rd screenshot is DX12 RTGI on at 1080p (FSR Ultra Performance), Medium settings, hair and other dials off.
The 4th screenshot is DX12 ALL RT toggles ON (FSR Ultra Performance), Ultra+ settings, hair and other dials on.
Also, can someone explain to me why Roach's hair is curly in DX11 but straight in DX12?
 

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  • TW3 V4 DX12 1440P RT ULTRA+ AMD FSR 2 ULTRA PERFORMANCE DYNAMIC RESOLUTION .png
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Yes, same here. I expected issues, as my gpu is 6600xt. On win 10, 1080p, DX12. 16GB RAM. But that doesn't mean straight crash! Lower frame rates, yes. Even that should be manageable by enabling FSR.
 
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i5 12400/16GB RAM/RTX3060, DX12 unstable, the game should work fine in 1080p with DLSS and enabled 1 of 4 functions of RTX - based on their recommended system requirements, in the end fps from 70 + when you turn RTX flies down to 25, frame delay jumps from 25 to 55 , DLSS does not help (seems to work here only for RTX40 series, apparently for the rest is just another type of antialiasing)
 
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Same for me with 6800XT. The interesting thing is that by default RT was enabled and the game ran 'fine' for a short time. Then I tried different settings without RT and now I cant turn back on it beacuse it's instantly crashes even with lower graphics.
 
Yes, same here. I expected issues, as my gpu is 6600xt. On win 10, DX12. 16GB RAM. But that doesn't mean straight crash! Lower frame rates, yes. Even that should be manageable by enabling FSR.
Exactly! I have games with RT enabled and they run great like Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered.
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i5 12400/16GB RAM/RTX3060, DX12 unstable, the game should work fine in 1080p with DLSS and enabled 1 of 4 functions of RTX - based on their recommended system requirements, in the end fps from 70 + when you turn RTX flies down to 25, frame delay jumps from 25 to 55 , DLSS does not help (seems to work here only for RTX40 series, apparently for the rest is just another type of antialiasing)
That is crazy... definitely something is wrong with the RT implementation here. Hell, even Cyberpunk 2077 which is more recent and demanding than The Witcher 3 handles RT at playable framerates with the RX 6700 XT granted only 1 RT and that's shadows. lol
 
If in the menu you completely disable RT, the game should stop crashing.
Or, if you select the "Ultra RT" preset which enables all RT, game should also stop crashing.

Once I understood the conditions under which the game crashes, I stopped getting crashes.

Basically, you should never modify RT from ingame, and you should never enable only some parts of RT - it always has to go through RT Ultra preset. Once you select it, load into the game, then you can disable parts of it.

As for RT, there are issues with it - is is insanely demanding on CPU, so in Novigrad framerate plummets to 30s even on 13900K.
It has various issues with shadow pop-in, reflections missing.

But when it works, it looks amazing.

I hope CDP can further optimize and fix it. But I have doubts if it is even possible, given the age of the engine.

CDP however should have said, before release, that RT is badly optimized and people should not expect stable 60fps with RT enabled.
CDP still needs to improve their marketing. It is always much better to underpromise and overdeliver, than the opposite.
If you cannot do something well before release, just say it. People appreciate honesty.
 
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Same for me with 6800XT. The interesting thing is that by default RT was enabled and the game ran 'fine' for a short time. Then I tried different settings without RT and now I cant turn back on it beacuse it's instantly crashes even with lower graphics.
I've had the same problem too when I started a new game thinking it would resolve the issue with RT and it did momentarily but performance was ATROCIOUS getting only 43fps with the frametimes spiking all over the place and feeling like I was moving underwater.
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If in the menu you completely disable RT, the game should stop crashing.
Or, if you select the "Ultra RT" preset which enables all RT, game should also stop crashing.

Once I understood the conditions under which the game crashes, I stopped getting crashes.

Basically,you should never modify RT from ingame, and you should never enable only some parts of RT - it always has to go through RT Ultra preset. Once you select it, load into the game, then you can disable parts of it.

As for RT, there are issues with it - is is insanely demanding on CPU, so in Novigrad framerate plummets to 30s even on 13900K.
It has various issues with shadow pop-in, reflections missing.

But when it works, it looks amazing.

I hope CDP can further optimize and fix it. But I have doubts if it is even possible, given the age of the engine.

CDP however should have said, before release, that RT is badly optimized and people should not expect stable 60fps with RT enabled.
I've been playing it maxed settings with RT off and it generally runs great. But it's sad that RT is broken as I really wanted to test it out.
 
Exactly! I have games with RT enabled and they run great like Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered.
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That is crazy... definitely something is wrong with the RT implementation here. Hell, even Cyberpunk 2077 which is more recent and demanding than The Witcher 3 handles RT at playable framerates with the RX 6700 XT granted only 1 RT and that's shadows. lol
Yeah, I have Cyberpunk 2077 with ultra graphics + with RT reflections on medium, DLSS quality 47-50 fps in the city center, at the outskirts and outside the city is almost always a stable 60 fps, here it's some kind of nightmare
 
I've been playing it maxed settings with RT off and it generally runs great. But it's sad that RT is broken as I really wanted to test it out.
Yes, with RT OFF I have no problems, game runs great.
But the extreme CPU and GPU demands of RT are definitely surprising. I even upgraded recently to 5800X3D and 3080Ti, was confident this would give me 60fps with RT in 1440p and DLSS quality.

No dice, in any populated place the framerate plummets because RT kills CPU.

However, I now realize it probably makes sense. The game was developed at a time when realtime RT was not even a twinkle in CDP programmer's eyes.

Who knows what ungodly hacks and rituals had to be performed to make it run in that version of the engine.

But again, CDP should have set proper expectations upfront. And of course, the crashing issue, which is easily repeateble and widespread, should have been fixed before launch. Even if it meant delaying the PC version.
 
Where exactly is the problem at 77 FPS at this rendering resolution?
Buying an even faster RX 7800 or lowering some graphics settings is the solution.
Instead of telling the developers "your game runs bad, lower all the overall graphics and rendering and shader quality for an average 99999 FPS!" ;)
 
Where exactly is the problem at 77 FPS at this rendering resolution?
Buying an even faster RX 7800 or lowering some graphics settings is the solution.
Instead of telling the developers "your game runs bad, lower all the overall graphics and rendering and shader quality for an average 99999 FPS!" ;)
That's with RT off in those screenshots. I failed to mention it so that's my fault. Those screenshots were just there to illustrate that's it's playable with RT off no matter the DX option. But it's also a problem because RT is unplayable when more demanding games can run RT just fine on mid-range hardware. Throwing the highest-end hardware isn't going to fix the issue as those with the best PC's are having issues with RT performance.
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Yes, with RT OFF I have no problems, game runs great.
But the extreme CPU and GPU demands of RT are definitely surprising. I even upgraded recently to 5800X3D and 3080Ti, was confident this would give me 60fps with RT in 1440p and DLSS quality.

No dice, in any populated place the framerate plummets because RT kills CPU.

However, I now realize it probably makes sense. The game was developed at a time when realtime RT was not even a twinkle in CDP programmer's eyes.

Who knows what ungodly hacks and rituals had to be performed to make it run in that version of the engine.

But again, CDP should have set proper expectations upfront. And of course, the crashing issue, which is easily repeateble and widespread, should have been fixed before launch. Even if it meant delaying the PC version.
I would've definitely preferred them to delay the PC upgrade if it meant the RT issues would be stable and running without crashes and atrocious frametimes. Even just drop only the Ultra+ settings and delay the RT implementation so they could iron out the issues.
 
Maybe my build is just older then I thought. But ya on ultra setting, not ultra plus, with RT on (just the global lighting not even the shadows and reflections) in 1080p I get an average of 35-45fps with a RTX2070 Super gaming overclocked, a Ryzen 5 3600x also overclocked, 32gb of RAM, and DLSS on performance mode, which then makes little black dots appear on a lot of textures. I know it’s a 20 series card, but I expected that I could at least do basic ray tracing on 1080p ultra settings. But as soon as RT goes off, I can do ultra + graphics in 2560x1440 with like 50-80 FPS just depending on weather and if I’m in a city.
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Maybe my build is just older then I thought. But ya on ultra setting, not ultra plus, with RT on (just the global lighting not even the shadows and reflections) in 1080p I get an average of 35-45fps with a RTX2070 Super gaming overclocked, a Ryzen 5 3600x also overclocked, 32gb of RAM, and DLSS on performance mode, which then makes little black dots appear on a lot of textures. I know it’s a 20 series card, but I expected that I could at least do basic ray tracing on 1080p ultra settings. But as soon as RT goes off, I can do ultra + graphics in 2560x1440 with like 50-80 FPS just depending on weather and if I’m in a city.
Shoot now that I remember I was able to get Cyberpunk to have RT on, 1080p, high/ultra settings, and I managed 50-70 fps? Kinda weird that a game with all those buildings and cars and people ran better then Witcher. I’m sure they’ll address the RT issue. Love the update otherwise.
 
Maybe my build is just older then I thought. But ya on ultra setting, not ultra plus, with RT on (just the global lighting not even the shadows and reflections) in 1080p I get an average of 35-45fps with a RTX2070 Super gaming overclocked, a Ryzen 5 3600x also overclocked, 32gb of RAM, and DLSS on performance mode, which then makes little black dots appear on a lot of textures. I know it’s a 20 series card, but I expected that I could at least do basic ray tracing on 1080p ultra settings. But as soon as RT goes off, I can do ultra + graphics in 2560x1440 with like 50-80 FPS just depending on weather and if I’m in a city.
Those are nice specs! In most cases it would've and should've played decently but something went wrong during the RT implementation and now a majority of users can't even enjoy RT despite having the hardware capable of great RT performance.
 
The key is DLSS frame generation, which only RTX 4000 cards supports. It literally doubles the FPS and frametime is super smooth all of a sudden. Even DSR factors at 5160X2160 with all at Ultra+ and quality RT gives a steady 60+ fps.
It's really a shame that such a huge update requires a RTX 4000 to be enjoyed fully.
 
The key is DLSS frame generation, which only RTX 4000 cards supports. It literally doubles the FPS and frametime is super smooth all of a sudden. Even DSR factors at 5160X2160 with all at Ultra+ and quality RT gives a steady 60+ fps.
It's really a shame that such a huge update requires a RTX 4000 to be enjoyed fully.
Where are you getting those numbers from? I'm seeing differently with these results.
 

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I believe that DLSS 2 is not doing its job correctly.

I am stuck at 4k, because somehow Vsync doesn't work properly at 1440 (no idea why), so I don't expect to run with RTX with my 2080s, but damn, going from 80fps to 25fps just because of the RT is quite the hit.

And no matter the DLSS I use, it's roughly the same.
 
Maybe my build is just older then I thought. But ya on ultra setting, not ultra plus, with RT on (just the global lighting not even the shadows and reflections) in 1080p I get an average of 35-45fps with a RTX2070 Super gaming overclocked, a Ryzen 5 3600x also overclocked, 32gb of RAM, and DLSS on performance mode, which then makes little black dots appear on a lot of textures. I know it’s a 20 series card, but I expected that I could at least do basic ray tracing on 1080p ultra settings. But as soon as RT goes off, I can do ultra + graphics in 2560x1440 with like 50-80 FPS just depending on weather and if I’m in a city.
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Shoot now that I remember I was able to get Cyberpunk to have RT on, 1080p, high/ultra settings, and I managed 50-70 fps? Kinda weird that a game with all those buildings and cars and people ran better then Witcher. I’m sure they’ll address the RT issue. Love the update otherwise.
having an rtx 2060 mobile , not really for ray trracing normally but on cyberpunk i can handle RT medium setting at 1080p with a steady 30 fps
on the witcher 3 , RT setting feel off
if i start a new game with RT ultra on witcher at 1080p , games running 25/30 fps
( get better steady fps with fsr 2.1 than dlss )
if i pick only one setting RT on witcher 3 , games running a bit hupper fps 35/40 but with heavy drop fps and time to time game crash
nvdia reflex and cap fps at 30 reduce some trouble shooting , v sync off
to resume on my case RT setting running better when all're toogle than only one pick

i know my rtx 2060 isn't for ray tracing but its a bit wierd to see how the game perform on those setting RT
with RT off , i can even go to extra+ setting graphics and very good overhall fps
 
But you said 5160X2160 and your video shows 3440x1440? But I do see it's working for you and smoothly at that. BTW, what is HAGS in windows? That's an additional step you took for a fix.
Not enough memory on a 4090 to both record and play at that resolution i'm afraid. At least thats what i think it is. Had to downscale the recording to 3440X1440. Plus you can't really record "AI" resolutions properly.
HAGS=Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling
I am uploading another video as we speak that shows the resolution chosen in game.
 
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