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23-year-old PC gaming classic will melt your GPU with raytracing remix

A recent video showing the improved visuals of Max Payne in RTX Remix also reveals huge frame drops and increased power consumption.

Sam Lake as Max Payne in Alan Wake 2

If you’re excited about the possibility of classic PC games being given a new lease of life thanks to Nvidia’s RTX Remix, you might want to consider that these upgrades don’t come without a considerable cost.

In a recent demo showing off Max Payne with RTX Remix modifications, the game does look considerably better when running on one of the best graphics cards with path tracing. However, the performance numbers take a huge hit, while GPU power consumption also nearly doubles.

The increase in power consumption from 180W to 300W may seem extreme at face value, but it’s actually in line with what we’d expect given the additional processing power needed to enable path tracing. Plus, running a game as old as Max Payne doesn’t really tax the latest GPUs.

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We expect a drop in frame rate too, of course, but the extent of the plummet in performance is hard to swallow. The frame rate drops from around 1,300fps without the mod to just below 60fps with the RTX Remix mod enabled in some environments. MXBenchmarkPC, who ran the tests, has an Nvidia RTX 4080 in their system, paired with an Intel Core i7-10700K.

With a game as old as Max Payne (no offense), the performance impact of being stuck around the 60fps mark isn’t the end of the world, and it goes to show just how far we’ve come since the days of DirectX 8 and 9. There is still work to be done on the mod, which is currently available on ModDB, so performance could be optimized to become a little more stable, or even outright better. However, right now it seems like RTX Remix games aren’t always going to perform well, even on the latest hardware.

The comments on the video also make it clear that some players just don’t see the visual improvements from path tracing as a worthwhile compromise over performance, whereas others point to the upcoming Max Payne remake as a real solution for adding ray tracing to the game, and they’re happy to instead wait for this option.

As one of the best action-adventure games ever released, Max Payne was always going to be a target for RTX Remix modders. Which games would you like to see given the RTX treatment?