The Outer Worlds has major optimization issues in later stages, drops to 40fps on Intel i9 9900K at 1080p/Ultra

The Outer Worlds is the latest role-playing game from the company behind Fallout: New Vegas, Obsidian. And while, as we wrote in our PC Performance Analysis, its first stages were not that taxing on the CPU, its later stages have major optimization issues.

Going into more details, our Intel i9 9900K with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080Ti and 16GB of DDR4 memory at 3600Mhz had major framerate drops in Byzantium at 1080p and on Ultra settings. In fact, the game was dropping to below 50fps. The lowest we saw was 40fps, and that’s something that Obsidian will have to immediately address.

Below you can find some screenshots showcasing the game’s performance issues. My guess is that the DirectX 11 API is the culprit here.

As we can clearly see, both our GPU and CPU were not stressed at all, meaning that we were limited by our memory frequency. In fact, this is something we’ve seen in numerous games on our older PC system (i7 4930K). However, it appears that Byzantium pushes the limits of the DX11 API in The Outer Worlds. Lower-level APIs, like DX12 and Vulkan, can successfully address this optimization issue. However, Obsidian has not announced any plans to add DX12 or Vulkan support to it.

Now the reason I’m bringing this up is because, under certain circumstances, you can fight some enemies in Byzantium. And, as you may have guessed, the game feels awful during these firefights due to these optimization issues.

Thankfully, and with the exception of the Byzantium (and two/three other cities/areas), the game runs smoothly on our system. However, PC gamers with less powerful machines may encounter performance issues in other areas. Therefore, we strongly believe that Obsidian will have to look into this!