Rise of the Tomb Raider

One of the newest games in the gaming benchmark suite is Rise of the Tomb Raider (RoTR), developed by Crystal Dynamics, and the sequel to the popular Tomb Raider which was loved for its automated benchmark mode. But don’t let that fool you: the benchmark mode in RoTR is very much different this time around.

Visually, the previous Tomb Raider pushed realism to the limits with features such as TressFX, and the new RoTR goes one stage further when it comes to graphics fidelity. This leads to an interesting set of requirements in hardware: some sections of the game are typically GPU limited, whereas others with a lot of long-range physics can be CPU limited, depending on how the driver can translate the DirectX 12 workload.

Where the old game had one benchmark scene, the new game has three different scenes with different requirements: Geothermal Valley (1-Valley), Prophet’s Tomb (2-Prophet) and Spine of the Mountain (3-Mountain) - and we test all three. These are three scenes designed to be taken from the game, but it has been noted that scenes like 2-Prophet shown in the benchmark can be the most CPU limited elements of that entire level, and the scene shown is only a small portion of that level. Because of this, we report the results for each scene on each graphics card separately.

 

Graphics options for RoTR are similar to other games in this type, offering some presets or allowing the user to configure texture quality, anisotropic filter levels, shadow quality, soft shadows, occlusion, depth of field, tessellation, reflections, foliage, bloom, and features like PureHair which updates on TressFX in the previous game.

Again, we test at 1920x1080 and 4K using our native 4K displays. At 1080p we run the High preset, while at 4K we use the Medium preset which still takes a sizable hit in frame rate.

It is worth noting that RoTR is a little different to our other benchmarks in that it keeps its graphics settings in the registry rather than a standard ini file, and unlike the previous TR game the benchmark cannot be called from the command-line. Nonetheless we scripted around these issues to automate the benchmark four times and parse the results. From the frame time data, we report the averages, 99th percentiles, and our time under analysis.

For all our results, we show the average frame rate at 1080p first. Mouse over the other graphs underneath to see 99th percentile frame rates and 'Time Under' graphs, as well as results for other resolutions. All of our benchmark results can also be found in our benchmark engine, Bench.

#1 Geothermal Valley

MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G Performance


1080p

4K

ASUS GTX 1060 Strix 6GB Performance


1080p

4K

Sapphire R9 Fury 4GB Performance


1080p

4K

Sapphire RX 480 8GB Performance


1080p

4K

RoTR: Geothermal Valley Conclusions

If we were testing a single GTX 1080 at 1080p, you might think that the graph looks a little odd. All the quad-core, non HT processors (so, the Core i5s) get the best frame rates and percentiles on this specific test on this specific hardware by a good margin. The rest of the tests do not mirror that result though, with the results ping-ponging between Intel and AMD depending on the resolution and the graphics card.

#2 Prophet's Tomb 

MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G Performance


1080p

4K

ASUS GTX 1060 Strix 6GB Performance


1080p

4K

Sapphire R9 Fury 4GB Performance


1080p

4K

Sapphire RX 480 8GB Performance


1080p

4K

RoTR: Prophet's Tomb Conclusions

For Prophet's Tomb, we again see the Core i5s pull a win at 1080p using the GTX 1080, but the rest of the tests are a mix of results, some siding with AMD and others for Intel. There is the odd outlier in the Time Under analysis, which may warrant further inspection.

#3 Spine of the Mountain 

MSI GTX 1080 Gaming 8G Performance


1080p

4K

ASUS GTX 1060 Strix 6GB Performance


1080p

4K

Sapphire R9 Fury 4GB Performance


1080p

4K

Sapphire RX 480 8GB Performance


1080p

4K

RoTR: Spine of the Mountain Conclusions

Core i5, we're assigning you to run at 1080p with a GTX 1080. That's an order. The rest of you, stand easy.

Gaming Performance: Shadow of Mordor (1080p, 4K) Gaming Performance: Rocket League (1080p, 4K)
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  • YukaKun - Monday, July 24, 2017 - link

    Hat off to you, Mr Ian. A lot of good and interesting information there.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, July 24, 2017 - link

    Thanks :) This will hopefully become the new CPU testing standard for us. It's all scripted, making benchmarking relatively easy. Sourcing and writing are now the mentally consuming parts. Reply
  • YukaKun - Monday, July 24, 2017 - link

    That is nice to know. Will you write an article about the testing itself? Like detailing the process or something along those lines? It would be interesting to know about those little details, for sure!

    I'm sure you can glue together an article in no time! *wink wink*
    Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Monday, July 24, 2017 - link

    I've had one half-written about the new 2017 suite and an upcoming project for a couple of weeks. Need to get on it! Coffee time... Reply
  • Dr. Swag - Monday, July 24, 2017 - link

    Let's hope you won't be Lake to the party... Reply
  • Cellar Door - Monday, July 24, 2017 - link

    What is lake to the party is Intel - it is just so firetrucking sad how they refuse to give customers more for their money. HT should be enabled on all their chips, it is there on the physical chip.

    I will never buy another Intel cpu - what! You got a problem with that Intel?
    Reply
  • leexgx - Monday, July 24, 2017 - link

    Ryzen on some r3 cpus don't have SMT Reply
  • Lolimaster - Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - link

    With the corresponding price, Ryzen 1500X 4c/8t is 90% of the i7 7700 for half the price. Reply
  • Dr. Swag - Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - link

    "With the corresponding price, Ryzen 1500X 4c/8t is 90% of the i7 7700 for half the price."

    This is just incorrect. Ryzen ipc is around 90% of kaby/skylake, but the 7700k oces around 25% higher and also has around a 20% higher out of the box frequency.
    Reply
  • Diji1 - Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - link

    Uh oh, now they have to swear to never buy an AMD chip ever ever! Reply

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