Shadow of the Tomb Raider PC Performance Review

Core Scaling - DX11 VS DX12 - How many cores should Tomb Raider players have?

Shadow of the Tomb Raider PC Performance Review

Core Scaling - DX11 VS DX12 - How many cores should Tomb Raider players have?

DX11 VS DX12

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a game that showcased the problems associated with in-game benchmarking tools, as they often work on testing a system's graphics card, not the game's CPU configuration. 

This annoyance left us in a position where we found CPU-related slowdowns in-game that never appeared within the game's benchmark, but thankfully they only seem to manifest within hub areas like Kuwaq Yaku or the "Hidden City".  

To kickstart our CPU performance testing, we decided to compare the performance of Shadow of the Tomb Raider under DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 using our i7 6850K at several different core counts. Here we found a larger performance difference than what appears within the game's integrated benchmarking tool. 

While running though Kuwaq Yaku, we find that the game's DirectX 11 version is heavily single-thread limited, while the game's DirectX 12 version loves to use additional cores/threads, with 4 cores/8 threads or more proving to be optimal in the game's demanding hub areas. It is worth noting that these performance dips present themselves as instantaneous stutters, likely due to the lading of new game assets. 

CPU utilisation decreases significantly when moving into other, less populated, areas within Tomb Raider, making dual-core and quad-core processor much more usable. Even so, we recommend that PC players of Shadow of the Tomb Raider use processors with at least four strong CPU cores.  

Similar drops can be seen in other hub areas like the "hidden city". DX12 offers PC gamers increased CPU parallelisation, enabling improved performance on both Radeon and Geforce graphics hardware. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider PC Performance Review  
  
AMD Ryzen VS Intel

We repeated the same testing using DirectX 12 on our 4GHz Ryzen 7 1700X, where we found that Shadow of the Tomb Raider was able to utilise all sixteen threads within the processor, showcasing how parallelised Shadow of the Tomb Raider can be. 

When comparing equal core/thread counts between our Ryzen and Intel Broadwell-E systems, we can see that Intel offers a clear performance advantage, though these performance differences minimise once we start using processors with six cores or over. 

Like we have seen in many other modern titles, it is becoming clear that the era of dual cores is coming to an end in the PC gaming market. Yes, in Shadow of the Tomb Raider we can see 30+ FPS gameplay outside of most hub areas, but higher core count CPUs offer us a better gameplay experience throughout the game. There is a reason why Square Enix recommends AMD's Ryzen 5 1600 6-core processor. 
 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider PC Performance Review  

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Most Recent Comments

20-09-2018, 10:12:01

AlienALX
Wot no 1080Ti? was that deliberate?

I hear this game is pretty dull. Just more of the same.Quote

20-09-2018, 10:28:14

fadingfool
Just use the 2080 FE chart - from what I've seen in all the reviews there's about a 1% difference between a 1080Ti and 2080 FE at 1440p Quote

20-09-2018, 13:22:37

NeverBackDown
Pretty impressive DX12 implementation. Nice review fellaQuote

20-09-2018, 15:29:30

kdawgmaster
Can you guys seriously start including GTX 1080 ti's into your benchmarks. The more you dont the more you become an unreliable source more so considering new cards are out.Quote

20-09-2018, 18:52:29

NeverBackDown
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdawgmaster View Post
Can you guys seriously start including GTX 1080 ti's into your benchmarks. The more you dont the more you become an unreliable source more so considering new cards are out.
That's just a stupid statement. Facts are facts and results speak for themselves. Can't include everything. Besides that he doesn't have a 1080ti to test.

Anyway.. It's nigh on identitical to a 2080. Effectively just replace the name and boom you're done. Not that difficult.Quote
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