Lara's latest globe-trotting jaunt is here. And, as if you were ever in any doubt, Rise of the Tomb Raider is an absolute stunner to look at. As in, one of the best looking games we've laid eyes on. You'd be hard-pressed to guess this beauty had originally sprung up as an Xbox One exclusive. From top to bottom, including the glorious environments and jaw-dropping lighting, Rise of the Tomb Raider is a looker.
Such things inevitably come at a cost however, and the recommend graphics card for 1080p gaming is a not inconsiderable GTX 970. That's for a rock-solid 60FPS at High, for point of reference. So what then, would a significantly weaker GPU make of Rise of the Tomb Raider? For these benchmarks we'll be testing the trusty GeForce GTX 750 Ti, a two-year-old graphics card available for less than £100.
The specific graphics card in question is a Palit GTX 750 Ti StormX OC, backed up by an AMD FX-4100 CPU and 4GB RAM. In terms of the minimum requirements for Rise of the Tomb Raider, this is right around there. The FX-4100 is the minimum CPU, while the GTX 750 Ti slightly eclipses the GTX 650 cited, and this particular rig suffers from a shortage of memory, dropping short of the 6GB minimum.
Rise of the Tomb Raider Very Low / Very High Comparison Screens
You can check out our first PC benchmark video here Rise Of The Tomb Raider PC Very Low Vs Very High Graphics Benchmark Video
First of all, here's a look at just what the difference is between Low and Very High graphics presets in Rise of the Tomb Raider. These pictures were taken with a GTX 950, so don't have a bearing of the 750 Ti's performance.
The difference, to my eye, is absolutely enormous, and it looks even more so during actual gameplay. If you so wish you can get Rise of the Tomb Raider to look positively ugly, which could prove handy if you're skirting below the minimum specs. That said, you really will be missing out on much of the spectacle that makes Rise of the Tomb Raider such a joy to play. I'm talking those massive mountaintop climbs, sprawling sights, and crumbling tombs. Practically all of the incidental and immersion building details are wiped away at the lowest setting.
Rise of the Tomb Raider GTX 750 Ti Benchmarks
Onto the benchmarks then, and as per usual these are taken using average frame rates from a round of gameplay. We'll be benching it at 720p, 900p, and 1080p resolution, across the Very Low, Low, Medium, High and Very High graphics presets in Rise of the Tomb Raider.
Rise of the Tomb Raider Benchmarked at 720p, 900p, And 1080p With A GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 4GB RAM And AMD FX-4100 - Average Frame Rate
The results are pretty much in line with what we were hoping for, and you can see the GeForce GTX 750 ti performs well considering its admittedly limited grunt. What you can see is that there isn't a gigantic swing in frame rates from Very Low to Very High - in fact Very High knocks less than half the FPS off, which is quite unusual. Instead we see it's resolution have a greater impact. The GTX 750 Ti begins to struggle at 1080p, and it's the only resolution at which there's any gameplay impacting frame rate dips.
In terms of that frame rate, those benchmarks Nvidia released the other day ring true in that Rise of the Tomb Raider runs at a very steady clip. Even at the lower frame rates there is little to no stuttering, maintaining a steady frame time. That's great news if you're hoping to play at a locked 30 or 60, and you can get a good idea fairly quickly whether you're going to experience frame rate dips at a particular setting.
At the highest settings there were dips across most resolutions just before and just after cut-scenes, as the new textures and other assorted info is loaded in. From the looks of it when examining CPU and memory usage, that's a result of the 4GB RAM limit being capped out.
Visually, and I don't often say this, I would side with a higher graphics preset over a higher resolution; if you are struggling with Rise of the Tomb Raider's frame rate. Very Low and Low frankly don't look very good, so I'd suggest Medium at the least. I would take Medium / 720p over Very Low / 1080p in this particular circumstance.
Rise of the Tomb Raider CPU and Memory Usage
As I said early, Rise of the Tomb Raider comfortably gobbles up 4GB RAM, and it can have a noticeable impact on performance. In particular, before and after cut-scenes. The simple answer here is to make sure you have 6GB RAM. It's a relatively cheap upgrade and we're finding more often than not with the big games that 4GB just doesn't cut it any more.
That's it for now, but keep your eyes out for our full review soon.