User Review

8.22
8.5

Square Enix launched Shadow of the Tomb Raider over the weekend. The concluding part of the Tomb Raider 'Origins' trilogy, it's also the first Tomb Raider game to be developed by Eidos Montreal, of Deus Ex fame. Port house Nixxes is once again handling the PC version of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, but just how well does this notoriously demanding series transition to PC? We've benchmark SotTR to find out just that. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider System Requirements

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Minimum System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 7 64 bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-3220 or AMD FX 4300
  • RAM: 8 GB System Memory
  • GPU RAM: 2GB Video Memory
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 660 / GeForce GTX 1050 or Radeon HD 7770 / Radeon R9 380
  • DX: DirectX 11
  • HD: 40GB

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Recommended System Requirements

  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-4770K 3.4GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1600 3.2GHz
  • RAM: 16 GB System Memory
  • GPU RAM: 6GB Video Memory
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB or AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB
  • DX: DirectX 12
  • HD: 40GB

Shadow of the Tomb Raider benchmarks and frames per second analysis performed on GeForce GTX 1060 6GB | Intel i7-5820K | 16GB DDR4

For these benchmarks, we ran the Shadow of the Tomb Raider in-game benchmark while using MSI's GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G, equipped with 6GB video memory. It’s backed up by 16GB DDR4 memory and an Intel Core i7-5820K CPU. This system is slightly more powerful than the recommended specs, so the expectation is of decent performance.

We also played an hour or so of gameplay, flitting between the settings to get a feel for in-game performance. In-game, Shadow of the Tomb Raider's frame rate can fluctuate wildly from area to area, although the average FPS is pretty much in line with th benchmark tool.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider DirectX 11 Performance

 

  1080p 1440p 4K
Very Low 90 66 35
Low 78 56 30
Medium 61 44 24
High 58 40 22
Ultra 52 37 19

 Compared to 2016's Rise of the Tomb Raider, we're seeing really very similar performance results with Shadow of the Tomb Raider. This is unsurprising when seeing how alike the system requirements were for Rise and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Overall, we're looking at about a 10% drop in performance in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, give or take.

To that end, the usually reliable GeForce GTX 1060 6GB is being given a real workout, even at 1080p. While 60fps is achievable at Medium/1080p with DirectX 11 enabled, locking SotTR at 60fps with no dips requires dropping all the way to Low. This isn't fantastic, to say the least. Fortunately, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is still perfectly playable on Ultra, although the ideal balance is struck on 1080p/High. Just be prepared for performance dips during the most demanding areas in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. 

Anything above 1080p and the GTX 1060 really does run into trouble though. While a locked 30fps on 1440p/Ultra is feasible, Shadow feels sludgy, especially if you're using a mouse for camera control. If you do have a high-resolution monitor then decent frame rates can be achieved in Shadow of the Tomb Raider provided you drop the graphics settings right down, although the visuals take an incredible hit at Medium and below. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider DirectX 12 Performance

  1080p 1440p 4K
Very Low 101 65 33
Low 87 56 30
Medium 68 43 24
High 65 39 22
Ultra 56 36 18

 Rise of the Tomb Raider arrived at a time when DirectX 12 was in its absolute infancy. It was one of the first games to support the graphics API and it showed. When the DX12 update first dropped, DirectX 11 performance was far, far faster than DirectX 12. Here in Shadow of the Tomb Raider though, DirectX 12 delivers far more suitable performance. Figures are fairly in line with the DirectX 11 benchmarks, although more on how they compare later.

If we compare this to our Shadow of the Tomb Raider 1080p Ultra Setting Frame Rate Prediction Analysis we can see the results are pretty much in line with what we'd expected.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider DirectX 11 vs DirectX 12 Performance

We know the dilemma. You boot up Shadow of the Tomb Raider for the first and you're immediately presented with the question of whether you want to use DX11 or DX12. While both look the same visually, this can have a noticeable impact on frame rates, as we saw in our Battlefield V benchmarks. If you're picking up SotTR on PC and want to know whether to enable DirectX 12, the DX11 vs DX12 Shadow of the Tomb Raider performance benchmarks below should help with your decision.

 

  1080p DX11 1080p DX12 1440p DX11 1440p DX12 4K DX11 4K DX12
Very Low 90 101 66 65 35 33
Low 78 87 56 56 30 30
Medium 61 68 44 43 24 24
High 58 65 40 39 22 22
Ultra 52 56 37 36 19 18

Here we see that Shadow of the Tomb Raider's performance is pretty comparable across both DirectX 11 and DirectX 12. However, at lower resolutions in perhaps more CPU-limited scenarios, DX12 performance pushes ahead of DX11 in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. It's not significant either, running 10-15% faster with DirectX 12 enabled. This can be the difference between a steady 60fps with DX12 or regular dips down to the low 50's with DX11. If you have Windows 10 you should certainly enable DirectX 12 mode in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

That's it for now but we've got more Shadow of the Tomb Raider performance benchmarks in the pipeline, including Low vs Ultra and our Most Important Graphics Settings Analysis.