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Thread: Rise of the Tomb Raider - PC Performance Tuning Guide

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    Rise of the Tomb Raider - PC Performance Tuning Guide

    With Rise of the Tomb Raider our goal has been to provide you with a very scalable experience with a major gap between minimum requirements, recommended requirements, and optional features that you can turn on if you have really powerful hardware.

    Tuning it best for your hardware can involve tuning a lot of settings though, and we would like to help you ensure the best performance on your hardware.

    First of all, please keep in mind our targets with minimum and recommended specs. At minimum spec, which is a GTX 650 2GB, paired with an i3-2100, we aim to give you an average of 30 fps, at 1280*720 resolution, but this is at the lowest quality preset. At recommended spec, which is a GTX 970 4GB, paired with an i7-3770K, our target is to offer you 60fps average at 1080p, but at the High quality preset. The High quality preset gives you graphics quality well above what can be seen on other platforms, featuring improved SSAO, displacement mapped tessellation throughout the game, and plenty of anisotropic filtering.

    We also offer a Very High preset aimed at users well above recommended spec or those who wish to trade framerate for image quality. When at or close to recommended spec, even if you cannot use the Very High preset entirely, please experiment with individual settings at their highest quality, and see what settings work best for you!


    The first Options screen to check should always be the Display options.
    Resolution: Higher resolutions can cost a lot of GPU power, and performance will often scale proportionally to the resolution. Especially close to minimum spec it may be worth it to run at a lower resolution while maintaining a higher graphics quality level.

    Another option available in the Display menu is the anti-aliasing setting. We offer two very affordable AA methods, FXAA and SMAA. SMAA is somewhat more expensive, but can result in a sharper image compared to FXAA. We also offer two very high-end AA modes, SSAA2x and SSAA4x. Note that using these has a similar performance impact as doubling or quadrupling the resolution, so only use these when you have plenty of hardware power available relative to the resolution you are running at (for example with SLI).

    Both of the options in the display menu only impact the GPU performance, not the CPU performance. If you are CPU bottlenecked reducing any of the settings here will not help you.


    The graphics menu has the largest number of options, and the performance of each individual one is limited, but all turned up together can severely impact frame rate when the hardware is not up to the task.

    There are simply suggestions for different quality levels, feel free to use them, but for the best experience tuned to your personal preference, please tune the other options below and have this be Custom.

    Texture Quality
    This alters the resolution of textures used in the game. This primarily impacts GPU memory pressure. If this is set too high the game may start stuttering and slowing down. It does not impact performance on the GPU or the CPU much otherwise. We recommend it at High for 4GB cards.

    Anisotropic Filter
    This is an all-time PC gaming classic. Turn it up for sharper textures at an angle. We feel that the moderate amount of 4X gives very good results. Altering only impacts GPU performance.

    Shadow Quality
    This setting impacts the resolution of shadows rendered throughout the game. At high settings shadows become crisp and lose pixelated artifacts. At lower settings they are chunkier, and stop rendering entirely in the distance. Turning shadows off entirely can significantly help the CPU performance of the game, but at a heavy visual cost. Higher settings are primarily expensive for the GPU.

    Sun Soft Shadows
    Settings this to higher quality levels creates softer looking shadows as cast by the sun outside, accomplished by using larger filter kernels. This only impacts GPU performance.

    Ambient Occlusion
    This toggles on and between different ambient occlusion algorithms. At the highest level this offers HBAO+ by NVIDIA. This only impacts GPU performance.

    Depth of Field
    Depth of Field can blur areas on screen that are out of focus, typically when far away. At the highest quality level items near the camera will also appear blurred. This only impacts GPU performance.

    Level of Detail
    This influences the detail level of rendered meshes, and the distance at which they disappear entirely or may stop casting shadows. Lower settings can significantly help CPU performance due to it having to process fewer objects. GPU performance is also impacted.

    Turning this option on increases the geometric detail on selected meshes throughout the game by tessellating and displacement mapping them. Detail of shadow casting meshes is also increased. This option impacts GPU performance, and to a lesser extend CPU performance.

    Screen Space Reflections
    When this option is turned on dynamic reflections are calculated based on other items visible on the screen. This only impacts GPU performance.

    Dynamic Foliage
    At higher settings more dynamically generated foliage is present, and foliage meshes start reacting to Lara. This impacts both GPU and CPU performance.

    When turned on bright spots on the screen will bleed out, adding to the illusion of bright light. This only impacts GPU performance.

    Vignette Blur
    When turned on the edges of the screen can sometimes get blurred for cinematic effect. This only impacts GPU performance.

    Motion Blur
    Fast camera and object motion will appear smoother. This only impacts GPU performance.

    Pure Hair
    This impacts the quality of Lara's hair. When turned off simpler polygonal hair is used. At the highest quality level the cinematic quality hair is active throughout the entire game.

    Lens Flares
    When turned on bright lights can create halo effects on the screen as they would with a camera. This has a limited impact on performance, but the option is there so people who dislike this effect can turn it off.

    Screen Effects
    When turned on effects like dirt, blood, water, and other effects can be seen on the camera. Film grain will also be present. This has a limited impact on performance but the option is there for people to turn off if they dislike such effects

    Note that if your system runs on an NVidia GPU that you can also refer to their special Rise of the Tomb Raider guide, found here:
    Last edited by NixxesSoftware; 28th Jan 2016 at 15:13.

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