Date: Sunday , September 23, 2018
Let’s start off with the brand-new game Shadow of the Tomb Raider released on September 14th. This game has received a patch since it was released, we are testing on the latest version v1.0 build 230.8_64. This game does support DX12, and we noted that upon launch the game defaulted to DX12 being turned on with our video cards. Therefore, we are going to run this game in the default DX12 API. We also have Exclusive Fullscreen enabled. It is very important to enable this so that lesser resolutions than your native display resolution run the game at the correct resolution. It also does improve performance to do so. If you think are not getting the performance you should enable Exclusive Fullscreen.
We have not had time to play the entire game through yet, our run-through today is going to comprise of the entire intro tutorial sequence and through the entire cut-scene in Cozumel. As we spend more time with the game, our run-through choice will likely change in the future. For now, this works, as it is actual gameplay we get to play and it seems the Cozumel scenes are some of the lowest points in performance which are included.
We do need to note that we encountered a crash with the ASUS ROG STRIX GeForce RTX 2080 video card when we first ran this game. We were playing through our run-through and then the game crashed and we got the message displayed above. We were running the game at 1440p, highest in-game settings and SMAA 4X enabled in DX12. We rebooted the system and tried the game again, and then it worked just fine. We did not encounter any crashes with the two Pascal GPUs.
We need to quickly go over the game settings so that you know what we used. This game supports several AA modes including: TAA, SMAA, SMAA T2X and SMAA 4X. When you select SMAA 4X a warning message pops up letting you know that this setting is very demanding. Below you will see we tested at both SMAA 4X and regular SMAA. In the second screenshot these are the highest settings in the game, and this is what we had enabled for all video cards.
In this graph above we are testing at what we found playable firstly on the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti video card at 1440p. The game was playable at the highest in-game settings with SMAA 4X enabled on the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti at 1440p. It did drop to around the mid to lower 40 FPS a few times, but the average was close to 60FPS. We then matched all the other video cards to this same setting to compare in apples-to-apples format.
The slower GeForce GTX 1080 suffered quite a bit at this quality setting at 1440p. The culprit here is SMAA 4X. Turning this down to SMAA makes the GTX 1080 playable. The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is exactly 30% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080.
The new ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 definitely performs faster than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti here and offers a better experience. It only drops into the lower 50 FPS at this setting and allows over a 60FPS level of gameplay at 1440p. The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 is almost 16% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The ASUS ROG STRIX 2080 is almost 51% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080.
The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti steals the show here, allowing an 80FPS average level of gameplay at 1440p. It in fact never drops below 60FPS while gaming, creating a very smooth experience.
The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti is 26% faster than the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080. The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti is 46% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.
To be thorough, we wanted to lower the SMAA level to just SMAA incase any of the GeForce GTX Pascal GPUs might have been bottlenecked, and just to give a difference perspective with lesser settings.
With the SMAA level lowered now every video card offers playable performance. Every video card is offering over 60FPS gameplay, even the GeForce GTX 1080. This for one shows how demanding SMAA 4X really is.
The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is still 30% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080.
The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 drops to being 13% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti at this lesser setting. This is a good example how lowering the game settings can negatively affect the advantage of the new RTX GPUs due to bottlenecks.
The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti drops to 25% faster than the ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080.
The ASUS ROG STRIX RTX 2080 Ti drops to 40% faster than the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, above it was 46% faster.
As you can see, bottlenecks do start to occur at lesser game settings at 1440p, meaning the RTX GPUs have less of an impact. This means we need GPU challenging games at 1440p to keep the advantages present for the RTX GPUs.