Rise Of The Tomb Raider PC Gameplay And Performance: A Graphics Stunner

Getting to Know Rise Of The Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider has hit the PC lining it up in our gun sights for graphics, gameplay and performance analysis. The game launched on the Xbox family of consoles a few months back and has since been ported to PC thanks to NIXXES Software. It’s a competent console to PC port updated with many graphics settings and effects to tweak and dial to your particular tastes and system capabilities. Some of the rendering and effects features include, Ambient Occlusion, Depth of Field, Dynamic Foliage, Bloom shader effects, Tessellation and several more. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's give you some backdrop on the Tomb Raider series. 

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Rise of the Tomb Raider is the sequel for the 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise. The reboot took protagonist Lara Croft back to her explorative “tomb raiding” roots in a prequel-style origin story, while greatly updating and enhancing the series with new gameplay and combat mechanics. The game engine was as impressive on the eyes as it was intensive on even high-end PC systems. This year’s sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider continues with much of this. That said, there are some key technical differences, with a new game engine and a slightly more open-world setting, which significantly expands the scope of gameplay and the overall experience.

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The system-stressing nature of the previous game made it a popular benchmark among PC enthusiasts and only recently had it began showing its age with more capable current generation GPUs from AMD and NVIDIA. The engine used TressFx, an AMD software library used for lifelike rendering—primarily and most notably seen in the detailed physics and rendering of Lara’s hair. Shifting gears a bit with the current game, the developers have paved their own way—again working with AMD, but this time to create the "PureHair" rendering method from AMD’s TressFx 3.0 engine. The result is a more evenly balanced performance between AMD and NVIDIA-based graphics cards, where TressFx on the previous game favored AMD hardware.

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HotHardware Rise Of The Tomb Raider Test Setup: 

Armed with GPUs from both camps, though admittedly short on AMD options currently in certain my test lab, we'll give you a look at performance on an Intel Core i7-6700K-based system, built around our Gigabyte Z170X-UD5 Ultra Durable motherboard, equipped with a 16GB kit of Corsair Vengeance 2666MHz DDR4 memory. We’re running Windows 10 on this system and it was installed on a 256GB Corsair Neutron Series XT SSD, with the game files installed on a Seagate Plus 200GB SSD.
HotHardware Test System
First we'll cover the gameplay aspects and the experience, then we'll look at visuals and finally we'll wrap with a few benchmark numbers. Onward... 

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