Early RTX Shadow of the Tomb Raider performance disappointing on RTX 2080 Ti

Early RTX Shadow of the Tomb Raider disappointing on RTX 2080 Ti

Early RTX Shadow of the Tomb Raider performance disappointing on RTX 2080 Ti

At the official reveal of Nvidia’s RTX 20 series of graphics cards, the company boasted about the ray tracing performance of their graphics cards, referencing new performance metrics like Gigarays while showcasing impressive demos that showcases realistic shadows, reflections and more.  

At GDC 2018, both PCGAMESN and PCHardware.de have reported disappointing performance when playing the game using Nvidia’s $1000 RTX 2080 Ti. When playing at a full HD resolution, 1080p, the game was able to dip to as low as 33FPS, an astonishingly low-performance figure for such an incredibly expensive graphics card.

Now, before everyone starts sharpening their pitchforks, it is unknown what kind of performance is offered by Shadow of the Tomb Raider without Ray Tracing elements, making it unclear how taxing Ray Tracing is in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. It is also worth noting that Rise of the Tomb Raider also dipped below 60FPS at 1080p on PC when using flagship-level graphics cards of that era (Original Performance Review here). The PC versions of Tomb Raider has a lot of extra bells and whistles besides Ray Tracing on PC.    

Other factors would also be coming into play here, like the game’s use of pre-release drivers on a pre-release graphics card on a pre-release game as well as the fact that Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s RTX implementation hasn’t fully matured yet. Remember that the feature is releasing in a post-launch game patch, which means that the function is far from being launch ready. 

Every iteration of the modern Tomb Raider series has been a challenge to PC hardware, with Shadow of the Tomb Raider proving to be no different. While in many ways it is disappointing to see the mightly RTX 2080 Ti receive a sub-60FPS threshing at 1080p, there are enough caveats that suggest that the problem here may be more than just Ray Tracing. 

While real-time ray tracing is an impressive feat, albeit in a mixed Rasterisation Ray Tracing scenario, there are too many unknowns to blame Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s performance on its use of Ray Tracing alone. Ray Tracing is an expensive technique computationally, but it must be remembered that most big-budget AAA games already make use of many costly graphical effects. We will no doubt learn more about the performance impact of RTX technologies in time, but for now, there are too many variables at play to blame raytracing alone on the RTX 2080 Ti’s performance here. 

You can join the discussion on the RTX 2080 Ti’s disappointing performance in Shadow of the Tomb Raider on the OC3D Forums.