RTX and DLSS in Shadow of the Tomb Raider 84

RTX and DLSS in Shadow of the Tomb Raider

RTX Graphics Comparison »


Shadow of the Tomb Raider was released in September 2018. It's the latest title in the epic game series that revolves around the adventures of archaeologist extraordinaire Lara Croft. Her latest journey takes you to the jungles of Central America, where she explores what the Maya apocalypse is all about and fights the evil Trinity organization in the process.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider was one of the initial titles NVIDIA used to market their RTX raytracing technology back in fall last year. Only today are we seeing the addition of these long-expected features... took them quite some time.

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, RTX raytracing is enabled only for shadows—not lighting, not reflections. This makes the game another showcase for the endless possibilities of raytracing technology. First, we saw raytraced reflections in Battlefield V, then global illumination (lighting & shadows) in Metro Exodus, and today, raytraced shadows in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Eidos has also added support for NVIDIA DLSS, which is an artificial-intelligence-based image upscaling and sharpening technology that promises higher frame rates with minimal image quality loss.

In this article, we'll take a close look at image quality with RTX and DLSS, and also extensively test the game's raytracing performance using the complete NVIDIA GeForce RTX lineup.

RTX can be enabled in the settings menu of Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Besides "off", there are three settings for RTX:
  • Medium: Enables shadows for selected point lights only.
  • High: Enables additional spot and directional lights, including the sun, replacing traditional shadow maps.
  • Ultra: Improves on this by adding translucent shadows and additional rays for a higher quality result at a significant performance cost.

DLSS can be enabled in the monitor settings menu. You are free to only turn on DLSS or RTX—the settings are completely independent.

While my screenshot suggests that you can enable DLSS with 2560x1600, this isn't really the case. In reality, the game just has two resolutions that support DLSS: 2560x1440 and 3840x2160. If you pick any other resolution from the list, the screen mode will be set the closest of the two—either 2560x1440 or 3840x2160—and the game will be rendered in the middle of the screen, with centered timings (= black bars on all sides).
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