[ TPU ] RTX & DLSS in Shadow of Tomb Raider

Krteq

Senior member
May 22, 2015
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#2
Well, that's sad :(
 

Face2Face

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2001
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#3
DLSS image quality doesn't look bad at all. I'd consider enabling it if I needed more performance.

Also, W1zzard's thoughts on DLSS

DLSS, on the other hand, does very well in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. We see around 35% performance gained at 4K, which is quite significant and nearly offsets the performance hit from RTX. Image quality seems very decent. I am not sure if this due to good DLSS training data or because the art style of Shadow of the Tomb Raider tends to work better with DLSS. Of course, if you look at individual pixels and do side-by-side image comparisons, you'll always be able to make out areas where DLSS looks blurry. Personally, I find DLSS-on vs. DLSS-off really hard to tell apart, which made organizing my screenshots a bit difficult because the differences are small. Just like in previous versions of the tech, you are free to turn on either DLSS or RTX, or both, as suits your taste and performance requirements.
 

Mopetar

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2011
4,465
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#4
DLSS image quality doesn't look bad at all. I'd consider enabling it if I needed more performance.
I don't know to what extent I'd notice the difference while playing and moving around the environment, but there are a few of the images where it's a pretty stark difference and doesn't look anywhere near as good in the TPU review. The second image has a pretty noticeable affect and makes everything off in the background look over-saturated. The third one smears the metallic reflection and in the fourth image the clothing gets smeared.

Sure you need to turn it on in if you want to stay above 60 FPS, and I'd much rather have a smooth frame rate when it comes down to it, but the visual difference is there. And if the argument comes down to FPS, I'm not even sure that the RTX is worth it for this game and I don't think the developers put all that much effort into it judging by some of those screenshots. Again, I wouldn't want to judge it from just a still image without seeing game play footage, but I'm not sure how much that helps it here.
 

Face2Face

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2001
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#5
I'm with you on the DXR implementation. I don't see enough visual difference in this game to be convinced to enable it. You could enable the medium DXR option and only see a small impact to performance, but it's probably not worth it based on what I'm seeing.

It's nice to see that DLSS can be enabled independently from DXR, so if you want better frame rate with a slight visual sacrifice, you now have that option. I currently play Metro Exodus with DXR and DLSS enabled and while DLSS isn't perfect in that game, I still think it's worth enabling to be able to play at decent FPS with DXR enabled.
 

beginner99

Diamond Member
Jun 2, 2009
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#6
If i stare at still screens for 5 minutes and can only conclude they look a bit different but none seems better or worse, the clear choice is the higher FPS.
 
Oct 14, 2003
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#7
The DLSS enabled one looks blurry. I definitely notice that. I don't notice aliasing as anywhere near as much as I do blur. That's a total deal breaker.

It would have been nice to see RTX on medium rather than Ultra. Medium has a 5% performance hit compared to having it off, and that's acceptable.

Here's a sentence from their conclusion I very much agree on:
However, given the game makes great use of shadow maps already (when RTX is off), the increase in quality ends up looking more like an additional shadow quality setting instead of a game-transforming experience.
Ray Tracing is a technological breakthrough, however we're really into the diminishing returns phase of graphical fidelity versus performance. So in practice, Ray Tracing is nowhere significant as hardware T&L was, or programmable shaders.
 

Thala

Senior member
Nov 12, 2014
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#8
Ray Tracing is a technological breakthrough, however we're really into the diminishing returns phase of graphical fidelity versus performance. So in practice, Ray Tracing is nowhere significant as hardware T&L was, or programmable shaders.
If we just looking at raytraced shadows i could certainly agree to this, but using Raytracing for GI is a game changer imo. Just looking at Metro Exodus it looks like a generational leap in lighting quality. And while Metro Exodus looks ok without raytracing i am disgusted by its artificial illumination - it was an eye opener once I turned on ray-tracing.
 
Oct 14, 2003
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#9
If we just looking at raytraced shadows i could certainly agree to this, but using Raytracing for GI is a game changer imo.
Is it really?

I like Ray Tracing too. It's DLSS that needs to be thrown into a fire.

About graphics, I remember many years ago talking about it when a friend said it doesn't really matter. It's really about gameplay and having fun. Battlefield V and Shadow of the Tomb Raider were said to be less than their predecessors in those terms. It's interesting because the two games feature cutting edge graphics.

Developers have finite resources and time. If Ray Tracing allows parts of the game(illumination and shadows) to be developed easier and/or faster then its a forward looking technology which might result in future games being overall better.
 

Guru

Senior member
May 5, 2017
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#10
Seems to me RTX ON actually makes the environments look worse, as there is clear lack of directed lights, where there should be, so the environments looks very dark.

DLSS is not as bad as in some other implementations, but it does blur and darken the contrast. It seems to me like a 10-15% worse quality, and about 15% increase in performance.

I'd personally just lower shadow details or sub scattering and similar effects a tad to get better performance, with no sacrifice to texture and graphical fidelity, rather than have an overall blurrier graphics.
 
Nov 16, 2006
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#11
Judging purely on the screenshots, nothing about RTX, Ray Tracing or DLSS, make the game look better and in fact both appear to blur the heck out on environments (even RT, which should technically only change shadows).

It's a little confusing given Wizzard's glowing review of DLSS in this game when my eyes show something completely different in the provided screens.

At least there was a clear improvement in Metro post patch, even in still images, but this is something else.

Also pretty late in the game's lifecycle for a patch of this nature all the early adopters and fans of the series have likely completed the game, more than once for some, by now.

If you think of it as a RTX patch for the bargain bin crowd, it makes sense :p!
 
Oct 14, 2003
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#12
Judging purely on the screenshots, nothing about RTX, Ray Tracing or DLSS, make the game look better and in fact both appear to blur the heck out on environments (even RT, which should technically only change shadows).
With DLSS I can clearly see the blurring, and initially I thought Ray Tracing did that too.

Then I zoomed in.

DLSS is still a blur filter, but it may be the image compression the site uses that makes things not clear. RTX On seems ok when you zoom in.

I think most of the anger directed towards RTX cards are due to pricing, and everything else resulted from that. If 2080 Ti was a 30% faster card at $749($50 increase from 1080 Ti), then the reception would have been a lot different.
 
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Dribble

Golden Member
Aug 9, 2005
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#14
From what I can see both RTX and DLSS are working fine in this game.
 

Stuka87

Diamond Member
Dec 10, 2010
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#15
I think it looks better with RTX on. The rasterized shadows are fine, but they are unrealistically hard. Like they was an ultra bright spot light behind all the leaves and the leaves were 1ft off the ground. No way is it worth such a giant performance hit, but it does look better.


DLSS image quality doesn't look bad at all. I'd consider enabling it if I needed more performance.

Also, W1zzard's thoughts on DLSS

DLSS, on the other hand, does very well in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. We see around 35% performance gained at 4K, which is quite significant and nearly offsets the performance hit from RTX.
The issue is that soon as you turn DLSS on, you are no longer AT 4K. You are at 1440P. And thus far, all the testing has shown that just setting the game settings to render at 1440 results in better performance and better visuals.
 

coercitiv

Diamond Member
Jan 24, 2014
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#16
And thus far, all the testing has shown that just setting the game settings to render at 1440 results in better performance and better visuals.
Internal game rendering needs to be set higher than 1440p, more or less closer to 1700-1800p, to match 4K DLSS. However, the point still stands, there is a lower render resolution that offers equivalent IQ for similar performance gains.
 

joesiv

Junior Member
Mar 21, 2019
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#17
That"s due to TPU poor choice of screenshots, here are some from NVIDIA's website:









https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/news/shadow-of-the-tomb-raider-nvidia-rtx-update-out-now/
I think the odd thing with the "RTX on" images is the shadows are completely unrealistic. In all cases the shadows seem to be casting from a single main light source, not the multiple light sources that are actually in the scene.

The first image is a solid single shadow behind the wood structure on the wall, but there are flames all over which apparently are giving the light.

The second image there are two main lights, the headlights of the vehicle lighting the scene, you'd expect two distinct shadows being cast from Lara at slightly different angles

The third image, there is a single shadow behind the statue, yet the scene would make you think that the candles are what are lighting up the scene, and there are many. It's almost like the non-RTX is more realistic, since the many candles would have drastic light falloff, but give a more volumetric light rather than a spot light....
 

Muhammed

Senior member
Jul 8, 2009
391
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#18
I think the odd thing with the "RTX on" images is the shadows are completely unrealistic. In all cases the shadows seem to be casting from a single main light source, not the multiple light sources that are actually in the scene.
They are better than not having shadows at all. With RTX off screens many shadows are missing when they should be present.
 

joesiv

Junior Member
Mar 21, 2019
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#19
They are better than not having shadows at all. With RTX off screens many shadows are missing when they should be present.
I have nothing against shadows! I just wish for the performance hit, it would "just work" lol

The elephant in the room for me is, what would the performance hit be if a game enabled all the features, shadows, reflections and AO. Seems each of the launch window games only chose one of the implementations, perhaps for performance reasons. And even then, both the shadows example (tomb raider) and reflections example (battlefield), show that it doesn't "just work", there is lots of trickery going such as mixing traditional rasterized techniques.

I love the idea of a future where we'd have ray traced lighting full stop, and it would "just work", it doesn't seem like what we got now is that though.

Perhaps part of the problem is the shoe horning going on with implementing raytracing overtop of rendering engines and art assets that weren't designed for it.
 

Hitman928

Golden Member
Apr 15, 2012
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#21
I've read a couple places online that in Tomb Raider, when you turn RTX on they increase the LOD aggressiveness as well as reduce the number of background objects (I'm guessing for outdoor scenes) to help with performance. I haven't seen any confirmation of this but if true, it could explain why some people have expressed that just turning on ray tracing has a negative impact on IQ in some scenes.
 

Mopetar

Diamond Member
Jan 31, 2011
4,465
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#22
I think the odd thing with the "RTX on" images is the shadows are completely unrealistic. In all cases the shadows seem to be casting from a single main light source, not the multiple light sources that are actually in the scene.
Even with ray tracing providing the opportunity for better shadows, there's simply nowhere near enough computational power to handle an environment with that many different light sources. Getting completely realistic shadows requires way more horsepower or limiting the type of environment to something a lot more simple. There are some cases where ray tracing really improves the visual quality, but I think it's something that would be best used in limited instances where the quality does see a massive jump. Otherwise the average results aren't spectacular and certainly not for the performance hit that they convey.


hey this is the first game that uses DLSS without ray tracing. A 2060 with DLSS is as fast as a 2070.
Image quality is good too.
You can get similar results with any other cards and resolution scaling, so I'm not sure what the big deal is in this case.
 

Muhammed

Senior member
Jul 8, 2009
391
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#23
I've read a couple places online that in Tomb Raider, when you turn RTX on they increase the LOD aggressiveness as well as reduce the number of background objects (I'm guessing for outdoor scenes) to help with performance. I haven't seen any confirmation of this but if true, it could explain why some people have expressed that just turning on ray tracing has a negative impact on IQ in some scenes.
That's not true, check HardwareUnboxed analysis of the tech
 
Aug 14, 2000
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#24
DLSS image quality doesn't look bad at all. I'd consider enabling it if I needed more performance.
Why? 80% upscaling runs as fast, doesn't blur the image, and works in any game. At every API and resolution, and on every graphics card.

I've read a couple places online that in Tomb Raider, when you turn RTX on they increase the LOD aggressiveness as well as reduce the number of background objects (I'm guessing for outdoor scenes) to help with performance.
I saw this mentioned as well but I'll hold off passing judgement until I see some hard evidence.
 
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Face2Face

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2001
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#25
Why? 80% upscaling runs as fast, doesn't blur the image, and works in any game. At every API and resolution, and on every graphics card.
I can only speak to Metro Exodus, but 80% scale is noticeably worse looking compared to DLSS enabled at a native 1440p. The biggest issue I have with it, is the way fire effects are displayed. They are very pixelated looking compared to when it’s disabled. Other than that, I have no complaints.
 

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