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Tomb Raider tested on R7 370 4G and HD 7970

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It was a nice surprise to see Tomb Raider officially supporting AMD hardware. Of course, the level of that support now has to be tested, so let's run some benchmarks!

Thanks to Pepster from our IRC channel, I also managed to get results from his hardware, so we have an additional card to show results from. My computer is an i5-2500K@3.3 GHz, 8 GB of 1333 MHz RAM and the R7 370 4G. Pepster's rig has an i7-5830K and a HD7970. My rig runs Xubuntu 16.04 and thus uses Mesa 11.2 as stated in the official requirements for the game. Pepster used a bleeding edge Mesa from git on his Manjaro 15.12 installation.

Before we go into the benchmarks I'd like to remind you that the official benchmark is not fully representative of the actual performance you will see in-game, so don't entirely rely on these numbers to determine level of playability.

We tested on all of the available graphics presets from Low to Ultra. TressFX was not supported on my installation and it was not behaving correctly on Pepster's rig, so it was disabled for these benchmarks. Worth noting is also that Pepster had to leave his Depth of Field to Normal during the benchmark on Ultra to work around a lighting bug. This problem was not present on my rig, so it's likely a bug somewhere in the bleeding edge driver suite.

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As you can see, the results look quite positive and these GPUs managed to keep a smooth framerate all the way to High, with Ultra becoming more of a cinematic experience on the R7 370. Once again I'd like to remind you that these benchmark numbers do not fully reflect the actual gameplay experience.

I did also play the game for a little over an hour on Normal graphics setting and I was pleased with the experience. The framerate seemed to mostly stay around 40-60 FPS, sometimes going well over 60 and other times dropping down to the 30s. Some areas of the game do seem more demanding though and particularly when there was loads of fire everywhere the framerate started creeping down towards 30. More of an annoyance was the stuttering during asset loading/streaming. When new areas were loaded in, the game would stutter for a couple of seconds, practically stopping the flow of the gameplay until the new assets were properly loaded. So far this hasn't happened during a critical moment but it's annoying nonetheless.

I haven't made it too far into the game but so far the gameplay experience seems quite acceptable on the R7 370. Based on the performance I've been getting I probably wouldn't take the game any higher than Normal settings but the game also doesn't need to look like total crap to make it run at a playable framerate. What I've seen so far is not perfect of course, but very good nonetheless and it's definitely nice to see the open source AMD drivers making it to the system requirements.

Once again, thanks to Pepster for giving me some benchmark data! Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: AMD, Benchmark
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I'm a Linux gamer from Finland. I like reading, long walks on the beach, dying repeatedly in roguelikes and ripping and tearing in FPS games. I also sometimes write code and sometimes that includes hobbyist game development.
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BTRE 27 Apr, 2016
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Yeah, I disabled depth of field and a few other things and getting higher numbers on utlra with my 7870 running on mesa and llvm git. There's a few dips when transitioning from cutscenes for some reason but performance is always at least 30 fps, averaging around the above results. Played for about an hour as well. Might tweak some settings or knock down textures to high since I couldn't see that big of a difference but, so far, so good. Feral definitely showed us Mesa users some love. I hope performance doesn't tank later on in the game in the snowy areas.
theRealPadster 28 Apr, 2016
It was always known for being very well-optimised. The sad thing is, running the same settings on Windows and Linux I get maybe 65-75% of the performance on Linux. :/
edo 28 Apr, 2016
Quoting: theRealPadsterIt was always known for being very well-optimised. The sad thing is, running the same settings on Windows and Linux I get maybe 65-75% of the performance on Linux. :/
On saints row 3 for example, I get around 70% the windows performance on nvidia card, and the same pattern keeps repeating on most of the linux games. I guess is the best we can get from an engine not optimized for opengl.
mao_dze_dun 28 Apr, 2016
Quoting: edo
Quoting: theRealPadsterIt was always known for being very well-optimised. The sad thing is, running the same settings on Windows and Linux I get maybe 65-75% of the performance on Linux. :/
On saints row 3 for example, I get around 70% the windows performance on nvidia card, and the same pattern keeps repeating on most of the linux games. I guess is the best we can get from an engine not optimized for opengl.

I'm definitely not an expert, but from what I understand there is a substantial performance loss when going from DirectX to OpenGL as the original engine was built towards DX9 or 11. This is why Arma III for example performs better than a native port - a well optimized wrapper avoids the problem and provides very Windows like gaming experience. Still, TR was pretty decently optimized on Windows, so the performance hit is not a problematic this time.
cRaZy-bisCuiT 28 Apr, 2016
But the ports are native, aren't they? I thought if you need to rewrite the whole engine anyway, it might be possible to get the best performance out of OpenGL that is possible. We could only hope that well optimized Vulkan games will have the same performance as either Vulkan on Windows or an D3DX12 (the syntax is very similar) Vulkan port on linux.
Imants 28 Apr, 2016
Quoting: cRaZy-bisCuiTBut the ports are native, aren't they? I thought if you need to rewrite the whole engine anyway, it might be possible to get the best performance out of OpenGL that is possible. We could only hope that well optimized Vulkan games will have the same performance as either Vulkan on Windows or an D3DX12 (the syntax is very similar) Vulkan port on linux.

Yes it is possible with a lot of time. Which is not really profitable. Considering there are not too many(percentage wise) people who actually interested in FPS but rather in smooth game-play and smooth game play can be even achieved with 30 FPS it is even more evidently that it is not main focus while porting games. So yes will hope that developers will stop using directx at all ore porting from directx to vulkan will be without big performance loss.
aL 28 Apr, 2016
The game keep crashing on me... I have nvidia with latest drivers.

I summited them a bug report... Hopefully they can short it out
edddeduck_feral 28 Apr, 2016
Quoting: aLThe game keep crashing on me... I have nvidia with latest drivers.

I summited them a bug report... Hopefully they can short it out

Disable your VPN is you have one enabled the game is known to have issues when launched behind a VPN and this has been the cause for a few crashes on launch.
aL 28 Apr, 2016
Quoting: edddeduckferal
Quoting: aLThe game keep crashing on me... I have nvidia with latest drivers.

I summited them a bug report... Hopefully they can short it out

Disable your VPN is you have one enabled the game is known to have issues when launched behind a VPN and this has been the cause for a few crashes on launch.

Wow... # systemctl stop openvpn made it work... I dont even redirect any traffic to that vpn...

Not to distrust what this game is trying to do on launch so the vpn makes it crashes... but can i ask you the cause of this?
edddeduck_feral 28 Apr, 2016
Quoting: aL
Quoting: edddeduckferal
Quoting: aLThe game keep crashing on me... I have nvidia with latest drivers.

I summited them a bug report... Hopefully they can short it out

Disable your VPN is you have one enabled the game is known to have issues when launched behind a VPN and this has been the cause for a few crashes on launch.

Wow... # systemctl stop openvpn made it work... I dont even redirect any traffic to that vpn...

Not to distrust what this game is trying to do on launch so the vpn makes it crashes... but can i ask you the cause of this?

There is a library called Square Enix Online that is part of the online multiplayer and some of the achievement statistics in the game. This is the first game on Linux with this library so it has a few issues with VPN but we are working with Square Enix to get them resolved so you can play behind a VPN again.
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