Shadow of the Tomb Raider Receives RTX Treatment in Latest Patch


Fully [H]
Apr 10, 2003
The latest patch for Shadow of the Tomb Raider has enabled support for real time ray tracing and NVIDIA's DLSS. To enable the features, gamers will need Window 10 update 1809 or higher, NVIDIA RTX 20- series GPU, and NVIDIA's latest drivers 419.35 and up. Nixxes announced the creation of a Beta, enabling the ability to switch back to an older version of the game, if problems arise.

We have just released the thirteenth PC patch for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, build 1.0.280. This patch focuses primarily on the release for the Nvidia's Ray-Traced Shadows and DLSS. While we expect this patch to be an improvement for everyone, if you do have trouble with this patch and prefer to stay on the old version, we have made a Beta available on Steam, Build 279, that can be used to switch back to the previous version.
Ugh just got the Completionist achievement, guess I have to do another play though just for shits and giggles.
Quick pop around Hidden City, only notable improvement is in shadows and water w/sun reflection.
Didn't turn on DLSS, seem to run fine (Dell T7810, 2 x E5 2690v4, 64gig 2400, 2080 TI FE w/evga hybrid mod).
Tried it last night and though I can get about 60 FPS on my RTX 2060 in benchmarks but actual gameplay sees significant performance drops, especially in outdoors. The RTX shadowing is nice and I hope the new features is smoothed out with another patch and/or driver update.
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I also tried last night with my OC'd Strix 2080TI holding mostly ~2070-2085Mhz/14300Ghz at 4k/HDR for about an hour or so. Only settings I usually keep off are motion blur, chromatic aberration, DOF, basically anything that might add fuzz or distortion to the image(I know ironic since I'm going to test DLSS), and smaax2. I'll try smaax4 this weekend and update, but otherwise all other settings are maxed. I do have to say that unlike Metro or BFV that DLSS here only creates a minimal blur effect. I was truly shocked and impressed. Unlike what I've stated in other threads regarding DLSS I feel it does what its supposed to here and becomes an acceptable compromise. Over at Guru3d Hilbert has incorporated a slider effect for the images he posts for on/off settings and I recommend checking it out since they are a pretty accurate depiction. I used the canned bench since I feel this one does an o.k. job even though I usually agree with Kyle about canned benches and I'm currently in a replay of trial of the eagle which is the most graphically demanding part of the game. I've actually been trying to put off replaying to wait for all the DLC to finish coming out since they're included in the actual campaign story and I don't want to play them separately but with this the temptation is too great and I'll probably start a new replay this weekend. To my knowledge SOTTR the first AAA game to flawlessly implement the combination of 4k/HDR/Dolby Atmos/RTX/DLSS, but Metro comes close except for HDR.

DLSS on/RTX off and I was hitting 60+ fps. Guru3d reported upwards of 80 but I was using v-sync and keeping it locked at 60. Buttery smooth. Vram was about the same as DLSS & RTX off.
DLSS on/RTX ultra and there were moments of 60+fps but a lot of the time it was in the low 40's. Vram averaged 7.5-9.5GB.
DLSS on/RTX high-didn't test yet but Guru3d reported barely 2-5 fps difference from ultra.
DLSS on/RTX med had great results. It held a pretty solid 60+fps with occasional dips into 57-60fps. To me the visual quality was about the same or better than DLSS off/RTX off but with a slight gain if FPS basically giving a 60 fps experience. Vram usage was maybe 200-300MB less than ultra. In the canned bench it reported the gpu metrics as 63 low and 133 high, usually the best I see is around 56 low and 94 high so quite the improvement there.

I'll have to report back after more testing but I also noticed a few other things. It seemed like the core/shaders were getting less usage with DLSS on/RTX med and this allowed OC settings to maintain higher clocks/lower temps than some other games. Since the RTX implementation is aimed at shadows here, and this game certainly has a lot of them, it can be pretty easy to spot the differences. In the beginning of the canned bench the first time the camera rotates around Laura you can see the shadows change around her face and in particular her eyes/nose. I actually feel the med setting was more accurate here since with a subdued shadow whereas on ultra it looked a bit too rigid or defined. It was also interesting to see my 4930k(6c/12t) @4.3GHZ hitting around 60% in some parts when frames were obviously ready to jump well beyond 60fps.

p.s. I saw the official post from Nixxes also but it's untrue about the driver. I tested last night with 418.91 and both options were available and I could absolutely see the effects. When I retest I'll update to 419.35 to see if it really changes anything.
I know SOTR has mGPU support. I wonder if mGPU will work with RTX and DLSS...

Yeah, that would be cool. Hopefully someone will post but at 4k anything less than a 1080TI will hit some Vram caps but anything with 8GB and fast clocks could still hammer past most issues. Game doesn't constantly go beyond 8GB but there are definitely moments. If it does work then that would make this game to check all the boxes for modern features. I know there's some people who test either dual 2080TI's or Titans in 8k and I can only imagine what that would be like with this.
I did some testing today with the latest 419.67 game ready driver that NV stated they also included added optimizations for SOTTR. Started a new game. Turned off DOF, Blur, Chromatic Aberration. DLSS on, RTX Med at 4k. IQ with max FPS is always my main goal so I do understand the irony of using DLSS but I have to say the magic is working here.

Something to note for those who use Atmos. There's a known issue with NV HD audio drivers updating and sometimes breaking Atmos. Could be a number of reasons for this. After I updated to 419.67 Atmos wouldn't engage. Looked it up and others have stated the same for the last 3 months but simply uninstall the NV HD audio and let the MS one take over and then do a restart. Did that and it was stuck in 2 channel now. I checked the sound device via device manager and the driver said it was up to date. I then checked MS Updates and it said I was missing Feb cumulative Net update(don't know how since I regularly manually check for such things). It installed and after another restart Atmos was back. FYI in the beginning I also tried to simply uninstall/reinstall Atmos and that didn't work. This game on an Atmos theater is pretty amazing with the volume turned up. Very immersive with the many environmental sounds around you.

Since it seemed like the gpu core usage was lower last week I made a new profile in AB where I only set the fans to 71%, left everything else at stock Strix settings(not sure if they're any different than FE), and the card was still able to hold under 60c. Basically a few db higher than my case but still low enough as to not be obnoxious. Boost clock still ramped up into the mid-high 1900's, core usage varied from 40-80%, and power occasionally peaked ~104%.

I played all the way thru the 1st level until the last stage where Laura gets ambushed and then the flood. Game crashed in the beginning here during a cutscene where you stealth kill one of the thugs right after another kills an archaeologist. I've seen this happen before and usually simply button mash to go beyond when it happens. Didn't feel like restarting at that point but will go back later as I'm just waiting for the last 2 or 3 DLC to be released for complete replay. Game pretty much held 60+ fps with v-sync on. Looks amazing! Other than the shadows I honestly have a hard time differentiating between smaax2 and DLSS except the frames are much closer to a solid 60fps. Some parts seem smoothed(but not the blurry mess like other games) while others actually seem sharper. There's a spot in the beginning where you drop to a cave entrance above the beach ledge where it dropped to 53-54fps. Go thru the cave and it goes back to 60. There's another spot when the game has you do your 1st stealth/hide in the bushes and move to wall vegetation where it also dropped into the low-mid 50's but only for a moment and when I was looking down at some puddles. It could be from the head cold I'm fighting but the smoothness to which it rendered the perspective camera pivots while Laura is climbing in the beginning actually gave me a touch of vertigo. Seriously smooth and full 60 fps. There's a spot when Laura is sneaking thru an alley in the village and passes someone drunk on a chair with a lamp beside them. I stopped here and rotated the camera angles. Often with rasterization the shadows move like somehow the camera moving is also changing the light source. Didn't happen with RT. Shadow looked pretty accurate and stayed as the camera moved around the scene. Pretty cool.

For the most part I strongly recommend anyone with a 2080TI try this now. DLSS/RT Med gives a near constant 60fps and to me the game is actually improved all around but I still can't justify the performance hit of high/ultra for barely noticable IQ gains.