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Shadow of the Tomb Raider graphics performance: How to get the best settings for your PC

Beyond a shadow of a doubt

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Zotac GeForce GTX 970 Dual Fan

Once a titan of its day, the GTX 970 is starting to show its age a bit now. The one on test here is the Dual Fan model from Zotac, which has 4GB of memory and respective base and boost clock speeds of 1076MHz and 1216MHz. That’s a little faster than Nvidia’s reference spec, so results may vary depending on what kind of card you might have, but it should still give a pretty decent idea of what to expect from this now quite elderly graphics card.

That said, the GTX 970 is still a little way off from being completely put out to pasture, as I still managed very decent frame rates at both 1920×1080 and 2560×1440, albeit with a couple of compromises. It won’t provide the best experience you’ve ever seen, but you’ll still have a grand old time if upgrading to one of today’s best graphics cards remains beyond the realms of your budget.

Can I play this at 1920×1080?

You can indeed. You’ll need to keep the game’s anti-alias settings quite low if you want to use some of the better graphics settings on offer, but High with SMAA produced a very respectable average of around 57fps when walking through the bustling crowds of Cozumel village, with lows of 55fps and highs of 61fps. The frame rate dipped a little further to 48fps when Lara was nosing her way up its heavily-textured walls, but it bounced back pretty quickly once Lara was back on her feet.

Those after smoother edges and better anti-aliasing, however, can get a playable, if slightly juddery 36-46fps on Medium with the demanding SMAAS x2 enabled, or you can settle for the altogether silkier SMAAT x2 option on Medium and get a superior 50-63fps instead.

Can I play this at 2560×1440?

Surprisingly, yes, but really you’re only looking at Low with SMAA at this resolution. Here, you’ll get a decent range of 43-60fps across both areas, with Cozumel square never dipping below 48fps. That’s not bad for such an old card, but really, 1080p is your best bet for overall quality.

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Who am I?

Katharine Castle

Hardware Editor

Katharine writes about all the bits that go inside your PC so you can carry on playing all those lovely games we like talking about so much. Very partial to JRPGs and the fetching of quests. She's also RPS' resident deals herald.

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