To determine the recommended NVIDIA graphics card, Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics leveraged our experienced team of testers, who located a 2-minute repeatable segment of the expansive game that was graphically demanding and representative of the other graphically intensive moments of the game.
With further testing, our technical marketing team concluded that a 60 frames per second average during this particularly demanding scene, on the High-detail preset, delivered the best balance between graphical fidelity, input responsiveness, and performance in all of Rise of the Tomb Raider’s gameplay locations and cutscenes.
An average framerate of 60 or above is an excellent indicator of overall performance, but it gives you little idea of how the game 'felt'. Was the experience stuttering? Were there momentary stalls? And did some moments of the game run at a much lower framerate? To discover the answers to those questions we need to instead examine frametimes, the length of time it takes a GPU to render each frame of gameplay.
Indicators of an undesirable, unpleasant experience include frequent split-second spikes, especially above 33.3 milliseconds (30 FPS and below), non-stop spikes that jump between low and far higher frametimes, and portions of gameplay that are above 33.3 milliseconds for more than a mere moment. To learn more, check out this pioneering press article
In our Rise of the Tomb Raider test there are only a few momentary spikes, and none above 25 milliseconds, there are no periods of spiking between low and high frametimes, almost all of the benchmark is below 20 milliseconds, and much of it is at, around or below 16.6 millisecond, the 60 FPS sweet spot. In other words, the GeForce GTX 970 not only delivers a High level of graphical fidelity at over 60 frames per second, it's also super smooth with no stuttering or stalls, giving you a fluid, responsive gaming experience.