Nvidia Driver May Cause Inconsistent Benchmark Results in Rise of the Tomb Raider

Youtube channel AdoredTV recently uncovered a potential shortcoming in Nvidia’s drivers which can cause performance dips when a Nvidia graphics card is paired with a Ryzen CPU.

When paired with a Nvidia graphics card, AMD’s Ryzen 1800X falls short – sometimes by as much as 40% – when compared to an Intel Core i7-7700K running Rise of the Tomb Raider. GPU statistics collected during benchmark runs reveal that the Ryzen-based system wasn’t pushing the GPU to 100%, causing it to lag behind the Intel-based system. This was consistent in both DX 11 and DX 12 benchmarks. Normally, this would indicate a bottleneck on the CPU, which was strange considering with Ryzen’s IPC, it should be no more than 25% worse than the i7-7700K in even the most intense single threaded workloads.

If taken at face value, it would appear as though AMD’s Ryzen 7 1800X trails behind the Intel Core i7-7700K in gaming performance, but when AdoredTV swapped out the Nvidia GTX 1070 with a pair of RX480s, the variance is significantly less. This was unexpected as CrossFire (or multi-GPU setups in general) is considered to be less stable than Single GPU setups. With the pair of RX 480s the Ryzen system was able to narrow the gap to about less than 11%. DX12 performance especially saw massive improvement.

AdoredTV also didn’t rely on the built-in benchmark and tested the game through multiple zones. This is to give a more detailed view of how the game runs through different zones with different densities in detail.

Built-in Benchmark

Mountain Pass


Soviet Installation

Geothermal City

Green: GTX 1070, Red: 2x RX 480

When using a pair of RX 480s, both the Intel system and Ryzen system showed improvement under DX12 with the Ryzen-system being the key beneficiary. AdoredTV concluded that the only cause for the loss of performance in the Ryzen-based system is the lack of proper DX 12 optimization in Nvidia Drivers.

The problem with Ryzen and Tomb Raider is not down to Ryzen, it’s down to Nvidia’s DX 12 driver which simply isn’t doing the job…In the case of the Rise of the Tomb Raider, it’s only AMD’s drivers that’s capable of breaking up that [DX12] mean thread.

Interestingly, DX 11 performance actually dropped pretty significantly for both systems when using the pair of RX 480s. Nvidia’s DX11 optimization seems to better than AMD’s in this regard.

This post was last modified on April 3, 2017 2:28 pm

Tom Li: Tom has a strong passion for computer hardware and technology. In his downtime, he enjoys gaming, playing guitar, and photography.