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AMD vs Nvidia: Whose Driver Updates Improve Performance More?

Rise of the Tomb Raider (2016, DX12)

The Windows-based version of Rise of the Tomb Raider launched two months after the build for Xbox. A patch with DirectX 12 support followed not long after, although the API’s benefit wasn’t immediately apparent. As a result, we first tested AMD’s Radeon RX 480 and Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 using DirectX 11. Now there’s even a version with Vulkan support, giving macOS and Linux gamers a taste of the action.

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The Radeon RX 480 suffered notoriously bad performance in Rise of the Tomb Raider when it launched. This changed with the 16.7.3 build, which included the following line in its patch notes: “Rise of the Tomb Raider performance increase up to 10% versus Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.7.2 on Radeon RX 480 graphics.”

Comparing 16.6.2 to 18.7.1 shows us that Radeon RX 480 is more than 13% faster today than it was back in 2016.

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Meanwhile, GeForce GTX 1060 6GB’s average frame rate increased by almost 4%, while its 99th percentile frame rate dropped by ~9%. Notice also that Nvidia’s frame time results look a lot less smooth than AMD’s.

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Rise Of The Tomb Raider
Rise Of The Tomb Raider
Chris Angelini
Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.