Notebookcheck

Ryse: Son of Rome Benchmarked

Florian Glaser (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 10/19/2014

Graphics vs. gameplay. While Ryse: Son of Rome turned out to be rather one-dimensional in terms of its gameplay, graphically the title is a real head-turner. Does your notebook also have to come from another planet to run this game? Our review reveals the answer.

Ryse: Son of Rome Logo

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Graphics

After creating the stunning visuals that sweep through Crysis 3, Crytek went the extra mile once again for their PC version of Ryse: Son of Rome. Whether the topic of discussion is texture sharpness, polygon count or the quality of effects,  the third-person title is definitely one of the most impressive PC games of all time. With all its exemplary graphics-related features, we would even call it a new gold standard. Even though the levels are programmed rather narrowly and linearly, the scenery often feels spacious.

As well as the pretty and attractively illuminated panoramas, the characters' rich physical detail is also very appealing. Yes, here and there the animations could be a little more believable (in the action genre, Battlefield 4 takes the lead); but it would hardly be possible to find fault with the facial expressions and finishing moves. In general, whether in the well-executed video sequences or in the game scenes, the incredibly realistic nature of the faces is captivating. A veritable torrent of effects (smoke, explosions, falling objects, etc.) intensifies the atmosphere of the battles.

Speaking of battles: Just in terms of gameplay, Ryse failed to sweep us off our feet. Like in the olden days, back when hack-and-slash was popular, the player simply slaughters hordes of dim-witted clones to reach the next mission. Ryse almost never offers any variety. True, depending on the level of difficulty, the combat can certainly be challenging, but in the long run it just is not exciting. The stylistic choreography fails to help much here. The same goes for the unlockable upgrades. Overall, the game feels very repetitive, and except in the Roman settings, somewhat discouraging. It is not without reason that Ryse has been mockingly referred to as a "graphics demo" in the past.

Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome

Regardless of that shortcoming, Crytek did a good job converting the game for PC. Overlooking the relatively high load times (HDD) and the not quite perfect controls, there remains little room for criticism. The only thing we do not quite comprehend is the fact that (currently) the texture resolution nearly fills up the video memory - think Watch DogsMiddle Earth: Shadow of Mordor and Wolfenstein: The New Order. While Ryse chooses to use 1024 MB for low details, medium texture settings already hit 1536 MB. High settings here require 2.0 GB VRAM, and the game can only function at maximum details with 3.0 GB.

At least in theory, this is true. Using a cheat, it is possible to set the game to a manual texture quality. Those who wish to make their own decision can open the system.cfg with the editor (Steam\SteamApps\common\Ryse Son of Rome) and add the line sys_spec_TextureResolution = X. The X represents the texture quality level (1 for "Low", 2 for "Medium", 3 for "High" and 4 for "Very High"). The changes were correctly applied in our tests.

Fortunately, Crytek lets the user make his or her own decisions everywhere else. Via the "Graphics Quality" menu item, advanced graphics options can be altered in one go. Since the game is already activated on "Low", temporal anti-aliasing, we modified the presets a little (we deactivated AA for every setting except "Ultra"). Ryse also offers SSAA anti-aliasing, but this option demands an awful lot from the graphics card and brings most notebooks to their knees.

Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome

Graphics-lovers will be excited about the upscaling option. VSync and frame lock are also on board. Surprisingly, many settings hardly have an effect on the visuals or the performance. It almost makes no difference whether the player runs Ryse in high or very high texture quality. The difference is similarly negligible when it comes to temporal anti-aliasing. It does smooth the edges perceptibly, but it also makes the image a little more spongy.

Because Ryse was optimized for the Xbox One hardware, currently AMD cards do somewhat better. For example: The Radeon R9 M290X, which normally lies about 25% under the GeForce GTX 880M, sprints 5% ahead of its competitor on the ultra-setting (39.2 vs. 37.4 fps). According to Nvidia, a driver update is soon to be released that should improve their cards' performance. In general, owners of weaker notebooks will not be able to enjoy the Roman epic. Since the CryEngine (version 4) hardly offers any genuinely low settings, the game requires a certain level of performance power that not all GPUs possess.

Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings
Low Settings
Low Settings
Medium Settings
Medium Settings
High Settings
High Settings
Ultra Settings
Ultra Settings

Benchmark

For our benchmarks, we used the forests-and-meadows scenario in the fourth mission ("The King"). With its thick vegetation, this section demands a fair amount of power from the hardware. The recording with the Fraps tool starts almost as soon as the mission begins and ends after about 50 seconds, right before the first confrontation with an opponent. Because more graphics-intensive scenes do exist and the gameplay is rather quick for a third-person title, a given GPU will need to render at least 35-40 fps in the benchmark to run the game fluidly. As the table below shows, we recorded not only the average fps, but also the minimum fps.

If your results are considerably worse than ours, that might have to do with the graphics switching. At least when Ryse was first released, the Nvidia driver 344.11 could not recognize the game and we had to manually select "High Performance Processor" in the 3D settings.

Results

We have mentioned several times the game demands a lot of performance from the GPU. Inexpensive all-round GPUs on the level of the GeForce GT 740M are just as slow as the graphics chips in Intel CPUs (HD Graphics 3000/4000/4600). Even mid-range cards falter at low settings and a resolution of 1024x768. The GeForce GT 750M only managed a just barely playable 34 fps.

For normal details and 1366x768 pixels, you will need an upper mid-range graphics chip (GTX 850M @ 40 fps) or something from the lower high-end sector (GTX 765M @ 38 fps). 1920x1080 pixels and "High" setting demands a deluxe model like the GeForce GTX 780M to run fluidly. For maximum settings with activated anti-aliasing, we recommend at least a Radeon R9 M290X or a GeForce GTX 880M.

Ryse: Son of Rome
    1920x1080 Very High Texture Res. + High Graphics Quality (Motion Blur & Temporal AA On, Rest Off/Disabled) AF:8x     1920x1080 High Texture Res. + High Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:8x     1366x768 Medium Texture Res. + Normal Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:4x     1024x768 Low Texture Res. + Low Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled) AF:2x
Radeon R9 290X, 2600K, Samsung SSD 840 Pro 256GB MZ7PD256HAFV-0Z000
Sapphire Tri-X R9 290X Desktop
77.4 (min: 39) fps ∼75%
83 (min: 46) fps ∼75%
101 (min: 52) fps ∼83%
124 (min: 62) fps ∼91%
GeForce GTX 780 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
63.9 (min: 37) fps ∼62%
67.9 (min: 43) fps ∼61%
84.9 (min: 51) fps ∼70%
89.4 (min: 58) fps ∼66%
Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
59.4 (min: 37) fps ∼58%
63.2 (min: 37) fps ∼57%
83.9 (min: 47) fps ∼69%
87.6 (min: 50) fps ∼64%
Radeon R9 M290X, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
39.2 (min: 29) fps ∼38%
43.3 (min: 30) fps ∼39%
76.1 (min: 45) fps ∼62%
83.4 (min: 50) fps ∼61%
GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
37.4 (min: 29) fps ∼36%
40.1 (min: 31) fps ∼36%
75.1 (min: 47) fps ∼62%
86.1 (min: 53) fps ∼63%
GeForce GTX 760, 3770K
Desktop-PC
35.2 (min: 24) fps ∼34%
37.4 (min: 25) fps ∼34%
71.3 (min: 41) fps ∼58%
85.9 (min: 56) fps ∼63%
GeForce GTX 780M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
33.4 (min: 25) fps ∼32%
36.1 (min: 26) fps ∼33%
68.8 (min: 43) fps ∼56%
85 (min: 55) fps ∼63%
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
30.1 (min: 23) fps ∼29%
32.4 (min: 25) fps ∼29%
64.9 (min: 44) fps ∼53%
84.8 (min: 50) fps ∼62%
GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
23.8 (min: 19) fps ∼23%
25.7 (min: 21) fps ∼23%
53.5 (min: 37) fps ∼44%
77.4 (min: 51) fps ∼57%
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
21.7 (min: 17) fps ∼21%
23.2 (min: 17) fps ∼21%
48.4 (min: 35) fps ∼40%
70.4 (min: 48) fps ∼52%
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
21.4 (min: 16) fps ∼21%
22.6 (min: 17) fps ∼20%
50.7 (min: 36) fps ∼42%
75.3 (min: 49) fps ∼55%
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
17.3 (min: 13) fps ∼17%
18.8 (min: 14) fps ∼17%
40.2 (min: 29) fps ∼33%
58.9 (min: 35) fps ∼43%
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
16.5 (min: 12) fps ∼16%
17.8 (min: 13) fps ∼16%
37.9 (min: 29) fps ∼31%
55.8 (min: 41) fps ∼41%
Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
11.3 (min: 7) fps ∼10%
24.3 (min: 16) fps ∼20%
37.7 (min: 24) fps ∼28%
GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
9.6 (min: 6) fps ∼9%
10.4 (min: 7) fps ∼9%
22.4 (min: 15) fps ∼18%
34.1 (min: 24) fps ∼25%
GeForce GT 640M, 2637M, Lite-On LMT-256M3M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
6.4 (min: 1) fps ∼6%
6.7 (min: 3) fps ∼6%
17 (min: 10) fps ∼14%
24.5 (min: 15) fps ∼18%
GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
6.8 (min: 3) fps ∼7%
7.1 (min: 4) fps ∼6%
15.5 (min: 10) fps ∼13%
24.1 (min: 16) fps ∼18%
GeForce GT 720M, 4200M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
MSI CX61-i572M
5.1 fps ∼5%
11.1 fps ∼9%
17.3 fps ∼13%
GeForce GT 630M, 3720QM, Seagate Momentus 7200.5 ST9750420AS
Asus N56VM
4.6 (min: 2) fps ∼4%
9.6 (min: 4) fps ∼8%
14.1 (min: 7) fps ∼10%
Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ, Intel SSD 525 Series SSDMCEAC180B3
Schenker S413
15.2 (min: 10) fps ∼12%
21.9 (min: 17) fps ∼16%
HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
4.2 (min: 2) fps ∼4%
4.4 (min: 2) fps ∼4%
9.2 (min: 6) fps ∼8%
13.4 (min: 9) fps ∼10%
Radeon HD 8650G, A10-5750M, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
Pumori Test Platform (A10-5750M)
20 (min: 14) fps ∼15%
HD Graphics 4000, 3720QM
Asus N56VM
11.4 (min: 1) fps ∼8%

Test Systems

Four of our test devices are courtesy of Schenker Technologies (mysn.de):

  • W504 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 860M, GTX 870M, GTX 880M, Radeon R9 M290X)
  • W503 (Core i7-4700MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 765M, GTX 770M, GTX 780M)
  • M504 (Core i5-4340M, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GTX 850M)
  • M503 (Core i7-4702MQ, 8 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 750M)

Windows 7 (64-bit) is installed on each of these notebooks. A further thank you goes to Micron for the 480 GB Crucial M500.

Another test device is courtesy of Nvidia:

  • HP Envy 15-j011sg (Core i5-4200M, 12 GB DDR3, GeForce GT 740M)

GPU drivers used: Nvidia 344.11, AMD 14.9, Intel 10.18.10.3907

There are also benchmarks from other notebooks, possibly with different drivers.

Overview

Discussion
Show Restrictions
Pos      Model                                     Ryse: Son of Rome
 Ryse: Son of Rome (2014)
low
1024x768
Low Texture Res. + Low Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled)
2xAF
med.
1366x768
Medium Texture Res. + Normal Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled)
4xAF
high
1920x1080
High Texture Res. + High Graphics Quality (Rest Off/Disabled)
8xAF
ultra
1920x1080
Very High Texture Res. + High Graphics Quality (Motion Blur & Temporal AA On, Rest Off/Disabled)
8xAF
 8NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 (Laptop)
88.7
88.1
 10NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M SLI
63.4
63.3
87.12
82.752
 13NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980
86.6
84.5
72.452
68.852
 17NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M SLI
63.6
62.9
65.152
64.552
 21NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti
89.4
84.9
67.9
63.9
 22NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
64
63.7
62.7
61.4
 27AMD Radeon R9 290X
1302
111.52
882
81.22
 29NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI
61.2
58.8
 34NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M
63.1
62.52
60.956
58.46
 35NVIDIA Quadro M5000M
135
116
65
65
 36AMD Radeon R9 280X
87.6
83.9
63.2
59.4
 38NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960
67.1
64.9
54
49.2
 41NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
74.952
63.83
48.87
46.17
 50AMD Radeon R9 M295X
100.7
69.2
41.7
37.8
 52NVIDIA Quadro M3000M
94
87
69
45
 53AMD FirePro W7170M
101
93
43
15
 57NVIDIA GeForce GTX 880M
86.1
75.1
40.1
37.4
 61NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
85.9
71.3
37.4
35.2
 62NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780M
85
68.8
36.1
33.4
Pos      Model                                     Ryse: Son of Rome
lowmed.highultra
 63NVIDIA Quadro K5100M
80.8
64.7
33.7
31.7
 67NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
73.852
65.952
35.152
32.52
 68NVIDIA GeForce GTX 870M
84.8
64.9
32.4
30.1
 69AMD Radeon R9 M290X
83.4
76.1
43.3
39.2
 83NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
77.4
53.5
25.7
23.8
 87NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
62.5
61.152
29.45
27.45
 91NVIDIA Quadro K4100M
76
55
28
25
 93NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
70.4
48.4
23.2
21.7
 94NVIDIA GeForce GTX 860M
75.3
50.73
233
22.72
 103NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
52.2
46.62
22.12
20.62
 106NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
58.63
40.23
19.23
17.63
 107NVIDIA Quadro M1000M
76
52
23
21
 114NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
55.8
37.9
17.8
16.5
 136NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
53.1
38.8
19.1
17.6
 154AMD FirePro M5100
44
25
17
10
 155NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
32
23
11
 166AMD Radeon R9 M265X
35.8
23.2
16
14.1
 175NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
34.1
22.4
10.4
9.6
 177NVIDIA GeForce 940MX
24.5
18.7
8.9
8.4
 178NVIDIA Quadro K1100M
27.6
20.2
9.3
8.4
Pos      Model                                     Ryse: Son of Rome
lowmed.highultra
 179NVIDIA GeForce 940M
36.052
23.652
11.7
10.9
 187NVIDIA Quadro K620M
35
23
10
 188NVIDIA GeForce 840M
31
19.3
9.4
8.9
 194AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
37.7
24.3
11.3
 195Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200
21.9
15.2
 197NVIDIA GeForce GT 740M
24.1
15.5
7.1
6.8
 198NVIDIA GeForce 930M
32.8
21.9
 200NVIDIA GeForce 830M
30.3
20.6
9.2
6.7
 228AMD Radeon R7 M270
32.6
20.9
9.9
9.3
 229AMD Radeon R7 M265
28.3
19.8
9.9
 233NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
24.5
17
6.7
6.4
 234AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
28
18.6
9
8.1
 239AMD Radeon R7 M360
26
16.4
7.8
4.9
 252NVIDIA GeForce 920M
25
17
7.7
4.9
 257AMD Radeon R7 M260
26
16.4
7.7
 291Intel HD Graphics 5600
21.8
14
6.7
6.3
 297AMD Radeon HD 8670M
23.9
14.5
 298AMD Radeon R6 M255DX
14.1
8.3
4.2
 317AMD Radeon HD 8650G
20
 322NVIDIA GeForce GT 630M
14.1
9.6
4.6
Pos      Model                                     Ryse: Son of Rome
lowmed.highultra
 327AMD Radeon R5 M330
22.4
13.9
 328AMD Radeon R5 M255
28.4
17.3
8.2
 331NVIDIA GeForce 820M
18.3
11.9
5.8
 333Intel Iris Graphics 6100
24.4
14.9
7.3
6.9
 334NVIDIA GeForce GT 720M
17.3
11.1
5.1
 336AMD Radeon R5 M240
24
14.8
6.8
 338AMD Radeon R5 M230
20.2
12.5
5.6
 345Intel HD Graphics 6000
19
12
 348Intel Iris Graphics 5100
18.052
12.452
5.852
 353Intel HD Graphics 4600
12.952
8.72
4.4
4.2
 355Intel HD Graphics 5500
11.43
7.53
4.12
3.552
 359AMD Radeon R5 (Kaveri)
11
7.2
 366Intel HD Graphics 5000
14.7
9.2
 399Intel HD Graphics 4400
13.952
8.952
 429Intel HD Graphics 5300
7.1
4.6
 439Intel HD Graphics 4000
11.4
 447AMD Radeon R5 (Beema/Carrizo-L)
12.7
7.7
 448AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
13.4
8.5
 450Intel HD Graphics 4200
6.2
4.2
 476AMD Radeon HD 8330
8.9
6.4
Pos      Model                                     Ryse: Son of Rome
lowmed.highultra
 479AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
11.4
7.1
 507Intel HD Graphics (Haswell)
9
5.8
 608Intel HD Graphics (Bay Trail)
3.7
2.5
* Smaller values are better. / * Approximate position

 

Legend
5Stutters – This game is very likely to stutter and have poor frame rates. Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, average frame rates are expected to fall below 25fps
May Stutter – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, stutters and poor frame rates are expected.
30Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 25fps
40Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 35fps
May Run Fluently – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game. Based on interpolated information from surrounding graphics cards of similar performance levels, fluent frame rates are expected.
123Uncertain – This graphics card experienced unexpected performance issues during testing for this game. A slower card may be able to achieve better and more consistent frame rates than this particular GPU running the same benchmark scene.
Uncertain – This graphics card has not been explicitly tested on this game and no reliable interpolation can be made based on the performances of surrounding cards of the same class or family.
The value in the fields displays the average frame rate of all values in the database. Move your cursor over the value to see individual results.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Ryse: Son of Rome Benchmarked
Florian Glaser, 2014-10-19 (Update: 2016-02-18)