Notebookcheck

Ryse: Son of Rome Benchmarked

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.
Florian Glaser, Tanja Hinum (translated by Ariana Brodsky), 🇩🇪 🇵🇱
Ryse: Son of Rome Logo

For the original German article, see here.

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 (39min) fps ∼74%
83 (46min) fps ∼72%
101 (52min) fps ∼56%
124 (62min) fps ∼52%
GeForce GTX 780 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
63.9 (37min) fps ∼61%
67.9 (43min) fps ∼59%
84.9 (51min) fps ∼47%
89.4 (58min) fps ∼37%
Radeon R9 280X, 3770K
Desktop-PC
59.4 (37min) fps ∼57%
63.2 (37min) fps ∼54%
83.9 (47min) fps ∼47%
87.6 (50min) fps ∼37%
Radeon R9 M290X, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
39.2 (29min) fps ∼38%
43.3 (30min) fps ∼37%
76.1 (45min) fps ∼42%
83.4 (50min) fps ∼35%
GeForce GTX 880M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
37.4 (29min) fps ∼36%
40.1 (31min) fps ∼35%
75.1 (47min) fps ∼42%
86.1 (53min) fps ∼36%
GeForce GTX 760, 3770K
Desktop-PC
35.2 (24min) fps ∼34%
37.4 (25min) fps ∼32%
71.3 (41min) fps ∼40%
85.9 (56min) fps ∼36%
GeForce GTX 780M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
33.4 (25min) fps ∼32%
36.1 (26min) fps ∼31%
68.8 (43min) fps ∼38%
85 (55min) fps ∼36%
GeForce GTX 870M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
30.1 (23min) fps ∼29%
32.4 (25min) fps ∼28%
64.9 (44min) fps ∼36%
84.8 (50min) fps ∼35%
GeForce GTX 750 Ti, 3770K
Desktop-PC
23.8 (19min) fps ∼23%
25.7 (21min) fps ∼22%
53.5 (37min) fps ∼30%
77.4 (51min) fps ∼32%
GeForce GTX 770M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
21.7 (17min) fps ∼21%
23.2 (17min) fps ∼20%
48.4 (35min) fps ∼27%
70.4 (48min) fps ∼29%
GeForce GTX 860M, 4700MQ
Schenker W504
21.4 (16min) fps ∼21%
22.6 (17min) fps ∼19%
50.7 (36min) fps ∼28%
75.3 (49min) fps ∼32%
GeForce GTX 850M, 4340M
Schenker M504
17.3 (13min) fps ∼17%
18.8 (14min) fps ∼16%
40.2 (29min) fps ∼22%
58.9 (35min) fps ∼25%
GeForce GTX 765M, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
16.5 (12min) fps ∼16%
17.8 (13min) fps ∼15%
37.9 (29min) fps ∼21%
55.8 (41min) fps ∼23%
Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop), A10-7850K, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
A10-7850K Asus A88-XM-PLUS
11.3 (7min) fps ∼10%
24.3 (16min) fps ∼14%
37.7 (24min) fps ∼16%
GeForce GT 750M, 4702MQ
Schenker M503
9.6 (6min) fps ∼9%
10.4 (7min) fps ∼9%
22.4 (15min) fps ∼12%
34.1 (24min) fps ∼14%
GeForce GT 640M, 2637M, Lite-On LMT-256M3M
Acer Aspire M3-581TG
6.4 (1min) fps ∼6%
6.7 (3min) fps ∼6%
17 (10min) fps ∼9%
24.5 (15min) fps ∼10%
GeForce GT 740M, 4200M
HP Envy 15-j011sg
6.8 (3min) fps ∼7%
7.1 (4min) fps ∼6%
15.5 (10min) fps ∼9%
24.1 (16min) fps ∼10%
GeForce GT 720M, 4200M, WDC Scorpio Blue WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
MSI CX61-i572M
5.1 (0min) fps ∼4%
11.1 (0min) fps ∼6%
17.3 (0min) fps ∼7%
GeForce GT 630M, 3720QM, Seagate Momentus 7200.5 ST9750420AS
Asus N56VM
4.6 (2min) fps ∼4%
9.6 (4min) fps ∼5%
14.1 (7min) fps ∼6%
Iris Pro Graphics 5200, 4750HQ, Intel SSD 525 Series SSDMCEAC180B3
Schenker S413
15.2 (10min) fps ∼8%
21.9 (17min) fps ∼9%
HD Graphics 4600, 4700MQ
Schenker W503
4.2 (2min) fps ∼4%
4.4 (2min) fps ∼4%
9.2 (6min) fps ∼5%
13.4 (9min) fps ∼6%
Radeon HD 8650G, A10-5750M, Samsung SSD 470 Series MZ-5PA256/EU
Pumori Test Platform (A10-5750M)
20 (14min) fps ∼8%
HD Graphics 4000, 3720QM
Asus N56VM
11.4 (1min) fps ∼5%

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

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AMD Radeon Pro WX 4130
AMD Radeon HD 6990M Crossfire
AMD Radeon HD 6990M
AMD Radeon HD 6450M
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AMD Radeon HD 6470M
AMD Radeon HD 6350M
AMD Radeon HD 6320
AMD Radeon HD 6970M
NVIDIA Quadro K5000M
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 16
AMD Radeon Pro WX 3200
AMD Radeon HD 6760G2
AMD Radeon Pro WX 2100
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56
AMD Radeon HD 6770M
AMD Radeon HD 6775G2
AMD Radeon HD 6545G2
AMD Radeon HD 6430M
AMD FirePro W5170M
AMD Radeon HD 7520G
AMD Radeon HD 7490M
AMD Radeon HD 7500G
AMD Radeon HD 7480D
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AMD Radeon HD 7450M
NVIDIA GeForce GT 220
NVIDIA Quadro K610M
NVIDIA GeForce Go 7900 GS
NVIDIA GeForce GT 525M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (Desktop)
NVIDIA GeForce GT 520MX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (Desktop)
NVIDIA GeForce 920MX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770M
70.4
48.4
23.2
21.7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 SLI (Laptop)
NVIDIA Quadro K620M
35
23
10
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NVIDIA Quadro FX 380M
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AMD Radeon HD 6830M
AMD Radeon HD 6520G
AMD Radeon HD 6540G2
AMD Radeon HD 6380G
AMD Radeon HD 6370M
AMD Radeon HD 6290
AMD Radeon HD 6250
AMD FirePro W2100
AMD FirePro W7170M
101
93
43
15
AMD Radeon 530
AMD Radeon HD 6740G2
AMD Radeon HD 7570M
AMD Radeon HD 6520G + HD 7450M Dual Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 6450 GDDR5
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AMD Radeon HD 6330M
AMD FirePro W5130M
AMD Radeon 610
NVIDIA Quadro FX 770M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M SLI
AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20
AMD Radeon HD 6630M
AMD Radeon HD 6640G2
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AMD Radeon HD 7310
AMD Radeon HD 6620G + HD 7670M Dual Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 7690M
AMD Radeon HD 7340
AMD Radeon HD 7690M XT
AMD Radeon HD 6650M
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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce MX330
AMD Radeon HD 6730M
AMD Radeon HD 6620G + HD 7450M Dual Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 6645G2
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AMD Radeon Pro WX 3100
NVIDIA Quadro M520
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AMD Radeon Pro WX 4150
AMD Radeon Pro WX 7100
AMD Radeon Pro WX Vega M GL
AMD Radeon R2 (Mullins/Beema/Carrizo-L)
AMD Radeon R4 (Beema)
13.4
8.5
AMD Radeon R4 (Kaveri)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 765M
55.8
37.9
17.8
16.5
AMD Radeon HD 7430M
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AMD Radeon HD 7420G
AMD Radeon HD 7370M
AMD Radeon HD 7350M
AMD Radeon HD 7400G
Intel HD Graphics 510
AMD Radeon HD 7850M
Intel HD Graphics 2500
Intel HD Graphics 5500
11.4n3
7.5n3
4.1n2
3.55n2
Intel HD Graphics 2000
Intel HD Graphics 5300
7.1
4.6
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760
85.9
71.3
37.4
35.2
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti (Desktop)
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NVIDIA Quadro P3000 Max-Q
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti
77.4
53.5
25.7
23.8
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Mobile
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680M SLI
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 (Desktop)
NVIDIA Quadro FX 880M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 850M
58.6n3
40.2n3
19.2n3
17.6n3
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M
74.95n2
63.8n3
48.8n7
46.1n7
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
64
63.7
62.7
61.4
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M
73.85n2
65.95n2
35.15n2
32.5n2
NVIDIA Quadro K4000M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M SLI
61.2
58.8
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NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
62.5
61.15n2
29.4n5
27.4n5
AMD Radeon HD 6790
AMD Radeon HD 6570M
AMD Radeon HD 6550M
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AMD Radeon R7 250
AMD Radeon HD 6620G
AMD Radeon HD 6530M
AMD Radeon HD 6870
AMD Radeon HD 6550D
AMD Radeon HD 6310
AMD FirePro W4190M
AMD FirePro W4100
AMD Radeon HD 6490M
AMD Radeon HD 6480G + HD 7450M Dual Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 6480G
AMD Radeon 630
AMD Radeon 620
AMD Radeon 625
AMD FirePro W4170M
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AMD FirePro M6000
AMD FirePro M4100
AMD FirePro M8900
AMD FirePro M4000
AMD FirePro M5100
44
25
17
10
AMD Radeon 540X
AMD FirePro M3900
AMD Radeon HD 6970
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AMD Radeon HD 6970M Crossfire
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AMD FirePro M6100
AMD Radeon R3 (Mullins/Beema)
11.4
7.1
AMD FirePro M5950
NVIDIA Quadro K2100M
32
23
11
AMD Radeon HD 6755G2
AMD Radeon HD 6950M
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 Ti (Desktop)
Intel HD Graphics 530
NVIDIA Quadro K3100M
53.1
38.8
19.1
17.6
AMD Radeon R2 (Stoney Ridge)
NVIDIA Quadro K3000M
AMD Radeon HD 7290
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AMD Radeon 520
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AMD Radeon HD 6515G2
AMD Radeon HD 6510G2
AMD Radeon R7 512 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
37.7
24.3
11.3
AMD Radeon R7 384 Cores (Kaveri Desktop)
AMD Radeon HD 7470M
NVIDIA Quadro K1000M
NVIDIA Quadro FX Go 1400
AMD Radeon HD 6720G2
AMD Radeon R7 (Kaveri)
28
18.6
9
8.1
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AMD Radeon Pro 5600M
AMD Radeon R7 370
AMD Radeon Pro 560
AMD Radeon Pro 555X
AMD Radeon HD 6750M
AMD Radeon Pro 560X
AMD Radeon HD 6690G2
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NVIDIA GeForce GT 130M
(-) * Smaller values are better. / n123 Number of benchmarks for this median value / * 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
60Fluent – Based on all known benchmarks using the specified graphical settings, this game should run at or above 58fps
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.
?Uncertain – 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)
Florian Glaser
Editor of the original article: Florian Glaser - Managing Editor Gaming
Growing up with MS-DOS and Windows 3.1 in the early 90s, I discovered my interest in computers in my childhood. Especially computer games radiated a great fascination for me even then. From Monkey Island to Lands of Lore to Doom, everything was gambled that you could get your hands on. I have been working for Notebookcheck since 2009 with focus on high-performance gaming notebooks.