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The Last of Us Part I review: Laptop and desktop benchmarks

A rollercoaster of emotions. PC fans had to wait almost 10 years for this release of The Last of Us. The result is a true rollercoaster - from an emotional as well as a technical standpoint. We put the PC game through our benchmark tests.
The Last of Us

Technical aspects

A waiting simulator with absurd VRAM consumption: This is how the PC version of The Last of Us can currently be summed up. No wonder the action-adventure game is being bombarded with negative reviews on Steam. The confusion starts within the first few seconds: It takes at least half an hour for the shaders to be installed - even on top-of-the-range PCs. This is a new record - and not in a good way. But the long loading times feel harmless in comparison. 

The exorbitant VRAM consumption turns out to be just as much of a nuisance as the time it takes to install shaders. Specifically graphics cards with 6 GB or less quickly get into a lot of trouble. This led our test device with a GeForce RTX 3060 to consistently crash when trying to run the game at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels with the ultra preset. This isn't helped by the fact that Nvidia have given their graphics cards too little VRAM for many years now - although, it has to be said that The Last of Us is just generally badly programmed in this way. 

The Last of Us
The Last of Us
The Last of Us
The Last of Us
The Last of Us
The Last of Us

At first glance, this poorly performing game comes as a surprise, as Sony's previous PC adaptations (e.g. Spider-Man Miles MoralesDays Gone & God of War) all made quite good impressions. The problem here seems to be Iron Galaxy, the developer responsible for the PC port, who haven't always delivered clean work in the past (keyword: Batman Arkham Knight). But regardless of who is responsible for this technical issue, our opinion is that The Last of Us should never have been released on PC in this shape. We just have to hope that future updates will deal with all of these problems.

When it comes down to it, the game definitely has the potential to be enjoyed - as long as you have a strong graphics card with lots of VRAM. The remake's graphics generally appear quite modern and up-to-date. The textures, as well as the effects at higher levels (smoke, fire, reflections, …) and characters, are great. The game scores some real points in its level of detail and great atmosphere. We loved its cinematic production and for the most part dynamic transitions between video sequences and gameplay. Another positive aspect is the game's captivating storytelling.

The Last of Us
The Last of Us
The Last of Us
The Last of Us
The Last of Us
The Last of Us

The producers definitely went overboard with the graphics menu. The Last of Us offers so many options (see screenshots) that you have to scroll for ages and very quickly lose track of what is what. Thankfully, there are some practical presets that take some of the hard work out of it and improve the game's quality in one click. Changes are made instantaneously, so without having to restart the game. As expected from a modern game, it supports various upscaling options, such as FSR and the Nvidia-exclusive DLSS (however, ray tracing is missing). 

Compared to the console version, the FPS rate is only limited if you select to do so. Another positive is the detailed descriptions with CPU, GPU and VRAM influence, which sometimes even include handy comparison images. The only thing we missed was a "classic" full-screen mode. The large CPU requirement at moderate resolution is probably to blame for the game barely performing any better despite reducing the settings, which leads to visibly worse graphics.

The Last of Us
The Last of Us
The Last of Us
The Last of Us
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The Last of Us
The Last of Us
The Last of Us
The Last of Us
 
 

Benchmark

We used a mix of in-game video sequences as well as "real" gameplay for our benchmark measurements. You can see the exact passage we used, which takes place near the beginning of the game and features lots of passers-by and effects, in the video below. We recorded the frame rate for roughly one minute using the tool CapframeX.

Results


FHD (1,920 x 1,080)

When it comes to using iGPUs, you can pretty much forget The Last of Us. Even the Radeon 680M failed to hit the 30 FPS mark in Full HD using minimal settings (1,280 x 720 pixels were just about playable). You will need at least a mid-range device to play the game at 1,920 x 1,080 pixels. A Radeon RX 6600M manages to reach almost 60 FPS using the presets medium and high.

The Last of Us
    1920x1080 Low Preset     1920x1080 Medium Preset     1920x1080 High Preset     1920x1080 Ultra Preset
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
156.3 (47.2min, 71.8P0.1, 93.1P1) fps ∼59%
147.8 (50.4min, 68.9P0.1, 86.7P1) fps ∼61%
144 (52.2min, 66P0.1, 85.9P1) fps ∼63%
138.6 (50.3min, 61.1P0.1, 75.8P1) fps ∼65%
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
155.2 (42.3min, 72.6P0.1, 90.2P1) fps ∼58%
145.5 (56.8min, 78.5P0.1, 90P1) fps ∼60%
142.2 (64.3min, 77.9P0.1, 95P1) fps ∼62%
128.3 (5.05min, 74.9P0.1, 87.1P1) fps ∼60%
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
152.9 (8.83min, 78.7P0.1, 94.1P1) fps ∼57%
141 (48.2min, 76.3P0.1, 93.7P1) fps ∼58%
135.8 (24.1min, 77.6P0.1, 95.6P1) fps ∼59%
118.8 (63.6min, 72.5P0.1, 83.6P1) fps ∼56%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
148.6 (31.6min, 70P0.1, 93.2P1) fps ∼56%
128.8 (54.7min, 69.9P0.1, 87.9P1) fps ∼53%
120.2 (57min, 68.6P0.1, 88P1) fps ∼52%
106.3 (52min, 58.2P0.1, 75.1P1) fps ∼50%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU, i9-12900HX
MSI Titan GT77 12UHS
107.8 (36.6min, 46.6P0.1, 62.8P1) fps ∼40%
95.4 (37.7min, 49.2P0.1, 61.4P1) fps ∼39%
88.4 (30.4min, 44.6P0.1, 58.8P1) fps ∼39%
81.2 (22.3min, 43.2P0.1, 57P1) fps ∼38%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
126.7 (57.3min, 70.1P0.1, 91.6P1) fps ∼47%
107.2 (58min, 67.5P0.1, 84.7P1) fps ∼44%
97.5 (52.9min, 71.2P0.1, 81.7P1) fps ∼43%
79.1 (8.14min, 20.6P0.1, 60.2P1) fps ∼37%
AMD Radeon RX 6800M, R9 5900HX
Asus ROG Strix G15
68.8 (25.7min, 33P0.1, 42.4P1) fps ∼26%
64.5 (25.3min, 36.8P0.1, 40.5P1) fps ∼26%
62.4 (25.2min, 34.1P0.1, 39.9P1) fps ∼27%
56.9 (3.53min, 25.5P0.1, 38.6P1) fps ∼27%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU, i7-12700H
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro
90.8 (30.8min, 48.2P0.1, 68P1) fps ∼34%
65.5 (37.9min, 40.3P0.1, 50.7P1) fps ∼27%
54.8 (1.514min, 3.89P0.1, 37.4P1) fps ∼24%
AMD Radeon RX 6600M, R7 5800H
Lenovo Legion 5
69.6 (23.9min, 31.3P0.1, 46.4P1) fps ∼26%
58.8 (27min, 30.7P0.1, 44.1P1) fps ∼24%
53.9 (27min, 29.7P0.1, 45.4P1) fps ∼24%
37.6 (3.44min, 4.56P0.1, 29.5P1) fps ∼18%
AMD Radeon 680M, R9 6900HS
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
26.4 (17.7min, 18.6P0.1, 21.7P1) fps ∼10%
19.5 (14.5min, 16P0.1, 16.9P1) fps ∼8%
16.6 (13.2min, 14P0.1, 14.4P1) fps ∼7%
13.1 (3.17min, 3.18P0.1, 11.4P1) fps ∼6%

QHD (2,560 x 1,440)

A combination of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels and the ultra preset already makes the hardware and especially the VRAM break a sweat. A GeForce RTX 3070 was the first to successfully reach over 40 FPS. 

The Last of Us
    2560x1440 Ultra Preset
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
106.8 (21.7min, 61.3P0.1, 77.6P1) fps ∼69%
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
95.1 (44.1min, 67P0.1, 71.9P1) fps ∼62%
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
83.9 (55.6min, 60P0.1, 62.8P1) fps ∼54%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
71.2 (38.4min, 49.4P0.1, 56P1) fps ∼46%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU, i9-12900HX
MSI Titan GT77 12UHS
56.8 (21.8min, 42.9P0.1, 46.6P1) fps ∼37%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
48.8 (14.5min, 18.5P0.1, 33.1P1) fps ∼32%
AMD Radeon RX 6800M, R9 5900HX
Asus ROG Strix G15
36.2 (19.3min, 20.9P0.1, 28.6P1) fps ∼23%
AMD Radeon RX 6600M, R7 5800H
Lenovo Legion 5
24.4 (2.69min, 4.13P0.1, 17.9P1) fps ∼16%

UHD (3,840 x 2,160)

If you are playing the game at 3,840 x 2,160 pixels and maximum settings, even top-of-the-range chips such as the GeForce RTX 3080 Ti really struggle. Here, it makes sense to utilise DLSS for example, as laid out in the table below. 

The Last of Us
    3840x2160 Ultra Preset + Quality DLSS     3840x2160 Ultra Preset
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
89.3 (48.1min, 53.4P0.1, 66.3P1) fps ∼70%
56.1 (36.1min, 40.2P0.1, 44.8P1) fps ∼72%
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
51.6 (39.9min, 40.7P0.1, 42.5P1) fps ∼66%
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
43.9 (34.6min, 35.2P0.1, 36.7P1) fps ∼56%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
59.6 (30.6min, 35.4P0.1, 46.4P1) fps ∼47%
34.9 (7.6min, 12P0.1, 20.2P1) fps ∼45%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti Laptop GPU, i9-12900HX
MSI Titan GT77 12UHS
45.8 (32.5min, 34.2P0.1, 36.1P1) fps ∼36%
29.4 (17.7min, 21.7P0.1, 23.1P1) fps ∼38%
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, i9-12900K
Desktop-PC
37.9 (12.2min, 13.9P0.1, 25.2P1) fps ∼30%
21.6 (3.55min, 3.78P0.1, 6.25P1) fps ∼28%
AMD Radeon RX 6800M, R9 5900HX
Asus ROG Strix G15
15.2 (0.913min, 1.047P0.1, 6.47P1) fps ∼20%
AMD Radeon RX 6600M, R7 5800H
Lenovo Legion 5
9.88 (1.564min, 1.783P0.1, 3.86P1) fps ∼13%

Note

Because gaming tests are very time-consuming and are often constrained by installation or activation limits, we are only able to provide you with part of the benchmark results at the time of publishing this article. We will be adding more graphics cards over the coming days and weeks.

Overview

Show Restrictions
PosModel< PrevNext >The Last of Us
 The Last of Us (2023)
low
1920x1080
Low Preset
med.
1920x1080
Medium Preset
high
1920x1080
High Preset
ultra
1920x1080
Ultra Preset
QHD
2560x1440
Ultra Preset
4K
3840x2160
Ultra Preset

3840x2160
Ultra Preset + Quality DLSS
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Laptop GPU
126.8
117.9
107.6
76.3
33.6
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4090 Laptop GPU
113.7
110.8
106.05n2
98.5n2
81.8n3
43.8n3
54.3
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU
98.6n3
85.9n3
77.7n3
69.7n4
42.8n4
30.6
AMD Radeon RX 7600M XT
93.35n2
75.7n2
63.15n2
46.15n2
30.55n2
7.46n2
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4050 Laptop GPU
87.6n2
68.4n4
56.5n4
42.8n3
27.65n2
6.65
AMD Radeon RX 7600S
81.4
67.6
60.2
51.5
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU
74.6
62.5
63.3n2
49.15n2
32.7
AMD Radeon 780M
24.8
18.6
15.2
12.9
Intel Arc 7-Core iGPU
Qualcomm Snapdragon X Adreno X1-85 (4.6 TFLOPS)
AMD Radeon 880M
AMD Radeon RX 7900M
Apple M3 Pro 14-Core GPU
Intel Arc A530M
Qualcomm Snapdragon X Adreno X1-85 (3.8 TFLOPS)
AMD Radeon 760M
AMD Radeon Steam Deck 8CU
AMD Radeon 890M
Intel Arc Graphics 130V
PosModel< PrevNext >The Last of Us
low med. high ultra QHD 4K
Intel Arc A570M
AMD Radeon RX 6550M
Apple M2 Pro 19-Core GPU
Apple M2 Max 38-Core GPU
Intel Arc 8-Core iGPU
Intel Arc Graphics 140V
Intel Graphics 4-Cores iGPU (Arc)
Intel Arc A310
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 6GB Laptop GPU
Apple M3 Pro 18-Core GPU
Apple M3 Max 30-Core GPU
Apple M3 Max 40-Core GPU
AMD Radeon RX 6550S
AMD Radeon RX 6450M
AMD Radeon 610M
Apple M3 10-Core GPU
AMD Radeon RX 7700S
Apple M4 10-core GPU
Apple M2 Max 30-Core GPU
Apple M3 8-Core GPU
PosModel< PrevNext >The Last of Us
low med. high ultra QHD 4K
Apple M2 Pro 16-Core GPU
AMD Radeon 740M
Intel UHD Graphics 24EUs (Alder Lake-N)
AMD Radeon RX 7600M
(-) * 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.

Test systems

MSI Titan GT77 (RTX 3080 Ti)
MSI Titan GT77 (RTX 3080 Ti)
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (RTX 3060)
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro (RTX 3060)
Asus ROG Strix G15 (RX 6800M)
Asus ROG Strix G15 (RX 6800M)
Lenovo Legion 5 (RX 6600M)
Lenovo Legion 5 (RX 6600M)

We currently use these laptops for our gaming benchmarks. Clicking on the photos will take you to the respective manufacturer's page. All other test systems (tower PCs, mini PCs, ...) can be found in the following list.

Device Graphics card Processor RAM
Laptops
MSI Titan GT77 12UHS Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti @175 W TGP (16 GB GDDR6) Intel Core i9-12900 2 x 16 GB DDR5
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 @140 W TGP (6 GB GDDR6) Intel Core i7-12700H 2 x 8 GB DDR5
Asus ROG Strix G15 AMD Radeon RX 6800M (12 GB GDDR6) AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX 2 x 8 GB DDR4
Lenovo Legion 5 AMD Radeon RX 6600M (8 GB GDDR6) AMD Ryzen 7 5800H 2 x 8 GB DDR4
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 AMD Radeon 680M AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS 2 x 16 GB DDR5
Tower PCs
Custom I AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX (24 GB GDDR6)
AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT (20 GB GDDR6)
MSI GeForce RTX 3080 (10 GB GDDR6X)
MSI GeForce RTX 3070 (8 GB GDDR6)
Intel Core i9-12900K 2 x 16 GB DDR4
Custom II Palit GeForce RTX 4090 GameRock OC (24 GB GDDR6X)
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 FE (24 GB GDDR6X)
Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 Ti (8 GB GDDR6X)
Nvidia Titan RTX (24 GB GDDR6)
lNvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super (8 GB GDDR6)
Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Super (8 GB GDDR6)
KFA2 GeForce GTX 1660 Super (6 GB GDDR6)
PNY GeForce GTX 1660 (6 GB GDDR5)
KFA2 GeForce GTX 1650 Super (4 GB GDDR6)
AMD Radeon RX 6950 XT (16 GB DDR6)
AMD Radeon RX 6800 (16 GB DDR6)
AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT (12 GB DDR6)
AMD Radeon RX 6650 XT (8 GB GDDR6)
AMD Radeon RX 6600 (8 GB GDDR6)
AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT (8 GB GDDR6)
AMD Radeon RX 5700 (8 GB GDDR6)
AMD Radeon RX 5600 XT (6 GB GDDR6)
AMD Radeon RX 5500 XT (8 GB GDDR6)
AMD Ryzen 9 7950X 2 x 16 GB DDR5
Custom III Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super FE Intel Core i9-11900K 2 x 8 GB DDR4
Mini PCs
Zotac ZBOX CI665 Nano Intel Iris Xe Graphics G7 (96 CUs) Intel Core i7-1165G7 2 x 8 GB DDR4
Morefine S500+ AMD Radeon RX Vega 8 AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX 2 x 16 GB DDR4
Minisforum NUCXi7 Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 @125 W TGP (8 GB GDDR6) Intel Core i7-11800H 2 x 8 GB DDR4
Minisforum HX99G AMD Radeon RX 6600M @100 W TGP (8 GB GDDR6) AMD Ryzen 9 6900HX 2 x 16 GB DDR5
4K monitors Operating system Nvidia driver AMD driver
Philips Brilliance 329P9H, Gigabyte M32U Windows 11 ForceWare Adrenalin
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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Reviews > The Last of Us Part I review: Laptop and desktop benchmarks
Florian Glaser, 2023-04- 3 (Update: 2023-04- 3)