Ryse: Son of Rome was originally released as an Xbox One exclusive launch title, a tech demo to showcase the graphical capabilities of Microsoft’s next gen console. Crytek, after nearly a year decided to break the exclusivity and let us PC gamers in on their visual masterpiece with a statement from the studio mentioning :

“Ryse for PC takes full advantage of the platform’s power and offers players the chance to experience the Roman Empire like never before with dazzling 4K resolution support”

The game is a hack and slash where you play the role of Marius Titus, a soldier in ancient Rome, taking revenge for his family’s slatter. Its combat system is similar to Shadow of Mordor, with an abundance of combos and death finishes but in a linear open world. We aren’t going to go into a lot of detail about the gameplay other than the basics as this is a PC performance benchmark.


After downloading the 26GB install file from Steam we were excited to see exactly what the game had to offer. Crytek is well known for pushing the boundaries of graphically intense games on PC with Far Cry and the Crysis series being amongst the biggest and most well known.


Ryse is developed on a modified version of Cryengine 3 called the CryEngine 4th generation. Crytek has added quite a few extras for us to fiddle with like SSAA (Supersampling) and 3 predefined settings modes.

The question we wanted to answer is :

“Can Ryse : Son of Rome bring our PCs to their knees ?”

In our benchmark we will cover all three pre-sets low, normal and high in 1080p, 1440p as well as 4K on an older Nvidia GTX680 Kepler, the AMD R9-290 Hawaii as well as the new GTX970 Maxwell architecture. Sadly there is no SLi and Crossfire support and our unofficial hacks yielded worse performance than our single graphic cards, so we decided to not add them until official support is available.


Testing Components

Ryse Son of Rome Main Menu


Ryse Benchmark System

CPU i7 3930K
Motherboard Asus P9X79 Deluxe
RAM Kingston Hyper-X 16GB 1600mhz
HDD/SSD Crucial M550 256GB
GPU Galax GTX970 EXOC 4GB , MSI R9-290 Gaming 4S, Asus GTX680 2GB Reference
Monitor Asus PB287Q 28″ 4K 60Hz 1MS
PSU Corsair AX1200W
OS Windows 8.1
Drivers Nvidia: 344.16 WHQL (GTX970), 344.11 WHQL (GTX680), AMD: Catalyst 14.9



We ran the benchmarks on a fresh install of Windows 8.1 with the latest drivers for our test system. We use DDU to clear any previous drivers when interchanging GPUs. Throughout each resolution and setting we fresh boot the system.

Ryse doesn’t have an internal benchmark so we picked the combat tutorial where Marius fights his father. We played to the point where you have to block his father’s attacks , previously there are tutorial popups that would interfere with our frame rates. We run towards the balcony where the arena building and courtyard is visible. The benchmark is run at that point for 60 seconds with VSync disabled and lock fps disabled while all the other settings are controlled by the pre-set.


Ryse Son of Rome Graphics Settings Menu


Ryse Son of Rome Advanced Graphics Menu


We couldn’t be subjective enough without adding frametimes. For those that don’t already know frametime is a factor we like analysing due to frame rates not describing the smoothness of the game on various setups. High frame times or “stuttering” as most describe it, usually occur when it takes to long to go from one frame to another causing a slight delay in the game. Your frame rate might be fine and above 30 FPS but you feel a slight “pause” or “cut” in the general flow in gameplay.

VRAM bottleneck is seen when system RAM usage as well as the pagefile start spiking when at or near the graphic card’s VRAM limitation. Using MSI Afterburner OSD or an equivalent program you can see the Vram, system memory as well as pagefile resources. You should feel a slight stutter when the latter start increasing.

To be able to pass our playability test the 99th percentile of frametimes must average at or lower than 16.7ms , the 0.1 percentile not spiking above 50ms as well as the game not utilizing all VRAM resources. Our own personal experience using these standards ensure no bottlenecks, visual lag or stuttering at 60Hz. For some users higher or lower values may be tolerated depending on hardware setups and monitor refresh rates.


Image Comparison

Ryse Son of Rome 1920x1080 Low Settings

Ryse Son of Rome 1920x1080 Normal Settings

Ryse Son of Rome 1920x1080 High Settings


At 1920×1080 we see some excessive blurriness especially on the low and normal pre-sets. This is not due to motion blur as it’s visible without moving. At low and normal we see some jagged lines while in high they aren’t as noticeable due to temporal Anti-Aliasing (SMAA TX1) and a higher anisotropic filtering (8x).


Ryse Son of Rome 2560x1440 Low Settings

Ryse Son of Rome 2560x1440 Normal Settings

Ryse Son of Rome 2560x1440 High Settings


Pushing 3.6+ megapixels at 1440p gives the game a whole different feel. Textures are crispier , character detail becomes better , the blur that we had at 1080p is not visible anymore while jagged lines are nearly eliminated.


Ryse Son of Rome 3840x2160 Low Settings

Ryse Son of Rome 3840x2160 normal  Settings

Ryse Son of Rome 3840x2160 High Settings


At the 4K resolution Ryse is just stunning. In general we could say the game is one of the most beautiful of this year’s releases,  although we did find a few scenes that weren’t up to those standards. At 3840×2160 you are going to have a hard time running the game on just about any single GPU available at the moment. Which we will analyze in the next few paragraphs.


1920×1080 Low-Normal-High Benchmark

Ryse Son of Rome 1920x1080 Low Benchmark Framerate

Ryse Son of Rome 1920x1080 Low Benchmark Frametimes



Ryse Son of Rome 1920x1080 Normal Benchmark Framerate

Ryse Son of Rome 1920x1080 Normal Benchmark Frametimes



Ryse Son of Rome 1920x1080 High Benchmark Framerate

Ryse Son of Rome 1920x1080 High Benchmark Frametimes


Even the older GTX680 Kepler seems to run the game fine at 1080p with normal and high running just under 60fps. The R9-290 has a clear advantage on all the settings against the newer Maxwell GTX970. We see no strange frametime variations throughout the full hd resolution.

2560×1440 Low-Normal-High

Ryse Son of Rome 2560x1440 Low Benchmark Framerate

Ryse Son of Rome 2560x1440 Low Benchmark Frametimes



Ryse Son of Rome 2560x1440 Normal Benchmark Framerate

Ryse Son of Rome 2560x1440 Normal Benchmark Frametimes



Ryse Son of Rome 2560x1440 High Benchmark Framerate

Ryse Son of Rome 2560x1440 High Benchmark Frametimes


At 1440p our GTX680’s VRAM fills completely from the low setting (our reference Asus is the 2GB version). Looking at frametimes, even though the game is utilizing all the 680s video memory, there are no major hiccups. For our strict standards the game isn’t playable on the older Kepler, even though the scene we benchmarked isn’t entirely taxing and any minor dip below 30 FPS in other scenarios would be visible lag. The GTX970 and R9-290 seem to handle even high pretty well at just below 60 FPS and again we see the R9-290 in the lead.

3840×2160 (4K) Low-Normal-High

Ryse Son of Rome 3840x2160 4K Low Benchmark Framerate

Ryse Son of Rome 3840x2160 4K Low Benchmark Frametimes



Ryse Son of Rome 3840x2160 4K Normal Benchmark Framerate

Ryse Son of Rome 3840x2160 4K Normal Benchmark Frametimes



Ryse Son of Rome 3840x2160 4K High Benchmark Framerate

Ryse Son of Rome 3840x2160 4K High Benchmark Frametimes


At the 4K resolution none of our GPUs can handle even the lowest of settings. The R9-290 has 20-25% higher frame rates and lower frametimes than the GTX970. Strangely though we didn’t feel any excessive stutter other than in the GTX680’s case with the limited VRAM .


Crytek has done an amazing job porting this console title to PC. With our higher end cards at 4K even though the game isn’t playable for our standards, there are no strange framedrops or visual stutter . The game feels smooth even at these low frame rates, something odd especially for a PC port.

The R9-290 and GTX970 aren’t the highest tier graphics cards, but their bigger brothers the R9-290x and GTX980 with a good overclock still would not be able to run the game at acceptable frame rates at 4K. Hopefully optimizations from Nvidia and AMD will give us a slight boost to performance. We aren’t limited by VRAM here as the highest monitored usage was just slightly below 3600MB. Its more about the horsepower. (Crytek title maybe?)


Ryse Son Of Rome Pc Benchmark Performance


With Sli and Crossfire, hopefully when drivers and profiles are released we should be able to run the game at 4K , but for now scaling with hacks is worse than a single card.

Graphically as stated the game does look impressive at 1440p and 4K. For those running a lower resolution monitor enabling 1.5×1.5 or 2×2 SSAA (despit the performance hit) should give you the visuals of a higher resolution.

In our opinion for those looking to get the game it’s short, repetitive and nothing more than a benchmark tool to bring your PC to its knees. You might be better off looking into Shadow Of Mordor as it’s a unique experience with a lot more going for it.

See Pricing

If you have any questions about the benchmark please ask in the comment section below and I will be glad to answer.

About The Author

"Overclock and benchmark freak"

  • R6ex

    GM200, where are you?

    • Nikolas Nikolaou

      Hopefully with both Nvidia’s GM200 we will see a bigger performance leap as current gen Maxwell tends to lean towards efficiency. For AMD’s Pirate Island we would need to wait and see.

      • R6ex

        From the rumors on the web, looks like the first GM200 card will not have a big leap in performance as it is still on 28nm. So, we’re only looking at 30-40% performance improvement over the GTX 980. With no answer from AMD, guess the GM200 will hold over for 2015. Only in 2016 will be get 16nm Nvidia Pascal cards for that big performance leap. I’d like to wait, but with demanding games like The Witcher 3, The Division etc. coming up, I have to upgrade, either to the GTX 970 or at best, a 28nm GM200 card.

  • Anjii

    This was a crappy benchmark. You picked a simple scene with 2 enemies. Go benchmark the forest levels during combat, they are so much more graphically intense than a simple 1v1 in a small room…… What kind of benchmark is that?!

    • Nikolas Nikolaou

      Results can drastically differ in a 60 second run if variables are not kept exactly the same. We try to be as unbiased as possible towards both GPU manufacturers running apples vs apples and providing the data as is with a standard metric (playability test) and a personal opinion on how we interpret all this.

    • Jay

      What u on about stop being a nvidia fanboy

      • Nikolas Nikolaou

        The R9-290 is a more powerful card as per specs but ofcourse with a very high TDP and heat. There will be titles that perform better on either brand. Ryse favors AMD as seen in the benchmark. In our Fire Strike benchmark we see Nvidia leading.

  • Seb

    I have to say what my experience is with this game. I have a GTX 780 3GB and FX8350 4Ghz

    and this game has microfreezing every time I move the camera or make the character walk. Exact same thing happens when running the game at 800×600, low graphics preset and all other graphics settings off. Also tried to manually edit the config file and set the textures to low, same thing.

    • Nikolas Nikolaou

      The GTX680 I used in the benchmark only had stuttering issues when it was hitting a VRAM wall, the GTX780 is on par with the GTX970 performance so you should be getting good performance with little to no stutter. As you have lowered the resolution and settings I presume its either a driver issue or an overheating problem. Try using MSI afterburner with the in-game OSD to pickup any issues. Try uninstalling and cleaning out your drivers with DDU, then retesting the game.