When there’s a noticeable gap of time in between major GPU launches, one thing’s bound to happen: we’re going to see models get released that slot into gaps we didn’t think existed. That’s the case of both AMD’s Radeon HD 7790 and NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST, which retail for the same price. Let’s check them out.
Game Tests: Battlefield 3, DiRT: Showdown
Battlefield 3 is a rare treat when it comes to PC gaming. Rather than develop the game for the consoles first and then port over to the PC, DICE built the game with the PC in mind from the getgo. It’s graphically one of the most impressive games ever created, so it’s of little surprise that it finds itself in our testing.
Manual Run-through: Operation Guillotine (chapter 5) is the basis for our benchmarking here, as it features a lot of smoke, water, debris and is reliable to benchmark repeatedly. Our run starts us at the top of a hill, where we immediately rise up and run down it. We make our way down to the riverbed below, and end our run once we hit the first set of stairs.
While we expected both AMD’s and NVIDIA’s latest GPUs to come close, NVIDIA sits comfortably ahead. Given the beefy detail levels of the game, we’re led to believe this is a direct result of the AMD card being stuck with just 1GB of GDDR5, versus 2GB. We’ll see how some of the forthcoming lesser-intense games fare.
For so many reasons, the DiRT series is one of the best out there for racing fans. Each game offers outstanding graphics and audio, excellent control and environments that are way too much fun to tear up. Showdown is an interesting beast, as it features destructive racing, but as we discovered in our review, it too is a ton of fun.
Manual Run-through: In our search for the perfect Showdown track to test with, we found that any of the snow levels offered the greatest stress on a GPU. The specific track we chose is the second race in the second tier, taking place in Colorado. We begin our FPS recording as soon as the countdown to the race begins, and end it as soon as we hit the finish line at the end of the three-lap race.
Being a game that we’ve found in the past has favored AMD’s cards, the results here are not too surprising. They are a contrast to our Battlefield 3 results, as AMD’s the one to come ahead here – but only by a small margin.