by Rob Williams on October 8, 2013 in Graphics & Displays
Most next-gen GPU launches are a simple affair: Launch one model, then another, and then another. AMD’s latest series is a bit different. In advance of its forthcoming flagship R9 290X, the company decided to push all of its mainstream parts off of the truck at once. So, let’s get started, first with a look at the $299 R9 280X.
We don’t make it a point to seek out automated gaming benchmarks, but we do like to get a couple in that anyone reading this can run themselves. Of these, Futuremark’s name leads the pack, as its benchmarks have become synonymous with the activity. Plus, it does help that the company’s benchmarks stress PCs to their limit – and beyond.
While Futuremark’s latest GPU test suite is 3DMark, I’m also including results from 3DMark 11 as it’s still a common choice among benchmarkers.
For the most part, we saw AMD’s card outperform NVIDIA’s by 10~30% in our real-world and timedemo testing; 3DMark puts the advantage at 25%, while 3DMark 11 puts it at 18%.
Unigine Heaven 4.0
Unigine might not have as established a name as Futuremark, but its products are nothing short of “awesome”. The company’s main focus is its game engine, but a by-product of that is its benchmarks, which are used to both give benchmarkers another great tool to take advantage of, and also to show-off what its engine is capable of. It’s a win-win all-around.
The biggest reason that the company’s “Heaven” benchmark is so relied-upon by benchmarkers is that both AMD and NVIDIA promote it for its heavy use of tessellation. Like 3DMark, the benchmark here is overkill by design, so results are not going to directly correlate with real gameplay. Rather, they showcase which card models can better handle both DX11 and its GPU-bogging features.
AMD’s card gains a 24% advantage at 1080p, but a 27% one at 1440p – both are fantastic gains given the performance boost % exceeds the price boost %.