AMD Radeon R9 290X & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti Review

by Rob Williams on March 3, 2014 in Graphics & Displays

More often than not, every battle in the GPU Wars is hotly contested. From performance to appraisals of value, AMD and NVIDIA always engage in apparent mortal combat with each generation of GPU. This current gen of GPU, though, sees a clear-cut winner in most catagories. So did Team Red win, or did Team Green? Read on to find out!

Page 9 – Synthetic Tests: Futuremark 3DMark, 3DMark 11, Unigine Heaven 4.0

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.

AMD Radeon R9 290X and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti - Futuremark 3DMark

AMD Radeon R9 290X and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti - Futuremark 3DMark 11 - Performance

AMD Radeon R9 290X and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti - Futuremark 3DMark 11 - Extreme

The three different 3DMark tests have a difficult time agreeing on whether it’s the R9 290X or 780 Ti that’s superior. In 3DMark (2013), the 780 Ti gets the smallest of edges, while the Performance test in 3DMark 11 shows the 290X as the better card. Then, things get changed-up once again with the Extreme test in 3DMark 11, with the 780 Ti suddenly in front. Pfft, synthetics. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them.

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.

Unigine Heaven 4.0

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 Radeon R9 290X and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti - Unigine Heaven 4.0 (1920x1080)

The 290X managed a slightly better minimum, but NVIDIA’s strength in tessellation really shines here: 86 vs. 72 FPS. That’s hardly a small difference.

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Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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