by Rob Williams on May 30, 2015 in Graphics & Displays
There’s a whiff of new high-end GPUs in the air, and before they reach us, we want to take another look at NVIDIA’s ~$200 GeForce GTX 960. This one comes from EVGA, and is called the SuperSC. It boasts a factory overclock, as well as the company’s advanced ACX 2.0 cooler. How does it fare, and can it be pushed further? Read on.
Given the sheer number of titles in the Assassin’s Creed series, it’s a little hard to believe that the first game came out a mere seven years ago. You could definitely say that Ubisoft hit the ball out of the park with this one. To date, we’ve never considered an AC game for benchmarking, but given the number of graphical goodies featured in the PC version of Black Flag, that trend now ends.
Manual Run-through: The saved game starts us not far from the beginning of the game under a small church which can be climbed to synchronize with the environment. To kick things off, I scale this church and rotate the camera around once, making sure to take in the beautiful landscape; then, I climb back down and run all the way to the water (the top of this small church and the water can be seen in the above screenshot).
Note: For some reason, Ubisoft decided to cap the framerate to 60 FPS in Black Flag even if Vsync is turned off. For most games, this would ruin the chance of it appearing in our benchmarking, but because the game is graphically intensive, I’ve chosen to stick with it, as at higher resolutions, reaching 60 FPS is a perk that will belong only to high-end graphics cards.
Both EVGA’s SuperSC and ASUS’ Strix GTX 960s share similar clocks, so it’s not too surprising to see that both cards are neck-in-neck here. At 1440p, the game can be enjoyed at 50 FPS, and if you are willing to forego SSAO and possibly God Rays, you will peak at 60 FPS.
Thanks to the fact that DICE cares more about PC gaming than a lot of developers, the Battlefield series tends to give us titles that are well-worth benchmarking. Battlefield 3 offered incredible graphics and became a de facto benchmark immediately, so it’s no surprise, then, that BF4 follows right in its footsteps.
Manual Run-through: The Singapore level is the target here, with the saved game starting us on an airboat that must be driven to shore, where a massive battle is set to take place. I stop recording the framerate once the tank makes its way to the end of this small patch of beach; in all, the run takes about 3 minutes.
EVGA’s SuperSC pushes Battlefield 4 to just short of the 60 FPS mark at 1080p, but I’d wager most people will consider that to be close enough. At 1440p, detail has to be decreased to achieve playable framerates. Fortunately, we cover those settings later in the article.