Crysis: Warhead

Up next is our legacy title for 2013, Crysis: Warhead. The stand-alone expansion to 2007’s Crysis, at over 4 years old Crysis: Warhead can still beat most systems down. Crysis was intended to be future-looking as far as performance and visual quality goes, and it has clearly achieved that. We’ve only finally reached the point where single-GPU cards have come out that can hit 60fps at 1920 with 4xAA.

At 2560 we still have a bit of a distance to go before any single-GPU card can crack 60fps. In lieu of that Titan is the winner as expected. Leading the GTX 680 by 54%, this is Titan’s single biggest win over its predecessor, actually exceeding the theoretical performance advantage based on the increase in functional units alone. For some reason GTX 680 never did gain much in the way of performance here versus the GTX 580, and while it’s hard to argue that Titan has reversed that, it has at least corrected some of the problem in order to push more than 50% out.

In the meantime, with GTX 680’s languid performance, this has been a game the latest Radeon cards have regularly cleared. For whatever reason they’re a good match for Crysis, meaning even with all its brawn, Titan can only clear the 7970GE by 21%.

On the other hand, our multi-GPU cards are a mixed bag. Once more Titan loses to both, but the GTX 690 only leads by 15% thanks to GK104’s aforementioned weak Crysis performance. Meanwhile the 7990 takes a larger lead at 33%.

I’d also note that we’ve thrown in a “bonus round” here just to see when Crysis will be playable at 1080p with its highest settings and with 4x SSAA for that picture-perfect experience. As it stands AMD multi-GPU cards can already cross 60fps, but for everything else we’re probably a generation off yet before Crysis is completely and utterly conquered.

Moving on, we once again have minimum framerates for Crysis.

When it comes to Titan, the relative improvement in minimum framerates over GTX 680 is nothing short of obscene. Whatever it was that was holding back GTX 680 is clearly having a hard time slowing down Titan, leading to Titan offering 71% better minimum framerates. There’s clearly much more going on here than just an increase in function units.

Meanwhile, though Titan’s gains here over the 7970GE aren’t quite as high as they were with the GTX 680, the lead over the 7970GE still grows a bit to 26%. As for our mutli-GPU cards, this appears to be a case where SLI is struggling; the GTX 690 is barely faster than Titan here. Though at 31% faster than Titan, the 7990 doesn’t seem to be faltering much.

Sleeping Dogs Far Cry 3
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  • JeBarr - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    I would guess because as time goes by the reviewers here (and elsewhere) think they need to bench at settings used by the "majority". Even when that majority doesn't frequent, or even know the existance of, Anandtech.com. Go figure.

    I don't like it any more than you do...but for different reasons.

    I for one was happy to have a review site still benching at 16:10...which is what the long-time hardware enthusiasts/gamers prefer, that is, when they can't find a good CRT monitor ;)

    Just think of this review as the new bench standard going forward. A new starting point, if you will.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    Bench 2013 will be going live soon. The backend is done (it's what I used to store and generate the charts here), but the frontend is part of a larger project...

    As for why the settings change, when we refresh our suite we sometimes change our settings to match what the latest generation of cards can do. When Titan sets the high bar for example, running 2560 at Ultra with 4xMSAA is actually practical.
    Reply
  • TheJian - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    NO Borderlands 2 (~6 million copies sold rated 89! not counting the addons rated high also)
    No Diablo3 (I hate the DRM but 10million+ sold of course rated high, but not by users)
    No Guild 2 (MMO with 3million copies sold rated 90!) even WOW Mists of pandaria has 3million or so now and 11 million playing the game's total content. I don't play WOW but it's still got a TON of users.
    No Assassin's Creed 3 (brings 680/7970 to low 30's 2560x1600)
    Crysis 3, warhead needs to die, and this needs to replace it (at the very LEAST). As shown below NOBODY is playing warhead. Wasted page space, and time spend benching it.

    Instead we get Crysis warhead...ROFL Well what can we expect Ryan still loves AMD.
    http://www.gametracker.com/search/warhead/
    Notice all the empty servers? Go ahead list them by players only 3 had over 10!..Most are ZERO players...LOL...Why even waste your time benchmarking this ignored game? Just to show NV weakness?
    Dirt Showdown - Raise your hand if you play this...Nope, you're all playing Dirt3 (wisely, or F1 etc anything that rates better than showdown)
    User ratings on metacritic of 70/4.7 (out of TEN not 5) and best summarized by gamespy (rated it a 40/100 on the frontpage of the metacritic site: http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/dirt-showdown
    "DiRT: Showdown delivers bargain-basement entertainment value for the high, high price of $50. With its neutered physics, limited driving venues, clunky multiplayer, and diminished off-road racing options, discerning arcade racing fans should just write this one off as an unanticipated pothole in Codemaster's trailblazing DiRT series. "
    If you're going to use a racing game, at least make it a good one, not just the one AMD wins in. Why not F1 2012 (scored 80 at metacritic/6.8 from users). AMD wins in warhead which is also why crysis warhead is chosen even though nobody plays it (it's from 2008!). Again check the server list, who are you testing this for? What does it represent today? What other game based on it's engine? It's representing nothing correct? Nobody plays showdown either.

    How about adding some games people actually PLAY. I thought the whole point of benchmarking is to show us how games WE PLAY will run, is that not true at anandtech?

    Also no discussion of the frame delay ala Techreport:
    http://techreport.com/review/24381/nvidia-geforce-...
    No discussion of the frame latency issues that AMD is working on game by game. Their current beta I think just fixed the skyrim/borderland/guild wars2 issues which were awful.
    http://techreport.com/review/24218/a-driver-update...
    This has been an ongoing problem Anantech (ryan?) seems to just ignore. AMD is just getting to fixing this stuff in Jan...LOL. You can read more about it in the rematch of the 660TI/7950 here:
    http://techreport.com/review/23981/radeon-hd-7950-...
    Of course you can start at the beginning but this is where they recommend the 660TI and why (dec 2012 article).
    "The FPS average suggests near-parity performance between the 7950 and the GTX 660 Ti, with a tiny edge to the GeForce. The 99th percentile frame time, though, captures the impact of the Radeon's frame latency issues and suggests the GTX 660 Ti is easily the superior performer."
    More:
    "Instead, we have a crystal clear recommendation of the GeForce GTX 660 Ti over the Radeon HD 7950 for this winter's crop of blockbuster games. Perhaps AMD will smooth out some of the rough patches in later driver releases, but the games we've tested are already on the market—and Nvidia undeniably delivers the better experience in them, overall. "
    Even Tomshardware reports on delays now (albeit the wrong metric...LOL). Read the comments at techreport for why they're using the wrong one.

    No wonder they left out the xmas blockbusters and diablo3 (which will still sell probably 15million over it's life even though I would never buy it). I can name other games that are hot and new also:
    Dishonored, Deadspace 3, max payne 3, all highly rated. Max 3 barely hits 50's on top cards at 2560x1600 (7970ghz, 680 even lower), excellent test game and those are NOT the minimums (which can bring you to 20's/teens on lower cards). Witcher 2 (witcher 3 is coming), with uber sampling ENABLED is a taxer also.

    Dragon Age 2 at 2560x1600 will bring 7970/680 to teens/20's at minimums also, barely hits 40's avg (why use ONLY AVG at techspot I don't know, but better than maxes).
    http://www.techspot.com/review/603-best-graphics-c...

    START reporting MIN FPS for every game benched! There should be more discussion of the fact that in a lot of these games you hit teens for even $500 cards at 2560x1600 maxed out. Max fps means NOTHING. IF you hit 10-20fps a lot in a game your max means nothing. You won't want to play at that res, so what have you shown me? NOTHING. You should ALWAYS report MIN FPS as that dictates our gameplay experience and if it isn't always above 30 life sucks usually. Farcry 3 hits below 30 on both 680/7970 at 2560x1600.
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2013/02/21/nvidia_g...
    And they don't have them on ULTRA, only titan is and none on 4xmsaa. At least they're giving max details/res you can expect to play and what it's min will be (better, you at least have USEFUL info after reading their benchmarks).

    From your article:
    "This is enough to get Titan to 74fps at 2560 with 4xMSAA, which is just fast enough to make BF3 playable at those settings with a single GPU."
    Why didn't you just report the minimums so we can see when ALL cards hit 30fps or less in all resolutions tested? If the game doesn't give a way to do this use fraps while running it (again, for ALL games). So it takes 74fps to get playable in BF3? It's easier to just give the minimums so people can see, otherwise are we supposed to attempt to extrapolate every one of your games without MINS listed? You did it for us in this sentence, but for ONE card and even then it's just a comment, not a number we can work with. It's YOU extrapolating your own guess that it would be playable given 74fps. What kind of benchmarking is this? I won't even get into your other comments throughout the articles on titan, It's more important to me to key on what you totally ignore that is VERY important to anyone picking ANY gpu. SMOOTHNESS of gameplay (latency testing) and MIN FPS so we know where we have no prayer of playing or what to expect playable on a given gpu. This is why Hardocp actually points to you guys as why your benchmarks suck. It's linked in most of their articles...LOL. FIX IT.
    http://www.hardocp.com/article/2008/02/11/benchmar...
    They have that in nearly every gpu article including the titan article. It's a valid point. But if you're not going to use IN GAME play, at least give min fps for canned etc. That link is in the test setup page of nearly every article on hardocp, you'd think you'd fix this so they'd stop. Your benchmarks represent something that doesn't reflect gameplay in most cases. The maxfps doesn't dictate fun factor. MIN does.

    One comment on Titan, I'd think about it at $800-850. Compute isn't important today at home for me, and won't be until more games use it like civ5 (they're just scratching surface here). At that point this card could become a monster compared to 690 without heat, noise etc. One day it may be worth $1000 to me, but for now it's not worth more than $800 (to me, no SFF needed, no compute needed). I don't like any dual chips or running multiple cards (see microstutter, latency delays etc), so once cheaper this would be tops on my list, but I don't usually spend over $360 on a card anyway...LOL. Most of the first run will go to boutique shops (20K first run I think). Maybe they'll drop it after that.

    LOL at anyone thinking the price sucks. Clearly you are NOT the target market. If you're product sells out at a given price, you priced it right. That's good business, and actually you probably should have asked more if it's gone in hours. You can still an SLI of titan in SFF, what other card can do that? You always pay a premium for the TOP card. Intel's extreme chips are $1000 too...No surprise. Same thing on the pro side is $2500 and not much different. IT's 20% slower than 690, but 690 can't go into SFF for the most part and certainly not as quiet or controllable. Also blows away 690 in compute if someone is after that. Though they need APPS that test this, not some home made anandtech benchmark. How about testing something I can actually USE and is relevant (no I don't count folding@home or bitcoin mining either, they don't make me money-a few coins?...LOL).
    Reply
  • JeBarr - Thursday, February 21, 2013 - link

    I'm pretty sure Ryan has mentioned the benches you want are forthcoming. Maybe they haven't figured it all out yet...i dunno....but like you, I've been waiting what seems like a year or more for Anandtech to catch up with reality in GPU benching. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - link

    Yes, well I've found Frame Rate Target to be an absolute GEM in this area:

    " START reporting MIN FPS for every game benched! There should be more discussion of the fact that in a lot of these games you hit teens for even $500 cards at 2560x1600 maxed out. Max fps means NOTHING. IF you hit 10-20fps a lot in a game your max means nothing. "

    If you crank to max settings then have frame drop issues, FRAME RATE TARGET by nVidia of course, is excellent for minimizing and eliminating that issue.
    It really is a great and usable feature, and of course is for the most now already completely ignored.

    It was ported back to at least the top 500 series cards I don't remember exactly which ones right now, but that feature should have an entire article dedicated to it at every review site. It is AWESOME, and directly impacts minimum frame rates lofting nVidia to absolutely playable vs amd.

    I really think the bias won't ever be overcome. We used to hear nothing but eyefinity, yet now with nvidia cards capable of 4 monitors out of the box, it has suddenly become very unpopular for reviewers to mention eyefinity, surround, and surround plus ONE MORE in the nVidia case, without the need for any special adapters in many of nViida's partners card releases.

    So, it's really a sick situation.
    Reply
  • Urbanos - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    he went through all the trouble of benchmarking in order to show that entry points for budget conscious users can get through Titan, but it doesn't actually prove that Titan is even worth the money without comparing it to at least 1 of its bigger competitors in the GPGPU market. Can you please consider adding that or having a new review based on the compute only. Reply
  • codedivine - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    I am certainly interested in looking at the Xeon Phi if I can find the time and if we can arrange the resources to do so.

    My performance expectation (based on Intel white papers) is about 1700-1800 GFLops for SGEMM and 800-900 GFlops for DGEMM on the Xeon Phi 5110P. However, there are also a few benchmarks where I am expecting them to win as well thanks to the large cache on the Phi. Stay tuned.
    Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, February 25, 2013 - link

    This is really a consumer/prosumer level review, so the cards we're going to judge it against need to be comparable in price and intended audience. Not only can we not get some of those parts, but all of them cost many times more than Titan.

    If we were ever able to review K20, then they would be exactly the kinds of parts we'd try to include though.
    Reply
  • kivig - Friday, February 22, 2013 - link

    There is a whole community of 3D people interested.
    Or when it will get added to bench table?
    Reply
  • etriky - Saturday, February 23, 2013 - link

    +1
    Since this card at this price point is pointless for gaming I figured the article would be heavy on compute applications in order to give us a reason for it's existence.

    But then, nothing. No SmallLuxGpu or Cycles. Not even any commercial packages like Octane, or any of the Adobe products. I know LuxGPU and Blender used to be in the test suite. What happened?
    Reply

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