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Company of Heroes 2

Our second benchmark in our benchmark suite is Relic Games’ Company of Heroes 2, the developer’s World War II Eastern Front themed RTS. For Company of Heroes 2 Relic was kind enough to put together a very strenuous built-in benchmark that was captured from one of the most demanding, snow-bound maps in the game, giving us a great look at CoH2’s performance at its worst. Consequently if a card can do well here then it should have no trouble throughout the rest of the game.

Our first strategy game is also our first game that is flat out AFR incompatible, and as a result the only way to get the best performance out of Company of Heroes 2 is with the fastest single-GPU card available. To that end this is a very clear victory for the 290X, and in fact will be the largest lead for the 290X of all of our benchmarks. At 2560 it’s a full 29% faster than the GTX 780, which all but puts the 290X in a class of its own. This game also shows some of the greatest gains for the 290X over the 280X, with the 290X surpassing its Tahti based predecessor by an equally chart topping 41%. It’s not clear what it is at this time that Company of Heroes 2 loves about 290X in particular, but as far as this game is concerned AMD has put together an architecture that maps well to the game’s needs.

Briefly, because of a lack of AFR compatibility 4K is only barely attainable with any kind of GPU setup. In fact we’re only throwing in the scale-less SLI/CF numbers to showcase that fact. We had to dial down our quality settings to Low on CoH2 in order to get a framerate above 30fps; even though we can be more liberal about playable framerates on strategy games, there still needs to be a cutoff for average framerates around that point. As a result 280X, GTX Titan, and 290X are the only cards to make that cutoff, with 290X being the clear winner. But the loss in quality to make 4K achievable is hardly worth the cost.

 

Moving on to minimum framerates, we see that at its most stressful points that nothing, not even 290X, can keep its minimums above 30fps. For a strategy game this is bearable, but we certainly wouldn’t mind more performance. AMD will be pleased though, as their performance advantage over the GTX 780 is only further extended here; a 29% average performance advantage becomes a 43% minimum performance advantage at 2560.

Finally, while we don’t see any performance advantages from AFR on this game we did run our FCAT benchmarks anyhow to quickly capture the delta percentages. Company of Heroes 2 has a higher than average variance even among single cards, which results in deltas being above 5%. The difference between 5% and 7% is not going to be too significant in practice here, but along with AMD’s performance advantage they do have slightly more consistent frame times than the GTX 780. Though in both the case of the 280X and the 290X we’re looking at what are essentially the same deltas, so while the 290X improves on framerates versus the 280X, it doesn’t bring with it any improvements in frame time consistency.

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  • Blamcore - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    Wow, I was just remarking yesterday that NV fanbois had sunk to the level of apple fanbois, when I was seeing the argument "you just like AMD because you can't afford NV" on a few boards. Now here is apple fanbois famous argument "my company is better because they have a higher profit margin" Gratz your unreasonable bias just went up a level!
    I know, you aren't a fanboy, you are really a business expert here to recommend that a company should gain market share by releasing a card roughly equal to what it's competitor had out for months and pricing it the same as they do! Maybe the could have asked 650 if they released it last January
    Reply
  • puppies - Saturday, October 26, 2013 - link

    R+D costs come from the sale price of the card. Are you tring to claim a $300 GPU costs $300 in materials? R+D costs also come from the fact that shrinking the process enables the manufacturer to get more cards per die each time.

    Look at Intel and AMD their chips don't go up in price each time they get faster, they stay at the same price point. The last 2 cards I have bought have been Nvidia but the next one will be AMD at this rate. I expect a 660TI to be faster and more energy efficient than a 560TI and at the same price point WHEN IT IS RELEASED and I think a lot of people are in the same boat. Nvidia is trying to push people into spending more each time they release a new model line up and it stinks.

    I don't care if a 660 is faster than a 560TI, forcing people to move down the GPU lineup just smacks of NVIDIA price gouging.
    Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    I have to disagree with you Berzerker. Although his post clearly "overpromotes" the 290, it is incredible value when you consider it is faster and cheaper (by hundreds of dollars) than the Titan.

    -Geforce 660TI owner
    Reply
  • Laststop311 - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    For people that value a quiet computer, this card is trash Reply
  • Spunjji - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    For people that value a quiet computer, all stock coolers are useless.

    People that value a truly quiet computer won't even be playing at this end of the GPU market.
    Reply
  • Samus - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    This card is a great candidate for water cooling since the back of the PCB is essentially empty. Water cooling the face side is cheaper/easier, and this card can clearly use it. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    He didn't say "silent." He said "quiet." I'd argue the Titan/780/690 coolers were all "quiet," but not "silent."

    Since he said quiet, I don't think his expectation is unreasonable to expect a certain level of "quiet" at the $500+ range of discrete cards.
    Reply
  • Nenad - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    780 with stock cooler is not useless, and it IS quiet (it is not 'silent')
    BTW, going by posted numbers it seems 290x will be TWICE as noisy as GTX780 ?
    Reply
  • ballfeeler - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Methinks Berzerker7 is just salty and perhaps partial to nvidia.  Nothing itchy wrote is inaccurate, including the $550 price that Salty-Berzerker7 claimed was $600. 

    -          Fastest card ?  - yup

    -          Free game ? – yup

    -          Pooped all over titan ? –yup

    Do not be salty mr. Berzerker7.  AMD just roundhouse kicked nvidia square in the gonads with performance above Titan for half the price.
    Reply
  • Shark321 - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    At 1080p it's actually slower than Titan if you average all reviews across the sites. With some reviews even slightly slower than the 780. It's also the loudest card ever produced after 30 minutes of playing (9,6 Sone in Battlefield 3 according to PCGamesExtreme). With this noise it's not acceptable and there will be no other coolers for the time being. Reply

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