The AMD Radeon R9 290X Reviewby Ryan Smith on October 24, 2013 12:01 AM EST
Still one of our most punishing benchmarks, Crysis 3 needs no introduction. With Crysis 3, Crytek has gone back to trying to kill computers and still holds “most punishing shooter” title in our benchmark suite. Only in a handful of setups can we even run Crysis 3 at its highest (Very High) settings, and that’s still without AA. Crysis 1 was an excellent template for the kind of performance required to drive games for the next few years, and Crysis 3 looks to be much the same for 2013.
Much like Battlefield 3, at 2560 it’s a neck and neck race between the 290X and the GTX 780. At 52fps neither card stands apart, and in traditional Crysis fashion neither card is fast enough to pull off 60fps here – never mind the fact that we’re not even at the highest quality levels.
Meanwhile if we bump up the resolution to 4K, things get ugly, both in the literal and figurative senses. Even at the game’s lowest quality settings neither card can get out of the 40s, though as usual the 290X pulls ahead in performance at this resolution.
As such, for 60fps+ on Crysis 3 we’ll have to resort to AFR, which gives us some interesting results depending on which resolution we’re looking at. For 2560 it’s actually the GTX 780 SLI that pulls ahead, beating the 290X in scaling. However at 4K it’s the 290X CF that pulls ahead, enjoying a 53% scaling factor to the GTX 780’s 40%. Interestingly both cards see a reduction in scaling factors here versus 2560, despite the fact that both cards are having no problem reaching full utilization. Something about Crysis 3, most likely the sheer workload the game throws out at our GPUs, is really bogging things down at 4K. Though to AMD’s credit despite the poorer scaling factor at 4K the 290X CF in uber mode is just fast enough to hit 60fps at Medium quality, and not a frame more.
Moving on to our look at delta percentages, all of our AFR setups are acceptable here, but nothing is doing well. 20-21% variance is the order of the day, a far cry from the 1-2% variance of single card setups. This is one of those games where both vendors need to do their homework, as we’re going to be seeing a lot more of CryEngine 3 over the coming years.
As for 4K, things are no better but at least they’re no worse.