GRID: Autosport

No graphics tests are complete without some input from Codemasters and the EGO engine, which means for this round of testing we point towards GRID: Autosport, the next iteration in the GRID and racing genre. As with our previous racing testing, each update to the engine aims to add in effects, reflections, detail and realism, with Codemasters making ‘authenticity’ a main focal point for this version.

GRID’s benchmark mode is very flexible, and as a result we created a test race using a shortened version of the Red Bull Ring with twelve cars doing two laps. The car is focus starts last and is quite fast, but usually finishes second or third. For low end graphics we test at 1080p medium settings, whereas mid and high end graphics get the full 1080p maximum. Both the average and minimum frame rates are recorded.

GRID: Autosport on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560) 

GRID: Autosport on MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380)

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

The final title in our testing is another battle of system performance with the open world action-adventure title, Shadow of Mordor. Produced by Monolith using the LithTech Jupiter EX engine and numerous detail add-ons, SoM goes for detail and complexity to a large extent, despite having to be cut down from the original plans. The main story itself was written by the same writer as Red Dead Redemption, and it received Zero Punctuation’s Game of The Year in 2014.

For testing purposes, SoM gives a dynamic screen resolution setting, allowing us to render at high resolutions that are then scaled down to the monitor. As a result, we get several tests using the in-game benchmark. For low end graphics we examine at 720p with low settings, whereas mid and high end graphics get 1080p Ultra. The top graphics test is also redone at 3840x2160, also with Ultra settings, and we also test two cards at 4K where possible.

Shadow of Mordor on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560)

Shadow of Mordor on ASUS GTX 980 Strix 4GB ($560)

Shadow of Mordor on MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380)

Shadow of Mordor on MSI R9 290X Gaming LE 4GB ($380)

Gaming Performance: Alien Isolation, Total War Attila, & GTA V Power Consumption and i7-6950X Overclocking
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  • JimmiG - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - link

    What's worse than the price premium is that you're also paying for the previous generation architecture.

    I really don't see why anyone would want one of those CPUs. For gaming and most typical applications, the mainstream models are actually faster because of their more modern architecture and higher clock speeds. If you're a professional user, you should really be looking at Xeons rather than these server rejects.
  • K_Space - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - link

    Exactly. I think that's the whole point: Intel realizes that -realistically- little profit will be made from these B-Es given the little incremental increase in performance so why not use them as an advert for the Xeons (which they have aggressively been marketing for HEDT not just servers over the last few month). Anyone considering these will consider the Xeons now.
  • Ratman6161 - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - link

    There are a few benchmarks where they do make sense, if and only if you are doing that particular task for your job i.e. an environment where time is money. For the rest of us, if I need to do a video conversion of some kind its relatively rare and I can always start it before I go to bed.
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - link

    People belittle AMD because even though Intel has dramatically slowed down the pursuit of speed, AMD still cant catch up. It's actually worse than that though. If AMD were competitive at all in the past decade Intel would still be perusing speed and would be further ahead. Its a double edged sword sort of thing.
  • Flunk - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - link

    Yes, Intel has slowed down for AMD to catch up before. Cough, Pentium 4.
  • retrospooty - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - link

    Yup... and back then AMD took advantage of it. I was the happy owner of a Thunderbird, then an Athlon, then an Athlon X2... Then Intel woke up and AMD went to sleep. For the past decade AMD has been too far behind to even matter. In the desktop CPU space there is Intel and then ... no-one.
  • Flunk - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - link

    You're right, it's totally Intel's fault. They could launch a line of high-end consumer chips that cost the same as the current i5/i7 line but had 2-3X as many cores but no iGPU. They'd cost Intel the same to fabricate. They're the only ones to blame for their slowing sales.
  • khon - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - link

    I could see people buying the i7-6850K for gaming, 6 cores at decent speeds + 40 PCI-E lanes, and $600 is not that bad when consider that some people have $700 1080's in SLI.

    However, the i7-6900/6950 look like they are for professional users only.
  • RussianSensation - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - link

    40 PCI lanes are worthless when i7 6700K can reliably overclock to 4.7-4.8Ghz, and has extra PCIe 3.0 lanes off the chipset. The 6850K will be lucky to get 4.5Ghz, and still lose in 99% of gaming scenarios. Z170 PCIe lanes are sufficient for 1080 SLI and PCIe 3.0 x4 in RAID.

    6850K is the worst processor in the entire Broadwell-E line.
  • Impulses - Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - link

    Well if you're about gaming only you might as well compare it with the 6600K... AFAIK HT doesn't do much for gaming does it? The 6800K isn't much better either when your can just save a few bucks with the 5820K.

    I feel like they could've earned some goodwill despite the high end price hikes by just putting out a single 68xx SKU for like $500, it'd still be a relative price hike for entry into HEDT but could be more easily seen as a good value.

    Are the 6800K bad die harvests or something? Seems dumb to keep that artificial segmentation in place otherwise when HEDT is already pretty far removed from the mainstream platform.

    When I chose the 6700K over the 5820K I thought it'd be the last quad core I'd buy, but at this pace (price hikes, HEDT lagging further behind, lower end SKU still lane limited) I don't know if that'll be true.

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