Game Performance: Crysis, Metro, DiRT, Shogun, & Batman

As the 7970 BEDD is a factory overclocked card it has a leg up in performance on the reference 7970, with the specific advantage depending on the game and whether it benefits more from the 8% core overclock or the 4% RAM overclock. Since this is architecturally identical to the reference 7970 we won’t make any drawn out conclusions, but it’s easy enough to see the benefits of higher clockspeeds on a 7970 card.

The BEDD leads the reference 7970 by about 4% in Crysis, more closely trending the memory clockspeed difference than the core clockspeed difference.

With Metro the story is similar; at 2560 we’re seeing a 4% gain. At 1920 however that gain is closer to 8%, which may mean Metro is teetering on being memory bandwidth limited at the highest resolutions.

DiRT 3’s performance gains almost strictly mirror the increase in the core clock, if not lead it by a bit. For this reason DiRT 3 is clearly the most GPU limited title in our lineup, and the title to benefit the most from XFX’s factory overclock.

Shogun is much like Metro: around 4% at 2560, and around 8% at 1920, indicating that it too may be reaching the limits of the 7970’s memory bandwidth.

Batman meanwhile is far more consistent. The gains from XFX’s overclock are just under 4%, almost exactly matching the memory bandwidth difference.

The Test, Power, Temp, & Noise Game Performance: Portal 2, Battlefield 3, Starcraft II, Civilization V


View All Comments

  • chizow - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    15-25% is right according to this review and every other one on the internet, beta drivers or not.

    If you want to nitpick about results, you'll see the differences are actually even lower than 15-25% in the one bench that matters the most, minimum FPS.

    As for not being able to interpret or follow an argument, the 50% was in reference to the 7970 compared to last-gen AMD parts like the 6970/5870, not the 580.
  • Kjella - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    The 4870 was the killer? The 5000 series kicked major ass with the 5870 flying off the charts and the 5850 - the one I got - was a total killer at $259 MSRP that I managed to get before the price hike. You'll still be paying $200+ to get a card to beat it and the 7970 did nothing to shake that up. I'm waiting for Ivy Bridge anyway, hopefully we'll have Kepler by then but if they don't improve the performance/$ more than AMD did I might just sit it out for another generation. Reply
  • SlyNine - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    Agreed but I'm not really willing to spend more then I did for this 5870.

    However the more I look at the benchmarks the more I wonder what they will look like when you really start to push the 7970.

    Thinking back to the 9700pro launch alot of people didn't consider that to be alot faster then the 4600 because they were benchmarking them at irrelevant setting for the 9700pro. But when you really pushed each card the 9700pro was more then 4x as fast.
  • Galid - Monday, January 9, 2012 - link

    Nnvidia fanboy.... saying something like ''I don't THINK that will hold true in this case when (video card that doesn't exist yet made by nvidia) is finally released'' totally useless

    The only reason 4870 was so cheap is because the die was SO small compared to GT200 parts... and Nvidia's politic is to make the fastest video card at the expense of big die(lower yields) and high costs....
  • chizow - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    " Nvidia's politic is to make the fastest video card at the expense of big die(lower yields) and high costs.... "

    And let your own thoughts govern your conclusions....see how they match mine...

    Its funny that you immediately jump to the fanboy conclusion when even the AMD fanboys are coming to the same conclusion. High-end Kepler once released will be faster than Tahiti, its not a matter of if, its a matter of when.

    AMD made a ~50% jump in performance going to 28nm, to expect anything less from Nvidia with their 28nm part would be folly. A 50% increase from GTX 580 puts Kepler comfortably ahead of Tahiti, but given 7970 is only 15-25% faster, it doesn't even need to increase that much.

    Also, the 4870 was so cheap because ATI badly needed to regain market and mindshare. They stumbled horribly with the R600/2900XT debacle and while the RV670/3870 was a massive improvement in thermals, the performance was still behind Nvidia's 3rd or 4th fastest part (8800GTS) and still significantly slower than Nvidia's amazing mid-range 8800GT.

    Still, I think they underpriced it by a large amount given it was half the price of a GTX 280 and only ~15% slower. Just a lost opportunity there for ATI but they felt it was more important to get mind/marketshare back at that point and now they get to reap the windfall. The trickle down effect becomes most obvious once you start projecting performance of the mid-range parts against last-gen parts.
  • Morg. - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    50% ? not really .

    As I said before, this is mostly a matter of TDP.

    The only reason the gtx580 was ahead (and that was only at full HD and lower resolutions) was its higher TDP / bigger die size.

    nVidia may choose to release yet another high TDP part for 680, just like 580 and it may just give them the same edge, but they will NOT win this round, just like they did NOT win the previous one.

    The main problem for nVidia on this round is being late to the 28nm party, other than that it's business as usual.
  • Morg. - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    What I mean by that is simply that perf/watt/dollar is the ONLY measure of a good GPU or CPU, the actual market position of the part does not make it "good" or "bad", just "fitting".

    The gtx580 was the perfect fit for "biggest and baddest single gpu card", it however had worse perf/watt than 6-series, and much worse perf/dollar.

    AMD could easily have decided to double die size on 6- series and beaten the crap out of the gtx580 but they didn't, because they targeted a completely different market position for their products.
  • chizow - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    Huh? No.

    If you target the high-end performance segment, the only thing that matters is performance. Performance per watt isn't going to net you any more FPS in the games you're buying or upgrading a card for, and its certainly not going to close the gap in frames per second when you're already trailing the competition.

    You're quite possibly the ONLY person who I've ever seen claim perf/watt is the leading factor when it comes to high-end GPUs. Maybe if you were referring to the Server CPU space, but even there raw performance with form factor is a major consideration over perf/watt. No one's running mission critical systems on an Atom farm because of power considerations, that's for sure.

    And yes, of course Nvidia is going to release another high-end massive GPU, that's always been their strategy. If you haven't noticed, AMD has quietly gone along this path as well, losing their small die strategy along the way, making it harder and harder for them to maintain their TDP advantages or produce their 2xGPU parts for each generation. AMD used to crank out an X2 with no sacrifices, but lately they've had to employ the same castration/downclocking methods Nvidia has used to stay within PCI specs.

    And to set the record straight, Nvidia has won the last two generations. AMD certainly had their wins at various price points, but ultimately the GTX 280/285 were better than the 4870/4890 and the 480/580 were better than the 5870/6970. Going down from there, Nvidia was competitive in both price and performance with all of AMD's parts, and in many cases, provided amazing value at price points AMD struggled to compete with (See GTX 460, GTX 560Ti).
  • Morg. - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    Right .

    perf/watt is everything.

    That is why the 6990 completely raped the 590 . perf/watt .

    The 6990 with minor tweaks actually matched a 6970 CF.

    The 590 with minor tweaks actually exploded. and it was more expensive...

    Your fanboism clouds your mind young padawan ... nVidia may have taken single GPU crown on the last two rounds, but they never had price/performance for anything.

    Need I remind you you could get a CF of 6950's for the price of a gtx580 ? and that said CF would kill a 680 should it be 50% faster than said 580 ?

    Gtx 460 and 560 ti were failure compared to AMD's offerings - in terms of performance.

    They had the nVidia logo, the nVidia drivers (good thing actually) and some stuff.

    But they did NOT have better performance for the same price. 560 Ti was almost in the same price bracket as 6950 and much slower, non-unlockable etc..

    So yes, single GPU crown all you like ..
    best GPU / arch. ?
    well I'd say that's best efficiency with comparable performance = AMD

    (Again .. if you're one of those who think a gtx580 is a good card for one full HD screen .. go ahead spend 550 bucks on a GPU and 100 on the screen -- otherwise the reality is AMD was within 5% with the 6970)
  • chizow - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    Perf/watt and perf/price means nothing when the concern in this segment is absolute performance. Once you start compromising and qualifying your criteria, you start down a slippery slope that you simply can't recover from. If anything, lower performance means you necessarily win the perf/watt and perf/price categories but by doing so, you lose the premium value of compromising nothing for performance.

    By your metric, an IGP or integrated GPU would be winning the GPU market because it costs nothing and uses virtually no power, but of course, it would be completely asinine to make that assumption when referencing the high-end discrete GPU market where raw performance relative to the market is the only determinant of price.

    You can go down the line all you like in price/performance segments with CF/SLI, for every example you give there's an equally if not more compelling offering from Nvidia with the GTX 460, 560, 560Ti, 570 etc. that offers price and performance points that have AMD matched or beaten. Because the deck is stacked starting at the top, and when you have the highest performing part in the segment, that sets the tone for everything else in the market.

    AMD is finally coming to grips with this which is why they are pricing this card as a halo product and not as a mid-range product.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now