GRID 2

The final game in our benchmark suite is also our racing entry, Codemasters’ GRID 2. Codemasters continues to set the bar for graphical fidelity in racing games, and with GRID 2 they’ve gone back to racing on the pavement, bringing to life cities and highways alike. Based on their in-house EGO engine, GRID 2 includes a DirectCompute based advanced lighting system in its highest quality settings, which incurs a significant performance penalty but does a good job of emulating more realistic lighting within the game world.

For as good looking as GRID 2 is, it continues to surprise us just how easy it is to run with everything cranked up, even the DirectCompute lighting system and MSAA (Forward Rendering for the win!). At 2560 the 290X has the performance advantage by 9%, but we are getting somewhat academic since it’s 80fps versus 74fps, placing both well above 60fps. Though 120Hz gamers may still find the gap of interest.

Moving up to 4K, we can still keep everything turned up including the MSAA, while pulling off respectable single-GPU framerates and great multi-GPU framerates. To no surprise at this point, the 290X further extends its lead at 4K to 21%, but as usually is the case you really want two GPUs here to get the best framerates. In which case the 290X CF is the runaway winner, achieving a scaling factor of 96% at 4K versus NVIDIA’s 47%, and 97% versus 57% at 2560. This means the GTX 780 SLI is going to fall just short of 60fps once more at 4K, leaving the 290X CF alone at 99fps.

Unfortunately for AMD their drivers coupled with GRID 2 currently blows a gasket when trying to use 4K @ 60Hz, as GRID 2 immediately crashes when trying to load with 4K/Eyefinity enabled. We can still test at 30Hz, but those stellar 4K framerates aren’t going to be usable for gaming until AMD and Codemasters get that bug sorted out.

Finally, it’s interesting to note that for the 290X this is the game where it gains the least on the 280X. The 290X performance advantage here is just 20%, 5% lower than any other game and 10% lower than the average. The framerates at 2560 are high enough that this isn’t quite as important as in other games, but it does show that the 290X isn’t always going to maintain that 30% lead over its predecessor.

Without any capturable 4K FCAT frametimes, we’re left with the delta percentages at 2560, which more so than any other game are simply not in AMD’s favor. The GTX 780 SLI is extremely consistent here, to the point of being almost absurdly so for a multi-GPU setup. 4% is the kind of variance we expect to find with a single-GPU setup, not something incorporating multiple GPUs. AMD on the other hand, though improving over the 280X by a few percent, is merely adequate at 17%. The low frame times will further reduce the real world impact of the difference between the GTX 780 SLI and 290X CF here, but this is another game AMD could stand some improvements, even if it costs AMD some of the 290X’s very strong CF scaling factor.

Hitman: Absolution Synthetics
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  • jljaynes - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    to be fair, he says it's expected to be - he doesn't call out price explicitly.

    and i am not making this up - i skipped ahead in the video because he was annoying me - and he was still talking about the looks of the card. to me the reviews seem more like an nvidia commercial. i clicked around the entire video - he spends the entire tests talking about specs and thermals.
    Reply
  • looncraz - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    I've read a few reviews and noticed a trend you can verify:

    While gaming, the 290x only draws about the same amount as the 780, while putting out 10% or better average performance. It is only when you REALLY push the 290x that it draws its highest power - and to do that requires special tweaks from the reviewers, negating reality.

    The noise is a problem, the heat is a problem, the performance and power draw really are not. An overclocking a video card is about the dumbest thing ever... yeah, let's risk damaging a $500+ part for an extra 5% higher frame rate... It isn't like a $200 CPU where you go from 3.2GHz to 5GHz...

    No, we're talking about going from 1GHz to 1.1GHz.... and spending a premium for better cooling on top of it all...
    Reply
  • siliconwizard - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Sure does and an amazing price that is. RIP Titan Reply
  • chizow - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Article chart says $550, Newegg has them in stock now for $580 which may just be BF4 bundle premium: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8... Reply
  • Noble07 - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Yup. The bundled version will cost $580. If you look at the newegg page, you'll see is manufacturer has two products up, one with bf4 and one without. Reply
  • patrioteagle07 - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Newegg normally charges $20+ over msrp launch week... MSRP is $549 ... Reply
  • PCboy - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    And the Titan is $1000. Just face the facts, Nvidia got rolled. Reply
  • dragonsqrrl - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Rolled? Price drops sir. 8 months on, price drops. Reply
  • tuklap - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    but will they drop to the same level as r9 290x? seems to me that 290x is a great buy. take note. that is just the reference performer. What more for the AIB partners ^_^ PRICE DROPS PLEASE!! Reply
  • Shark321 - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Titan is a compute card. In 3 weeks there will be 780Ti for $599, about 5-10% faster than 290X. Reply

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