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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  • Pontius - Tuesday, October 29, 2013 - link

    Some good points Jian, I would like to see side by side comparisons as well. However, I've seen some studies that implement the same algorithm in both OpenCL and CUDA and the results are mostly the same if properly implemented. I've been doing GPU computing development in my spare time over the last year and OpenCL does have one advantage over CUDA that is the reason I use it: run-time compilation. If at run-time you are working with various data sets that involve checking many conditionals, you can compile a kernel with the conditionals stripped out and get a good performance increase since GPUs aren't good at conditionals like CPUs are. But in the end, I agree, more apples to apples comparisons are needed. Reply
  • azixtgo - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    the titan is irrelevant. I can't figure why the hell people think a $1000 GPU is even worth mentioning. It's not for sane people to buy and definitely not a genuine effort by nvidia. They saw an opportunity and went for it Reply
  • Bloodcalibur - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    It's $350 more because of it's compute performance ugh. It benchmarks 5-6x more than the 780 on DGEMM. This is why the card is priced a whopping $350 more than their own 780 which is only a few FPS lower on most games and setups. The only people that should've bought a Titan were people who both GAME and do a little bit of computing.

    To compare it to the 290x are what retarded ignorant people are doing. Compare it to the 780 which it does beat out. Now we have to wait for nvidia's response.
    Reply
  • Cellar Door - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Read the review before trolling. It's $549 Reply
  • azixtgo - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    technically it's a good value. I think. I despise the higher prices as well but who really knows the value of the product. Comparing a GPU to a lot of things (like a ps4 that has a million other components or a complete PC ), maybe not. but comparing this to nvidia... well... Reply
  • Pounds - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Did the nvidia fanboy get his feelings hurt? Reply
  • superflex - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Yes, and his wallet got shredded.
    Validation is a bitch.
    Reply
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Huh? You can go over to Newegg right now and buy one for $580. Reply
  • Wreckage - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    He did not say "Mantle" 7 times so he might not be from their PR department.

    Either way the 290 is hot, loud, power hungry and nothing new in the performance department. It's cheap but that won't last. Looks like we will have to wait form Maxwell for something truly new.
    Reply
  • chrnochime - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    You OTOH look like you can't RTFA. Reply

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