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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  • TheJian - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    Wrong, Zotac price in cart $624. :) Personally I'd buy an OC card for $650 but that's just me.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
    Reply
  • 46andtool - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    your comment makes no sense, all I see are excuses and misinformation in your post." It doesn't cost less than a GTX780, it only has a lower MSRP." is just stupid, battlefield 4 edition 290xs are already on newegg for $579, the only cheap 780gtxs you will find will be used ones. Reply
  • chrnochime - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    What 549? Every 780 on NE goes for 649. I want some of the kool-aid you're drinking. Reply
  • HisDivineOrder - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    It IS loud. HardOCP have a tendency to be so "hard" they ignore the volume of the card. They aren't the most reliant of sites about the acoustics of a card. Not in the past and not today. Reply
  • JDG1980 - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Regarding 1080p performance, so what? You don't need a $500+ video card to get acceptable frame rates at that resolution. A $200-$300 card will do just fine. $500+ video cards are for multi-monitor setups or high resolution (1440p+) displays.
    Regarding the noise, that's a problem - AMD clearly stretched things as far as they could go with GCN to reach the current performance level. I know that EK has already announced a 290X waterblock for those enthusiasts who use custom loops. I wouldn't be surprised to see someone come out with a self-contained closed-loop watercooler for the 290X, similar to those that have been available for CPUs for a couple years now. That might help fix the noise issues, especially if it used a dual 120mm/140mm radiator.
    Reply
  • 46andtool - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    we are just now breaking 60fps on 1080p on demanding games at max details, and even more demanding games are just around the corner so your telling people what exactly? And everybody knows AMD makes retarded reference coolers. So another moot point. Lets-try-and -discredit- AMDs- stellar -new product -anyway -we -can- but- the- only- way- we -know -how -is -by -grasping- at- straws. Reply
  • inighthawki - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    BS, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a high end card on a 1080p display. Just look at the benchmarks, Crysis 3 1080p on high, a 7970GE barely hits 60fps, and no doubt that will drop below 60 on many occasions (it's just an average). On top of that, not all games are nearly as well optimized as Crytek games, or are just far more complex. Total War: Rome 2, even the 290X doesn't barely hits 60fps on extreme with MEDIUM shadows. Or maybe look at Company of Heroes 2, and how even the 290X hits a min fps of 37fps on extreme.

    On top of all of that, high resolution IPS panels are super expensive, not everyone cares enough about that to spend the money. The difference between a quality 1080p and a quality 1440p panel can be almost as much as the video card itself.
    Reply
  • patrioteagle07 - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    Not really... You can find refurbed ZR30s for under $600
    If you are going to spend 1k on gfx its rather short sighted to keep your TN panels...
    Reply
  • inighthawki - Thursday, October 24, 2013 - link

    That's at LEAST several hundred dollars more than the majority of people are willing to spend on a monitor. 1080p TN panels are fine for most people, including most gamers. What people care about is not monitor count, pixel count, or color accuracy. They want high quality shaded pixels and good framerate. This is where high end video cards on smaller monitors comes into play. There are plenty of reasons to do it. Do not confuse your own values as the same as what everyone else wants. Reply
  • ShieTar - Friday, October 25, 2013 - link

    Also, an increasing number of players is considering 120 FPS to be the acceptable framerate, not 60FPS. Reply

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