Crysis 3

Still one of our most punishing benchmarks, Crysis 3 needs no introduction. With Crysis 3, Crytek has gone back to trying to kill computers and still holds “most punishing shooter” title in our benchmark suite. Only in a handful of setups can we even run Crysis 3 at its highest (Very High) settings, and that’s still without AA. Crysis 1 was an excellent template for the kind of performance required to drive games for the next few years, and Crysis 3 looks to be much the same for 2013.

Crysis 3 happens to be another game that the 290X sees significant throttling at, and as such this is another game where the 290X and 290 are neck and neck. With all of a .4fps difference between the two, the two cards are essentially tied, once more showcasing how the 290X is held back in order to get reasonable acoustics, and how fast the 290 can go when it does the opposite and lets loose.

This also ends up being a very close matchup between the 290 and the GTX 780, with the 290 losing to the GTX 780 by just 1%, making for another practical tie. Which coincidentally will make our power and noise tests all the more meaningful, since this is the game we use for those tests.

Meanwhile compared to the GTX 770 and 280X, this is actually the narrowest victory for the 290. Despite the solid performance of the 290 and 290X, it beats the GTX 770 by just 11%. The margin of victory over the 280X however is closer to normal at 29%.

Battlefield 3 Crysis: Warhead


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  • DMCalloway - Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - link

    Not sure how to interpret your analogy. Heat is measured in watts (energy) needing dissipation. This card is running up to 95*C while drawing around 50 more watts of power than a 780 . The 780 while drawing 50 less watts of power is running up to 80*C. Out of the gate the heat sink on the R290 is going to have to be at LEAST 20% more effective than the current 780 heat sink, and this thermal excess is still being pumped into the case. Reply
  • Galidou - Friday, November 15, 2013 - link

    Well as I can see you are rather unfamiliar with power leakage due to temperature... anyway I won't get into the subject, I'll let you google it. Getting a card to run a lot cooler at the same frequencies can reduces power usage depending on how bad it affects certain node.

    A 20 degree celsius difference can have a great impact on power usage which I think might turn the tide around. In 28nm design, power leakage has been a bigger problem than before, probably a reason why Nvidia has been using better reference coolers thus, enhancing the performance/watt for the last generations of video cards.

    That is the basis of my previous analogy.
  • TrantaLocked - Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - link

    With the card in the case, with headphones on, with sounds/music from the game playing, hearing the 290 or any card would be tough. I know what loud video cards sound like (I owned the 4890 with a single fan design, and I always ran the fan at manual 40%-50% speed for gaming), and when playing a game with headphones the sound is barely audible and definitely not distracting. Reply
  • Calinou__ - Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - link

    I have a reference 570 in a sound dampened case and a headset and I can easily hear it, even at idle (40% fan speed)... and I guess the R9 290 is more noisy. Reply
  • Galidou - Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - link

    A reference 570 if not cleaned regularly(once every two months) goes easily up to 62 db. GTX 480 went up to 64 db(brand new) and Nvidia fans praised it even if AMD fans were saying it was loud, nothing new in here... Nvidia fans once said that 64 db is ''nothing'' for a good performing card... Look at them now speaking and whining about the same situation, really fun to see the tides turn around...

    That was in a time when reference coolers where much more used and represented a MUCH bigger % of the market, I would never buy an AMD reference cooled card. Nvidia fans started to care about noise and temperature when they got the 600 series out and for the first time had an advantage.
  • Finally - Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - link

    Whoever buys a card with the default fan? Get one with a custom design and problem solved. How hard is that? Reply
  • Aikouka - Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - link

    Anyone that buys it right now? =P Reply
  • kmmatney - Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - link

    I used to think that too, until I actually bought a loud HD4890. I ended up having to get an Accelero, which made it dead quiet. My current NVidia based card is also really loud, but I fixed that buy underclocking it most of the time. Really loud cards are just not fun to deal with. I'd wait for third party cards to come out with better cooling solutions. Reply
  • hoboville - Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - link

    Except that it's hot, noisy, and basically pointless to overclock because it's as loud as a medium party without music. So as it is, it's a bad card.

    However, since it's only $400, one could go out and buy a water cooling setup and have a card faster than the 290x for about the same or less money. For Titan money, you could get a second 290 and add some more rads to your setup. The thing is...if you do want to OC (and why wouldn't you with water cooling?), you'll have to dissipate over 800 watts of heat...
  • Slomo4shO - Tuesday, November 5, 2013 - link

    Well done AMD. Competition at its finest! Reply

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