Company of Heroes 2

Our second benchmark in our benchmark suite is Relic Games’ Company of Heroes 2, the developer’s World War II Eastern Front themed RTS. For Company of Heroes 2 Relic was kind enough to put together a very strenuous built-in benchmark that was captured from one of the most demanding, snow-bound maps in the game, giving us a great look at CoH2’s performance at its worst. Consequently if a card can do well here then it should have no trouble throughout the rest of the game.

Company of Heroes 2 - 3840x2160 - Low Quality

Company of Heroes 2 - 2560x1440 - Maximum Quality + Med. AA

Company of Heroes 2 - 1920x1080 - Maximum Quality + Med. AA

Company of Heroes 2 was one of the only games that the GTX 980 didn’t take a significant lead in, and consequently it’s one of the few games that GTX 970 will lose by a significant margin. With the exception of 1080p the stock GTX 970 can’t keep pace with the R9 290, let alone the R9 290XU. Overall NVIDIA’s second-tier card will trail the AMD flagship by 12%, which in the grand scheme of things is still going to be much narrower than the price difference.

In this case Company of Heroes 2 seems especially fond of shader performance. So the GTX 970 drops off by a bit more than in most other games, coming in at just 85% of the performance of GTX 980.

Company of Heroes 2 - Min. Frame Rate - 2560x1440 - Maximum Quality + Med. AA

Company of Heroes 2 - Min. Frame Rate - 2560x1440 - Maximum Quality + Med. AA

Company of Heroes 2 - Min. Frame Rate - 1920x1080 - Maximum Quality + Med. AA

With AMD already doing well on minimum framerates against the GTX 980, against the GTX 970 NVIDIA ends up further behind. When push comes to shove in this game’s hardest scenes, the GTX 970 buckles a bit more than the competition.

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  • MrSpadge - Saturday, September 27, 2014 - link

    What you describe is what Tonga should have been. Didn't turn out so well :/
    Sure, the 285 is priced below GM204 cards, but the chip is almost as large and hence costs AMD the same to produce it. They SHOULD play in the same league.
  • thepaleobiker - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    "Crysis 3 Summary" - The GTX 670 trails the R9 290XU by 10%....

    It should be the GTX 970 :)

    Also, on the page with Company of Heroes - The Charts do not display correctly, or more specifically, their headers (the thick Blue bar/heading with info about resolution etc?) are cropped out on all the images except the first one.

  • krazyfrog - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    Also, last page, fifth paragraph

    "AMD would have to cut R9 290X’s performance by nearly $200 to be performance competitive, and even then they can’t come close to matching NVIDIA’s big edge in power consumption."

    Should be '290X's price', I believe.
  • CZroe - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    I have the reference style 4GB EVGA GTX 760 with the short PCB but it was discontinued shortly after launch. I got some 670/760 water blocks for SLI from Swiftech and found that only Zotac was making a short PCB 4GB GTX 760 card like my EVGA even though it has fewer memory chips (probably worse for over locking). Because the vast majority of GTX 760 cards had reference 680 PCBs, it is very difficult to tell which "reference" 760 this article is talking about. The rare short PCB or the longer one? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    The short PCB and the stretched PCB were virtually identical, so to answer the question I'm technically comparing it to the short PCB, but either comparison is valid. The stretched section only contains a handful of additional discrete components; it's mostly to allow fitting an open air cooler. Reply
  • Atari2600 - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    The Radeon 290x is nearly a year old now. It would be surprising if an Nvidia GPU that sacrifices DP capability wouldn't be significantly quicker per mm^2 at this point.

    The improvement in performance/watt is notable and nvidia deserve much credit for their work in this area.
  • Phasenoise - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    Oh my the name of that card. "EVGA GeForce GTX 970 FTW ACX 2.0"
    Reads like my niece's texting log. omg lol gtx ftw, btb.
  • jjj - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    "considering the fact that GTX 970 is a $329 card I don’t seriously expect it to be used for 4K gaming"
    You should and Nvidia should market it as lowering the entry price for 4k. It's kinda the least you need for 4k, can do 4k just not max setting everywhere for just 329$. Pair it with some bellow 500$ screen deal and 4k gaming is a lot more accessible than 2 weeks ago.
    We've looked at what's the bare minimum for 1080p for years and we are used to it, now it's 4k's turn to become more mainstream and we need to get used to looking at it the same way.
    in the US and even more so in China 4k screens are not that prohibitive anymore. 400-500$ for a screen, 330$ for a 970, an overclocked dual core and you can do budget 4k gaming at 1.2k$.
    4k should be one of the reasons some people that buy 200$ cards might go for the 970 this time around.
    And with 20nm 4k should become a lot more affordable so it's time to not think of it as a small niche.
  • garadante - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    Can we get power usage with non reference 290/290X's? If I recall correctly, power usage drops something like 15-25 watts when it's running at closer to 70 C than 95 C as reference cooling profiles make it run. Reply
  • justaviking - Friday, September 26, 2014 - link

    Zero Fan Speed Idling...

    Will the zero fan speed capability be something that will be delivered via a driver update? I hope so. Or will it require a "Rev B" of the hardware too?

    I don't need silence, but quiet is nice. I assumed the 970 would be quite a bit quieter than the 980 due to lower TDP. The test results surprise me (not in a good way).

    This makes me even more impressed with the 980. But it still costs $200 more. Tough choice.

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