The 2019 GPU Benchmark Suite & The Test

As we’re kicking off a new(ish) generation of video cards, we’re also kicking off a new generation of the AnandTech GPU benchmark suite.

For 2019 most of the suite has been refreshed to include games released in the last year. The latest iteration of the Tomb Raider franchise, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, is 2019’s anchor title and is the game used for power/temperature/noise testing as well as game performance testing. Also making its introduction to the GPU benchmark suite for the first time is an Assassin’s Creed game, thanks to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s extra-handy built-in benchmark.

For 2019 Ashes of the Singularity has been rotated out, so we’re empty on RTSes at the moment. But as an alternative we have Microsoft’s popular Forza Horizon 4, which marks the first time a Forza game has been included in the suite.

AnandTech GPU Bench 2019 Game List
Game Genre Release Date API
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Action/TPS Sept. 2018 DX12
F1 2019 Racing Jun. 2019 DX12
Assassin's Creed Odyssey Action/Open World Oct. 2018 DX11
Metro Exodus FPS Feb. 2019 DX12
Strange Brigade TPS Aug. 2018 Vulkan
Total War: Three Kingdoms TBS May. 2019 DX11
The Division 2 FPS Mar. 2019 DX12
Grand Theft Auto V Action/Open world Apr. 2015 DX11
Forza Horizon 4 Racing Oct. 2018 DX12

All told, I’m pleasantly surprised by the number of DirectX 12-enabled AAA games available this year. More than half of the benchmark suite is using DX12, with both AMD and NVIDIA cards showing performance gains across all of the games using this API. So this is a far cry from the early days of DX12, where using the low-level API would often send performance backwards. And speaking of low-level APIs, I’ve also thrown in Strange Brigade for this iteration, as it’s one of the only major Vulkan games to be released in the past year.

Finally, I’ve also kept Grand Theft Auto V as our legacy game for 2019. Despite being released for the PC over 4 years ago – and for game consoles 2 years before that – the game continues to be one of the top selling games on Steam. And even with its age, the scalability of the game means that it’s a heavy enough load to challenge even the latest video cards.

As for our hardware testbed, it too has been updated for the 2019 video card release cycle.

Internally we’ve made a pretty big change, going from an Intel HEDT platform (Core i7-7820X) to a standard desktop platform based around an overclocked Core i9-9900K and Z390 chipset. While we’ve used HEDT platforms for the GPU testbed for the last decade, HEDT is becoming increasingly irrelevant/compromised for gaming; while the extra PCIe lanes are nice, these platforms haven’t delivered the best CPU performance for games as of late.

By contrast, desktop processors with 8 cores now provide more than enough cores, and they also provide far better clockspeeds, delivering more of the single/lightly-threaded performance that games need. Furthermore, as SLI and Crossfire are on the rocks, the extra PCIe lanes aren’t as necessary as they once were.

On a side note, I had originally hoped to cycle in a Ryzen 3000 platform at this point, particularly for PCIe 4.0. However the timing of all of these hardware launches meant that we needed to go with an established platform, as it takes a week or so to build and validate a new GPU testbed. Plus with Ryzen 3000 not launching for another week, we wouldn’t have been able to use it for this review anyhow.

Otherwise the rest of our 2019 GPU testbed is relatively straightforward. With 32GB of RAM and a high-end Phison E12-based NVMe SSD, the system and any video cards being tested as well-fed. Enclosing all of this for our real-world style testing is our trusty NZXT Phantom 630 Windowed Edition case.

 

CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.0GHz
Motherboard: ASRock Z390 Taichi
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200i
Hard Disk: Phison E12 PCIe NVMe SSD (960GB)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB DDR4-3600 2 x 16GB (17-18-18-38)
Case: NZXT Phantom 630 Windowed Edition
Monitor: Asus PQ321
Video Cards: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2070 Super Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2060 Super Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2080 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2070 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2060 Founders Edition
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
Video Drivers: NVIDIA Release 431.15
AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.6.3
OS: Windows 10 Pro (1903)
Meet the GeForce RTX 2070 Super & RTX 2060 Super Shadow of the Tomb Raider
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  • Pino - Tuesday, July 02, 2019 - link

    Worst naming ever by their marketing department! Reply
  • maroon1 - Tuesday, July 02, 2019 - link

    Who cares about names ?

    They can even call it Trash. If it delivers good performance then I will buy it
    Reply
  • Hifihedgehog - Tuesday, July 02, 2019 - link

    Yes. I could not care less as long as they offer killer performance. At long last, they finally offer appreciably more performance per dollar than Pascal. That is a win in my book. Reply
  • zmatt - Tuesday, July 02, 2019 - link

    You still have to pay $700 to beat the raw flops of a 1080ti. No deal. Reply
  • Opencg - Tuesday, July 02, 2019 - link

    Yeah the 10 series is still the king of value. I think people will find that some of these super cards are not as good as they seem. The 2070 super for example runs less cores at a higher clock to get close to the same performance of a 1080. But the clocks used are basically what every 1080 can do in its sleep when overclocked. Overclocking results on the 2070 super put it only up to the 1080 stock due to the lower headroom available. And many 1080s are clocked 90mhz higher or more by default. The 1080 super will fair even worse having basically the same amount of cores as the 1080. Reply
  • pandemonium - Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - link

    While true, I think you guys are overlooking the value that the 2080 and 2080 Ti cards bring: NVLink. It's not the same as SLI. Going forward, this will allow these cards to retain much longer longevity on the market. Reply
  • eek2121 - Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - link

    "value" he says. I paid $799 for my 1080ti and quite a few people said THAT was a high price. NVIDIA sure fooled them. I could care less about NVLink. I have very little reason to have more than 1 GPU in my system. The 1080ti more than keeps up at 4K at max details (or close to max details, sometimes I might have to turn AA down depending on the implementation used), and by the time it doesn't, there will be faster cards that do. Reply
  • Opencg - Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - link

    the 1080ti will go down in history as one of the longest lived cards ever. since the 2080 ti is not a significant step up especially when you consider price. the 1080ti basically spans two generations of dominance Reply
  • kaesden - Wednesday, July 03, 2019 - link

    the 1080ti is the 2500k of video cards. Reply
  • ludicrousByte - Thursday, July 11, 2019 - link

    ^ This :) Reply

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