Metro: Last Light

Kicking off our look at performance is 4A Games’ latest entry in their Metro series of subterranean shooters, Metro: Last Light. The original Metro: 2033 was a graphically punishing game for its time and Metro: Last Light is in its own right too. On the other hand it scales well with resolution and quality settings, so it’s still playable on lower end hardware.

Metro: Last Light - 2560x1440 - High Quality

Metro: Last Light -1920x1080 - Very High Quality

Metro: Last Light -1920x1080 - High Quality

The first benchmark in our revised benchmark suite finds our 280X cards doing well for themselves, and surprisingly not all that far off from the final averages. Setting the baseline here, as we expected the Tahiti based 280X performs in between the original 7970 and 7970 GHz Edition, thanks to the 280X’s use of PowerTune Boost but at lower clockspeeds than the 7970GE. Consequently this isn’t performance we haven’t seen before, but it’s very much worth keeping in mind that the 7970GE was a $400 card while the 280X is a $300 card, so approaching the 7970GE for $100 less is something of a significant price cut for the performance.

As for the immediate competitive comparison, we’ll be paying particular attention to 2560x1440, which should be the sweet spot resolution for this card. At 2560 we can see that the reference clocked 280X doesn’t just hang with the $400 GTX 770 but actually manages to edge it out by just over a frame per second. As a preface we’re going to see these two cards go back and forth throughout our benchmarks, but to be able to directly compete with NVIDIA’s fastest GK104 card for $100 less is a significant accomplishment for AMD.

Finally, let’s quickly talk about the Asus 280X versus the XFX 280X. Asus winning comes as no great shock due to their factory overclock, but now we finally get to see the magnitude of the performance gains from that overclock. At 2560 we’re looking at just shy of a 9% performance gain, which is in excess of both the boost clock overclock and the memory overclock. The specific performance gains will of course depend in the game in question, but this means that the performance gains in at least one instance are being impacted by the base clock overclock, the larger of Asus’s factory overclocks.

The Drivers, The Test & Our New Testbed Company of Heroes 2


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  • varad - Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - link

    Last 2 sections are missing Reply
  • A5 - Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - link

    As is the [Product Specs] Table on Page 1. Reply
  • varad - Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - link

    Looks like there are many more diagrams and charts missing Reply
  • yacoub35 - Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - link

    Yep. Article was probably set to auto-post but the associated images (and apparently the last two pages) are missing.

    Anyway, the gist of this seems to be that the 280X is the price and performance the 7970 should have been two years ago. But since they went with crazy-high pricing on the 7900 series, they can now release this product at the price point that would have been appropriate two years ago and still make out like bandits with reworked 7900 hardware which must be exceptionally cheap for them to produce at this age of maturity on the fabs. Good for their revenue, but probably not going to entice NVidia to drop their prices much.

    If this is what we're getting as top-of-the-line in the normal-people price bracket from AMD, it makes me happy I picked up a 7970 on a great sale recently.

    Now we can watch the 290X, which should be $399, $100 more or less than the 280X in keeping with the normal pricing separation between models, come in around $549 instead. What a joke.
  • Spoelie - Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - link

    How is that different from EVERY OTHER COMPANY out there? What about NVIDIA to introduce Titan at a 1000 when their next highest card was at 500?

    Prices are dictated by competitive landscape and demand/price curves, maximizing profit - not by what you want it to cost, or some mathematical ideal of "perfect 100$ separation". Don't like it, don't buy it.
  • Galidou - Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - link

    +1 for Spoelie Reply
  • blanarahul - Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - link

    Am I the only when who is happy that we finally get a long awaited price cut? The stores in my country don't drop prices like the Americans' do. So for me, it's a great time to upgrade. GPU power has never been so cheap! Reply
  • blanarahul - Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - link

    Correction: "Am I the only 'one' who is happy....."

    Sigh. Brain fart.
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - link

    I don't think I saw him comment on how much he was glad nVidia wasn't like AMD. I'm pretty sure he was just commenting on how AMD was doing something he didn't like.

    No need to kneejerk defend AMD, friend. Just allow him to be annoyed with AMD for doing something that is annoying. When nVidia does it, he can be annoyed with them, too. Nothing in his post screams, "nVidia's okay when they do it!"
  • Galidou - Saturday, October 12, 2013 - link

    yacoub35's comment was plain stupid and lacked of analysis he says: ''280X is the price and performance the 7970 should have been two years ago. But since they went with crazy-high pricing on the 7900 series''. Nope, 7970 price was higher at launch like every other card for a reason, it was the new stuff. Like many generation, a new card replaces the old king at or a little Under it's price to let the old king on the shelves sell for a reasonable amount. Difference from before is that the price cut happens during the life of the video card because they live longer on the shelves. So when the new stuff comes out, the old stuff is priced already correctly so no one feels SOO bad for buying a video card a month before new ones come out and lower the prices by a LARGE amount. Reply

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