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Results: Battlefield 3

Benchmarking GeForce GTX Titan 6 GB: Fast, Quiet, Consistent
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Resolution: 1920x1080

Mirroring the outcome of 3DMark, Battlefield 3 at 1920x1080 favors the GeForce GTX 690 first, Nvidia’s new Titan card second, and the Radeon HD 7970 and GeForce GTX 680 almost equally.

At least at 1920x1080, measuring frame rate over time only shows us that all four of these cards are plenty capable of maintaining minimums in excess of 60 FPS.

Our first outing of the consecutive frame latency chart requires some explanation. This metric is most useful for our single-GPU solutions—all of which show incredibly small variance in the time that passes between consecutive frames.

Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 690 looks like it doesn’t do well; however, 6 ms for a 95th percentile result is still very good. More important, though, is that Fraps cannot capture latencies across the entire graphics pipeline. We’ve gone back and forth with Nvidia on this, concluding that the 690’s result is only somewhat off. Any attempt to compare it against two Radeon cards in CrossFire would make analysis more problematic, since both architectures do different things after Fraps captures its data, adding variance between our numbers and what you’d actually see on-screen. We’ll keep this in mind as resolutions increase and consecutive frame time differences naturally increase.

Resolution: 2560x1600

The GeForce GTX 690 maintains a large advantage over Titan at 2560x1600, reminding us that the $1,000 single-GPU card isn’t here to tell a value story. AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition extends its lead over the GeForce GTX 680 just slightly.

This graph looks a lot like what we saw at 1920x1080, shifted down. All four solutions still deliver performance we’d consider playable, only just kissing 40 FPS in the case of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 680.

We continue to see tiny gaps between frames from our single-GPU cards, though the GeForce GTX 690 consecutive frame time difference more than triples, on average. However, the latencies are still so small, and the frame rates so high, that we would still consider this a good result.

Resolution: 5760x1200

This is the resolution cards like GeForce GTX 690 and Titan are meant for, though the Ultra quality preset hammers all cards pretty hard. GeForce GTX 690 continues its match, besting the Titan. However, both boards see relatively similar minimum frame rates through our 90-second Fraps sequence.

The Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition maintains its lead over the GeForce GTX 680, though we’d probably consider dropping the detail slider one notch on both boards in order to bring frame rates up a bit.

The GeForce GTX 680 gets hit once with a dip that takes its instantaneous frame rate down to 21. Otherwise it hovers between 25 and 35 frames per second. AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition stays ahead of it each step of the way.

The 690’s consecutive frame latency is noticeably higher than the single-GPU solutions we tested, but it’s not distracting compared to the other cards. We have more work to do when it comes to defining the point where latencies affect your experience; that's a standard we're currently working on. In the meantime, we have the data here for reference.

Meanwhile, the single-GPU cards maintain fantastically-small latencies between consecutive frames.

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