Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in

Results: Tomb Raider

Update: Radeon R9 295X2 8 GB In CrossFire: Gaming At 4K
By

Tomb Raider received the bulk of our attention because of its odd behavior. But it too typifies the issues AMD is facing.

Let’s start with the chart above. It’s correct for the in-game benchmark we ran. FCAT says we’re seeing an average of 57 FPS. Fraps confirms that 57 FPS sounds about right. And our previous FCAT-generated chart said 51 FPS. In all cases, that’s negative scaling compared to one Radeon R9 295X2 at 60 FPS.

Now, bear in mind that this is a benchmark taken straight from the game. It was chosen by our very own Paul Henningsen for its load and repeatability compared to sequences elsewhere. If you instead choose to run Tomb Raider’s built-in benchmark, you’ll start with around 56 FPS with one Radeon R9 295X2 and end up around 100 FPS. That’s the result AMD is expecting, and we replicated it on our side.

So we have an in-game benchmark that is helped along by four GPUs and a real sequence from Tomb Raider that scales negatively. Almost certainly, something is bottlenecking AMD’s cards, since we have folks at iBuyPower running numbers concurrently using our test and showing that you can use two, three, and four GeForce GTX Titans and still scale performance.

But why the negative scaling? It also turns out that, with a single Radeon R9 295X2 under the hood, there’s an aspect ratio bug, which renders the scene offset to one side. This means less of Lara is rendered on a more regular basis, lightening the load. Switching to quad-CrossFire fixes the aspect ratio, creating a more demanding benchmark. And thus, the frame rate drops compared to a single card.

The red line speaks for itself; one Radeon R9 295X2 outperforms two, but only because the sequence it’s rendering is also incorrect. There are bugs that need to be fixed.

As two Radeon R9 295X2s struggle with whatever’s going on in Tomb Raider, frame time variance is all over the place in a bad way. As you might have guessed, stuttering is a prominent issue in this game as well, and it’s so much worse with four GPUs than two.

And there’s what it looks like over time. Ouch.

Display all 69 comments.
Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    frozentundra123456 , April 21, 2014 5:24 AM
    I am not a great fan of mantle because of the low number of games that use it and its specificity to GCN hardware, but this would have been one of the best case scenarios for testing it with BF4.

    I cant believe the reviewer just shrugged of the fact that the games obviously look cpu limited by just saying "well, we had the fastest cpu you can get" when they could have used mantle in BF4 to lessen cpu usage.
Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    redgarl , April 21, 2014 5:17 AM
    I always said it, more than two cards takes too much resources to manage. Drivers are not there either. You are getting better results with simple Crossfire. Still, the way AMD corner Nvidia as the sole maker able to push 4k right now is amazing.
  • 2 Hide
    BigMack70 , April 21, 2014 5:24 AM
    I personally don't think we'll see a day that 3+ GPU setups become even a tiny bit economical.

    For that to happen, IMO, the time from one GPU release to the next would have to be so long that users needed more than 2x high end GPUs to handle games in the mean time.

    As it is, there's really no gaming setup that can't be reasonably managed by a pair of high end graphics cards (Crysis back in 2007 is the only example I can think of when that wasn't the case). 3 or 4 cards will always just be for people chasing crazy benchmark scores.
  • 11 Hide
    frozentundra123456 , April 21, 2014 5:24 AM
    I am not a great fan of mantle because of the low number of games that use it and its specificity to GCN hardware, but this would have been one of the best case scenarios for testing it with BF4.

    I cant believe the reviewer just shrugged of the fact that the games obviously look cpu limited by just saying "well, we had the fastest cpu you can get" when they could have used mantle in BF4 to lessen cpu usage.
  • 2 Hide
    Reynod , April 21, 2014 5:39 AM
    Great article as always Chris ... sweet and to the point without bias.
  • 2 Hide
    west7 , April 21, 2014 5:42 AM
    i wasn't expecting 295x2 in crossfire review in any time soon well done toms
  • -2 Hide
    noobsaibot99 , April 21, 2014 5:45 AM
    Nothing to do here :D 
  • -3 Hide
    noobsaibot99 , April 21, 2014 5:51 AM
    Nothing to do here :D 
  • 4 Hide
    Matthew Posey , April 21, 2014 6:07 AM
    The first non-bold paragraph says "even-thousand." Guessing that should be "eleven-thousand."
  • 0 Hide
    EricJohn2004 , April 21, 2014 6:35 AM
    Lol, I notice that too.
  • -3 Hide
    Haravikk , April 21, 2014 6:37 AM
    How does a dual dual-GPU setup even operate under Crossfire? As I understand it the two GPUs on each board are essentially operating in Crossfire already, so is there then a second Crossfire layer combining the two cards on top of that, or has AMD tweaked Crossfire to be able to manage them as four separate GPUs? Either way it seems like a nightmare to manage, and not even close to being worth the $3,000 price tag, especially when I'm not really convinced that even a single of those $1,500 cards is really worth it to begin with; drool worthy, but even if I had a ton of disposable income I couldn't picture myself ever buying one.
  • -7 Hide
    EricJohn2004 , April 21, 2014 6:38 AM
    I don't see how AMD cornered Nvidia at all. The 780Ti is still the fastest single GPU you can get, and if you put them both is crossfire/sli, they are about even. Are you talking about the fast that AMD cards have more memory than Nvidia? You can always get Nvidia cards with more memory if you want to.

    But to say one company has another one cornered is a bit bias. Not a bit, just straight up bias. I like both companys, they are both doing great IMO.
  • 3 Hide
    ddpruitt , April 21, 2014 6:55 AM
    I'm curious as to the type of loads both the CPU and RAM are seeing. I wouldn't be surprised if we're getting to the point where the bottleneck is elsewhere. I'm guessing that the GPUs are just overpowering everything else and are starving, hence the wild numbers. It also looks the driver is a beta driver, there's a lot of tuning to be done there.
  • 2 Hide
    CaptainTom , April 21, 2014 7:26 AM
    Something was definitely bottle-necking those GPUs. Oh well. Some day I think we will see all crossfire/sli combinations work the way they should...
  • -2 Hide
    CaptainTom , April 21, 2014 7:27 AM
    Something was definitely bottle-necking those GPUs. Oh well. Some day I think we will see all crossfire/sli combinations work the way they should...
  • 2 Hide
    Steveymoo , April 21, 2014 7:30 AM
    Would be interesting to see benchmarks with an 8 or 12 core xeon with workstation grade hardware. Just sayin'.
  • -5 Hide
    h2323 , April 21, 2014 7:49 AM
    You have to wonder sometimes if its the hardware/software or the people doing the testing....
  • 2 Hide
    Haravikk , April 21, 2014 8:17 AM
    Regarding the possibility of software issues; it'd be nice to see a retrospective article that looks to see if that's the case. I'd definitely be interested to know if the stability is improved after a few new driver versions to see if that's the problem, or if the hardware (or concept) is truly at fault.
  • 0 Hide
    St0rm_KILL3r , April 21, 2014 9:01 AM
    I think it's still gonna be a while when games will be made to utilize 4 gpus well at one time.
  • 0 Hide
    gsxrme , April 21, 2014 9:15 AM
    This has and will always be an issue with 3-way and 4-Way SLI or Crossfire. Nvidia and AMD both have extremely low support for this. Just spend the money on 2 cards and watercool/overclock them vs adding a 3rd or 4th card into the mix.

    After my last burn with SLI GTX295s, I will never go back to QuadSLI. I am still having an issue leaving my SLI GTX680s @ 1300MHzcore / 7Ghz Ram setup. Then again i am still at 1080p like 99% of the gamers.

    4K isn't ready until refresh rate is bumped up 60Hz- 120Hz and better HDMI standards.
  • 3 Hide
    Xavier Corraya , April 21, 2014 9:46 AM
    295x2 in crossfire?
    I think Tom went mad to catch Jerry .... :p 
Display more comments
React To This Article