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Results: Battlefield 4

Radeon R9 295X2 8 GB Review: Project Hydra Gets Liquid Cooling
By , Igor Wallossek

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Thanks to a slightly higher clock rate, the Radeon R9 295X2 inches past a couple of R9 290X cards in CrossFire. However, a recent driver update from Nvidia gives two GeForce GTX 780 Tis the upper-hand in Battlefield 4…at least at this resolution. Two GTX Titans hang in there as well, even if lower core frequencies and fewer shaders force the $1000 boards in behind a pair of AMD’s single-GPU flagships.

In comparison, the once-mighty Radeon HD 7990 and GeForce GTX 690 are humbled. At least they’re still plenty-fast at Battlefield 4’s most taxing detail preset.

The highs and lows are best-seen by charting out frame rate over time.

Both AMD and Nvidia do a great job of pacing frames out consistently. Our 95th percentile numbers—a near-worst-case—remain under 3 ms, and only Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 690 approaches that figure.

Aside from a few major spikes from Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 690, measured frame times in Battlefield 4 are low.

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Battlefield 4 uses quite a bit of graphics memory. So, it’s not surprising to see the dual-Hawaii-based configurations doing really well, while two GeForce GTX 780 Ti cards (each with 3 GB on-board) experience lower minimum frame rates at 3840x2160. Titans have 6 GB each and manage more playable minimums. But because they come equipped with fewer shaders and lower clock rates, average performance drops to fourth place.

Once, and only briefly, the Radeon R9 290Xes and 295X2 fall under 40 FPS. Otherwise, they’re perfectly playable.

The GeForce GTX 780 Tis are almost as fast on paper. However, you can see more punctuated dips in the frame rate over time chart. In fact, as you play through the Tashgar level used for this test, you’ll see the characters pop in and out of view. A log of memory use through the run shows 3 GB being exceeded easily, which is why I’d hold off on recommending GeForce GTX 780 Tis for 4K.

Overall, frame time variance is reasonable, though the 690 throws off our bar and line charts. Spikes from the 780 Tis correspond to dips seen in the frame rate over time graph.

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