Ashes, Battlefield 4 & Doom
Ashes of the Singularity
Today’s testing emphasizes 1920x1080, again, accounting for more than 36% of respondents in Steam’s July 2016 hardware survey. This is a massive market, and you can bet that both AMD and Nvidia are eager to dominate it.
AMD shows well in Ashes of the Singularity. Its Radeon RX 480 finishes first in our field of mid-range cards, besting Nvidia’s pricier GeForce GTX 1060 Founders Edition. Moreover, the new Radeon RX 470 isn’t far off of GeForce GTX 970—a card that still sells in the $300 range.
Interestingly, Radeon R9 280X, based on AMD’s first-gen GCN implementation, suffers some serious smoothness issues. The GeForce GTX 960 and 770 aren’t as bad, but their generally higher frame times are likely caused by too-little on-board GDDR5 memory. The result is unplayable performance at this game’s Extreme preset.
Keep an eye on how the Radeon RX 470 compares to RX 480 throughout our benchmarks. The delta between them is going to determine how much more you should pay for higher performance at 1920x1080. In AotS, RX 480 enjoys a roughly 13% advantage.
Playability is far less of an issue in Battlefield 4, where even the slowest cards average more than 50 FPS.
Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 and 970 land in first and second place, even though this is an AMD Gaming Evolved title. Meanwhile, the Radeon RX 480 is 14% faster than the 470.
When we switch from OpenGL to Vulkan in Doom, the Radeon RX 480 and 470 take first and second place (the former leading by 18%).
Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 lands just behind in third place, while the older 970 performs almost identically.
Because this is our suite’s first Vulkan-based game, we also wanted to throw in a quick CPU test to determine how processor performance affects frame rates. In the charts below, Radeon RX 470 is compared to GeForce GTX 1060 using a Core i7-6700K and Core i3-6320, both with Hyper-Threading enabled.
Perhaps these two CPUs aren’t far enough apart in the hierarchy, but at least we see that stepping down to a modern Core i3 doesn’t negatively affect performance in Doom. Again, we’ll go into more depth on processor performance in the latest low-level APIs soon.
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