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Dual-GPU Battle: Does Frame Pacing In Catalyst 13.8 Turn The Tide?

Results: Tomb Raider

Our results in Tomb Raider are vastly different compared to the tests we performed using Catalyst 13.3 back in March with a pair of Radeon HD 7870 cards in CrossFire. When it comes to average frame rate, there's very little difference between Catalyst 13.8 and 13.6. Perhaps not surprisingly, the GeForce GTX 690 trails AMD's Radeon HD 7990 in this AMD Gaming Evolved title.

We chart out frame rate over time to get a more detailed look at the benchmark run as it happens.

Again, frame time variance is the most important chart on the page when it comes to evaluating frame pacing's effect. And, as in Crysis 3, Catalyst 13.8 has a huge impact on the benchmark result, allowing AMD's Radeon HD 7990 to approach Nvidia's GeForce GTX 690 (though not quite overtake it).

We look to video for confirmation:

Despite its lower frame rate, the GeForce GTX 690 gives us our smoothest result. Unfortunately, Nvidia has a problem with Lara's hair, which has to be a bug.

The difference between the two AMD data points isn't quite as clear. Both Catalyst 13.6 and 13.8 appear slightly more choppy, though 13.8 does seem to be more consistent. Watching the video through multiple times turns up a handful of stutter events on 13.6 that don't manifest with frame pacing enabled.

  • jimmysmitty
    The drivers do seem to make the FPS much smoother overall. BF3 is a good example with the game dropping then jumping and so on but 13.8 made it a much smoother line.

    Its good to see that work is being done to make it more competitive but I fear that its almost pointless since Hawaii XT is on its way and will be a better option in CFX.

    Also Laras hair on the GTX690 was funny. Just fluttering around like crazy. I guess TressFX does make a difference after all.
    Reply
  • jase240
    This is great, AMD is finally getting on par for dual GPU config with Nvidia!!
    This might make 2 AMD cards a way better value than Nvidia!!
    Reply
  • slicedtoad
    awesome, I'm glad they got around to addressing that indiscrepancy.
    Reply
  • viewgamer
    The Metro Last Light benchmark is a modern example of the way Nvidia handles its business.
    These strong arm tactics to eliminate the competition aren't beneficial to anyone, Nvidia's less than pleasant business practices is why I try to support AMD whenever possible.
    Reply
  • viewgamer
    The Metro Last Light benchmark is a modern example of the way Nvidia handles its business.
    These strong arm tactics to eliminate the competition aren't beneficial to anyone, Nvidia's less than pleasant business practices is why I try to support AMD whenever possible.
    Reply
  • Emma Long
    Apart from Metro the 7990 tied the 690 on two occasions and beat it in the rest, that's very encouraging from the red team.
    The situation with Metro last light seems peculiar to me, we've seen things like this before with Nvidia sponsored titles & I thought the industry was passed this sort of thing.
    Nvidia can compete, it has proven so time and time again, which makes this all the more reprehensible.
    I would like to see an Nvidia that competes on the basis of performance & features not strong-arming developers.

    Back to the 7990, so overall it's faster than the 690 and significantly less expensive, at $700 the 7990 puts very serious pressure on the 780 so I'd like to see the 780 added into the benchmarking mix as well.
    Reply
  • CarlitoBanderas
    What's the point of a 690 ? in 1080o & 1440p it's slower than the 7990, in 4K & multi monitor it doesn't have enough memory & it's 300 bucks more expensive.
    Nvidia needs to bring out a 790 asap, the 690 is not competitive anymore.
    Reply
  • m32
    I've enjoyed this article, Toms. We've seen the flaws and now some improvements with the 7990.
    Reply
  • _zxzxzx_
    AMD deserves a pat on the back for working hard on improving their drivers
    Reply
  • aggroboy
    11476339 said:
    What's the point of a 690 ? in 1080o & 1440p it's slower than the 7990, in 4K & multi monitor it doesn't have enough memory & it's 300 bucks more expensive.
    Nvidia needs to bring out a 790 asap, the 690 is not competitive anymore.
    Enthusiast mindshare is still dominated by the GTX Titan, so Nvidia can afford to stand pat.
    Reply