Single-Card Results: Battlefield 3
I explained a lot of the methodology we’re using in AMD Radeon HD 7990: Eight Games And A Beastly Card For $1,000. But again, our GeForce GTX 780 review is going to have a lot of data to comb over.
As we might expect, the GeForce GTX 780 falls in just behind Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan. In that context, the $650 card offers quite a bit more value at its price point than the flagship. However, AMD’s $450 Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition board isn’t far behind either, outpacing the more expensive GeForce GTX 680.
What’s going on with the Radeon HD 7990? Well, if we were to believe our hardware-based numbers, AMD’s dual-GPU beast would be the winner in this benchmark. But after we remove dropped and runt frames from the analysis, one of the card’s GPUs appears to be doing very little useful work, yielding a frame rate you can actually see just above a single Radeon HD 7970.
Here’s what that average frame rate chart looks like plotted over time. Although we illustrated hardware and practical performance last time, we’re cleaning the data up as much as possible, giving you just the numbers that matter: practical frame rate.
Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 780, in red, trails the Titan ever so slightly, just ahead of the Radeon HD 7970, but far more consistent than the Radeon HD 7990.
Our attempts to simplify result in a less complex frame time variance chart, too. As a reminder, this is a reflection of the latency between consecutive frames, not the absolute time it takes to render a frame. Rather than average, 75th, and 95th percentile numbers, we have the average and 99th (worst-case) results.
On average, none of those cards are terrible in Battlefield 3. Based on the real-world experiential stuff I’ve done with gamers, it seems like 5 ms of difference is the point where folks start consistently picking the card with lower variance over the other. Conversely, we see that the Radeon HD 7990 can get pretty bad when we look at the entire run, minus the worst 1%. We already know this, though—until AMD can work out its multi-GPU pacing issues, examples like this should give gamers a moment of pause about spending $1,000 on a Radeon HD 7990.
Of course, one could argue that as we get closer to higher-end products, the performance increase is always minimal and price to performance ratio starts to increase, however, for the past 3-4 years (or so I guess), never has it been that the 2nd highest-end GPU having such low performance difference with the highest-end GPU. It's usually significant enough that the highest end GPU (GTX x80) still has it's place.
The GTX Titan was released to make the GTX 780 look incredibly good, and people (especially on the internet), will spread the news fast enough claiming the $650 release price for the GTX 780 is good and reasonable, and people who didn't even bother reading reviews and benchmarks, will take their word and pay the premium for GTX 780.
Nvidia is taking a different route to compete with AMD or one could say that they're not even trying to compete with AMD in terms of price/performance (at least for the high-end products).
Thats apretty bad analogy. A gpu is still smooth even with some of the cores/vram/etc turned off, it doesn't increase latency/frametimes/etc.
I must've missed something. Why wait a week?