Results: World Of Warcraft: Mists Of Pandaria
A chart that looks like this demands a frame rate over time graph to help explain the results. Strangely, the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition posts the lowest average performance number, but gives us the highest minimum frame rate. Because the red bar is already plenty-high, we’d actually call AMD’s outcome the best.
Our benchmark runs between two flight points in Pandaria. On all three Nvidia cards, frame rates drop under 40, even at 1920x1080, when we jump on our taxi. The AMD board doesn’t experience this severe spike, which is why, even though its average is lower across the flight, its minimum frame rate is still higher.
None of the consecutive frame latency numbers are problematic, and, at least to my eyes, playing through the game at this resolution is comparably smooth on all four solutions.
The minimum frame rate discrepancy between AMD and Nvidia is gone at 2560x1600. We instead see results that correspond to the averages, which suggest all four of these cards remain playable. In World of Warcraft, however, GeForce GTX Titan comes closer to the first-place GeForce GTX 690 than the 680 below it.
Indeed, that dip at the start has disappeared on Nvidia’s GeForce boards. Rather, the GeForce GTX 680 and Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition trade blows, while Titan spends most of its time in excess of 70 FPS. Although our flight path-based test isn’t the end-all in World of Warcraft benchmarking (even if we did spend hours trying to come up with the most taxing flight sequence in the new expansion), we suspect this card would have little trouble in a crowded raid at 2560x1600.
A low average consecutive frame latency, a slightly higher 75th percentile, and a spike at 95 suggest that most of the frames AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition renders have relatively little lag between them, but that the worst samples from the test worsen considerably. Based on real-world gameplay, we’re not convinced that the Radeon card’s result is palpable, even if its lag is several times higher than what Nvidia’s cards convey.
More problematic for AMD is that a Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition doesn’t appear to support 5760x1200. It instead forces three screens to run in mirrored mode.
It’s probable that the Radeon wouldn’t have given us playable frame rates anyway, based on GeForce GTX 680’s performance. GeForce GTX 690 and Titan do, however, yield numbers we’d be comfortable gaming at using 5760x1200 at Ultra quality settings.
There’s little to add based on frame rates over time. Both $1,000 cards appear quick enough, while the GeForce GTX 680’s flirtations with sub-20 FPS bode less well for taxing boss fights.
Latencies jump on all three cards, though the averages remain very low.