Results: Battlefield 4, Arma 3, Grid 2 And Far Cry 3
Replacing its predecessor in our bench suite, Battlefield 4 also tends to be limited by the graphics subsystem. CPU performance plays a more prominent role at lower resolutions and detail levels, though. For those of you done with this game's single-player campaign, big multi-player maps are processor-bound as well. In the real world, you'll get even more benefit from a faster CPU than these tests indicate.
We expected the GeForce GTX 970 to do much better than the 770, and it does, especially at the highest resolutions and detail settings.
Arma 3 demands a lot from graphics hardware as you increase the game's resolution beyond 1080p. The GeForce GTX 970 excels under the Ultra detail preset, while the more mainstream High setting exposes a smaller delta between graphics cards. We suspect some other subsystem is responsible as details get turned down, though we're confident Intel's Core i7 positively affects performance.
Like most of Codemasters' racing titles, Grid 2 is platform-limited at all but the highest resolutions and detail levels. In fact, it's so sensitive to memory bandwidth that my new build suffers a loss at default settings when the High-quality preset is used. Stepping up to Ultra with 8x MSAA enabled shifts the bottleneck over to graphics. The GeForce GTX 970 shows its maximum benefit at triple-monitor 4900x900 and 5760x1080 resolutions.
Far Cry 3
More than any other game in our benchmark suite, Far Cry 3 leans heavily on graphics cards and is far less dependent on the host processor and memory. Nevertheless, the Core i7 still helps augment performance in single-monitor resolutions. At 4800x900 and 5760x1080 using Ultra quality, both graphics cards struggle with this demanding game engine.