Results: Battlefield 4 And Thief
We'll begin our benchmarks with one of the most popular first person shooters available today, powered by the technologically advanced Frostbite 3 graphics engine: Battlefield 4.
Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 980 puts achieves an impressive showing, easily sailing past the GK110-powered GeForce GTX 780 Ti and earning the top spot. What's more, the GeForce GTX 970 bests the Radeon R9 290X in DirectX, and AMD's single-GPU top dog can only achieve parity when it leverages the company's Mantle API.
But 1080p is low-hanging fruit for Nvidia's new graphics cards, so let's up the ante to 4K. Unfortunately, we had to pull back the level of detail from Ultra to High in order to allow the GeForce GTX 980 to achieve our target 30 FPS minimum/40 FPS average frame rate.
The GeForce GTX 980 still leads the pack, but by a smaller margin. The GeForce GTX 970 falls back a bit relative to the Radeons, but still manages a strong showing considering its relatively low MSRP.
Thief is another modern title that can be difficult for today's graphics hardware to handle. We'll begin at 1080p with the very high detail preset invoked.
The GeForce GTX 980 achieves the best showing as it did in Battlefield 4, and the GeForce GTX 970 is right behind the GeForce GTX 780 Ti. Even when outfitted with the Mantle code path, the Radeon R9 290X can't beat Nvidia's new $329 card. The GeForce GTX 970 is shaping up to be an impressive value proposition. But what about Ultra HD resolution?
Once again, we had to dial back the visual settings to keep things smooth, trading the very high detail preset for the normal detail preset. Still, it looks very impressive at 3840x2160. A note about frame time latency: Thief's graphics engine suffers from a little lag across all of the cards we tested for this benchmark, unfortunately, but the good news is that we haven't found it to be noticeable while actually playing the game.