Test System and Benchmarks
We went with the latest Catalyst beta package and four carefully-selected benchmarks, run at the highest quality settings. The results are normalized, giving us a performance index in percentage points. AMD's reference Radeon R9 290 gives us our baseline at 100%.
|System||Intel Core i7-4930K (Ivy Bridge-E), Overclocked to 4 GHzAsus Rampage IV Black Edition, X79 Express32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum DDR3-2133Enermax TLC 240 Closed-Loop Liquid Cooler1 x SSD 512 GB Samsung 840 Pro|
|Power Supply||Corsair AX860i|
|Operating System||Windows 8.1|
|Drivers||AMD Catalyst 14.2 BetaGeForce 334.89|
|Benchmarks||Metro: Last LightBioShock InfiniteBattlefield 4 (Single-Player)Crysis 3 (DX11)|
In order to achieve realistic and comparable results, we heat up the cards prior to benchmarking, subjecting them to a 3D load that takes their GPU temperatures up to a steady state. This creates a level playing field for factory-overclocked cards.
In a nutshell, an overclocked MSI R9 290X Lightning cannot best Gigabyte's overclocked GeForce GTX 780 Ti Windforce OC, though the performance difference between both front-runners is quite small. Amazingly, two cards based on different manufacturers’ flagship GPUs treat us to a photo finish in this race.