Results: Hitman: Absolution
Performance in Hitman: Absolution favors AMD’s Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire and new Radeon HD 7990. And, good news: although the hardware frame rates for those two solutions are higher, an almost-complete eradication of runt frames translates into a practical result that comes really close. It’s only lower because of some dropped frames that never get displayed.
All of the Nvidia cards get stuck around 55 FPS. The fact that GeForce GTX Titan leads the pack suggests something other than GPU performance holds GTX 690 and the 680s in SLI back.
We can see where a handful of dropped frames pull the Radeon HD 7990’s practical frame rate down in four distinct areas. But regardless of whether you’re looking at the 7990 or two Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire, AMD does really well in Hitman.
If you pop open the release notes for Catalyst 13.3, you see that AMD optimized latencies for two more games: Hitman: Absolution and Tomb Raider. When you add Borderlands 2 and Skyrim to the list, both of which were optimized in Catalyst 13.2, four of our eight tested titles should run more smoothly than the others.
Borderlands 2 was a strong game for AMD, and the same largely holds true in Hitman. Nvidia’s cards continue to deliver frames more consistently. But a bottleneck of some sort keeps the GeForce boards from challenging the practical frame rates achieved by Radeon HD 7990 and two 7970s in CrossFire.
Interestingly, the prototype Catalyst driver doesn’t help AMD in Hitman. Company representatives divulged that the package is derived from an older branch of its driver. So, it’s entirely possible that the special tweaks that went into Catalyst 13.3 (and carried over to 13.5 Beta 2) supersede the prototype software.