Results: Crysis 3
Nvidia's lack of a solution between $250 and $400 gives AMD an opportunity to enable playable frame rates in another demanding title at 2560x1440 with its R9 280X. GeForce GTX 760 dips close to 30 FPS, making it a better solution for cranking the details up even higher at 1920x1080.
You could also get away with a GeForce GTX 660 for $180 at that resolution instead of a R9 270X for $200. However, the smartest play is a Radeon HD 7870 for $180, as long as they're around.
At the lower end of the spectrum, Crysis 3 with a High System Setting preset is a little too demanding for R7 260X, Radeon HD 7790, or GeForce GTX 650 Ti. If this title is important to you, we again find ourselves drawn to the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost with 2 GB for an extra $10.
Unlike a lot of our more automated tests, Crysis 3 involves a manual run-through with live action that varies each time. As such, there’s a little more variance between benchmarks. This is most obvious from those dips you see at the very end of our 1920x1080 chart. There’s one area in the map we test that hammers frame rates. It clearly affects the R9 280X’s performance, but not the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. Also not affected is the Radeon HD 7870, while the R9 270X slides down to about 30 FPS before popping right back up.
Throughout the run at 2560x1440, AMD’s fastest Tahiti-based card manages an almost-10 FPS lead over GeForce GTX 760. The Nvidia board is still plenty playable, but I’ll maintain that R9 280X is a good entry point for this resolution using the settings we’ve chosen.
Getting hammered by big performance dips at the end of our run really affects the worst-case frame time variance numbers reported by GeForce GTX 760 and R9 280X at 1920x1080. In reality, those shouldn’t worry you—the slow-down isn’t perceptible as we play through the test.