Results: Tomb Raider
Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition and R9 280X are in a league of their own through our manually-run Tomb Raider benchmark, never dropping below 50 FPS at 2560x1440. Meanwhile, the R9 270X slides in ahead of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 760. The real winner is AMD’s Radeon HD 7870, though, which similarly does battle in the same space, but costs $20 less than the new R9.
AMD’s R7 260X is a little bit quicker than the Radeon HD 7790 it replaces, but not so much so that it’d warrant a higher price. The same holds true for Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost. Unfortunately, that card does cost more. The trio is sufficient for 1920x1080, but higher resolutions are too demanding.
To reiterate a recurring theme, the Radeon HD 7970 and R9 280X are great entry points for gaming at 2560x1440. The R9 270X, GeForce GTX 760, and Radeon HD 7870 certainly suffice as well, but they come a lot closer to marginal. Moreover, to get something faster than the $300 R9 280X, you’d have to spring for a $400 GeForce GTX 770.
Tiny frame time variances indicate a smooth experience across the board. Only Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 650 Ti runs into a bit of trouble at 2560x1440—a resolution too taxing for the frame rates to be playable anyway.