Results: Assassin’s Creed IV
FCAT tells us that two Radeon R9 295X2s average 42 FPS, and Fraps says 42 FPS as well. Both measurement methods are in agreement, and confirm what we saw in my original quad-CrossFire evaluation.
While AMD does come away with the first-place finish, it’d be hard to argue the sensibility of a second $1500 graphics card for an extra 16% performance compared to just one $1500 board.
Zoom out from the similar averages and you’ll discover a frame rate over time graph that looks a lot alike, too. A pair of Radeon R9 295X2s is indisputably fastest. However, they also jump up and down the performance chart in a more exaggerated manner.
This, in part, translates to the least-attractive frame time variance results, as individual frames are not paced well, resulting in longer pauses interpreted as stuttering while you play through the game.
Once the frame time variance is charted out, you clearly see the spikes in the difference in time between frames. For each of them, there’s a blip in the overall experience. The same held true in our original evaluation, but because I left the GeForce GTX 690 on the graph, you missed out on the overall impact. Nvidia’s dual-GK104-based card is wholly unsuited for 4K, so it and the Radeon HD 7990 were pulled to make the data more readable.
For that to happen, IMO, the time from one GPU release to the next would have to be so long that users needed more than 2x high end GPUs to handle games in the mean time.
As it is, there's really no gaming setup that can't be reasonably managed by a pair of high end graphics cards (Crysis back in 2007 is the only example I can think of when that wasn't the case). 3 or 4 cards will always just be for people chasing crazy benchmark scores.
I cant believe the reviewer just shrugged of the fact that the games obviously look cpu limited by just saying "well, we had the fastest cpu you can get" when they could have used mantle in BF4 to lessen cpu usage.