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Radeon R9 295X2 8 GB Review: Project Hydra Gets Liquid Cooling

Results: Thief

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AMD’s Radeon R9 290Xes in CrossFire and R9 295X2 perform similarly in Thief. But solid frame rates don’t stop Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 780 Tis and Titans in SLI from scoring first- and second-place finishes.

Meanwhile, the Radeon HD 7990 and GeForce GTX 690 trail. We’ve seen Thief eat up a ton of graphics memory, so it’s possible that the 690’s 2 GB of GDDR5 per GPU is responsible for the low minimum frame rate figure.

Aside from one hitch encountered by Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 690, all of these results are both smooth and playable.

Every tested configuration exhibits low frame time variance. There is one result more notable than the others, though. Typically, we’d expect average variance lower than the 75th percentile, which in turn should be lower than the 95th percentile. But the GeForce GTX 690’s 75th percentile figure is higher than the average.

A look at the frame time chart shows why. In essence, the 690 is plagued by a handful of severe snags. So, while it’s typically a strong performer, those spikes drive up the average and 95th percentile results.

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AMD’s Radeon R9 295X2 continues its chart-topping march in Thief, averaging 45 FPS, but more impressively keeping minimum performance above 40 FPS.

As you can see from the GeForce GTX 690’s showing, graphics memory is an important consideration at this title’s Very High preset. We can’t even blame multi- or super-sampled anti-aliasing; the quality setting employs FXAA. Three gigabytes per GPU might not even be enough. Although Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 780 Ti takes second place in the averages, it dips back to a minimum of 31 FPS. Two Titans hold up a little better.

Fortunately, it looks like the 780 Tis only get hit hard in a couple of places. Otherwise, they hang right there with AMD’s cards.

All of the frame time variance figures are acceptable, aside from the GeForce GTX 690.

Huge variance numbers from a couple of GK104 GPUs throw off the scale of this chart.