The Avatar spars with our test platform's Founder's Edition GTX 1080 in the Alien: Isolation benchmark, mainly because it sports the same GPU. The performance difference is negligible. At 1080p, 1440p, and 4K, the Avatar and our test comparison system score less than a single FPS apart, with AVADirect taking the win at 1080p and 4K. The Titan Pro performs a smidgen behind the GTX 1080-equipped desktops, which is to be expected (Nvidia did explain that its mobile GTX 1080 would fall slightly behind the desktop version at launch), and all three GTX 1080 systems beat out the test bench with a Founder's Edition GTX 1070.
Ashes of the Singularity
Running the GPU-intensive version of the Ashes of the Singularity DirectX 12 benchmark, the Avatar's superior CPU clock barely affects the results (Ashes favors multi-core CPU performance). The GTX 1080 desktops fall within the same ballpark performance wise, and the Avatar leads the Titan Pro by a little less than 2 FPS at 1080p and by less than 0.7 FPS at 1440p and 4K. The reference desktop system actually falls behind the Titan Pro, which benefits from the slightly higher memory speed (the memory in both the Avatar and the Titan Pro systems operate at 2,400MHz).
AVADirect's overclock improves performance but exhibits diminishing returns in the Bioshock Infinite benchmark, evidenced by the Avatar's 12 FPS lead at 1920 x 1080, which gradually deteriorates as you crank up the resolution. At 2560 x 1440, the GTX 1080 Founder's Edition starts to become the bottleneck, narrowing the margin between our test bench and the Avatar. At 3840 x 2160, the results are indiscernible (a 0.13 FPS difference). Still, the GTX 1080 desktops hold a healthy lead over their mobile brethren (the Titan Pro), and the reference system (with a GTX 1070) surprisingly beats the Titan Pro at 1080p thanks to its CPU advantage. Similar to the exponential decay exhibited by the overclocked Avatar, this lead disappears at higher resolutions where the GPU becomes the bottleneck, and the Titan Pro takes third place finishes at 1440p and 4K.
DiRT Rally benefits from a better overall system platform, so it's no surprise that the AVADirect Avatar takes the field across the board with its 17.5% CPU overclock. However, similar to the Bioshock Infinite results, the overclock has diminishing returns as you turn up the resolution, which is evidenced by the shrinking performance gap between the Avatar and our reference system as go from 1080p to 4K.
The Titan Pro steals a win over our reference machine at 1920 x 1080 and 2560 x 1440 (although by only a small margin), but as the pixel count rises, the GPU becomes the bottleneck. At 4K, all of the averages line up exactly as you would expect them to, with the Avatar on top, followed by the reference system and the Titan Pro, each trailing by only a negligible difference. The reference system with a GTX 1070 Founder's Edition remains in last place, although only by 4.36 FPS, illustrating the impact the overall platform performance has in DiRT Rally.
Grand Theft Auto V
At 1920 x 1080, the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark isn't a problem for any of the systems in the field, with only the Vinewood Sign scene forcing them under 60 FPS at the highest settings. It's also not surprising to find the AVADirect landing just slightly above (or dead even, as is the case with the Sandy Shore scene at 4K) the reference system paired with the same GTX 1080 Founder's Edition GPU, and the Titan Pro trailing shortly behind, with the GTX 1070 coming in last. This trend continues throughout the 2560 x 1440 and 3840 x 2160 tests, but none of the systems can muscle up playable framerates at 4K with the settings cranked to the max, with the GTX 1080 systems providing well under 30 FPS throughout the benchmark.
AVADirect's beefy overclock proves to be advantageous in the GRID Autosport benchmark, with the Avatar landing on top of the heap across the board. At 1080p and 1440p, the Titan Pro falls behind our test rig, even when equipped with a GTX 1070, illustrating the impact CPU performance has in GRID Autosport. However, at 4K, MSI's mobile beast catches up with its GTX 1080 brethren, and the GTX 1070 bottlenecks the reference system's performance. However, none of the GTX 1080 systems fall below 60 FPS at 3840 x 2160, and even the GTX 1070 only flinches down to 59.52 FPS for a moment in the platform-bound benchmark.
The Hitman DirectX 12 benchmark overtly favors GPU performance, so much so that the Avatar's scores are nearly (and at 2560 x 1440, completely) identical to our reference system's results, with both machines sporting a Founder's Edition GTX 1080 with Nvidia reference clock speeds. The Titan Pro predictably falls only slightly behind the desktops with its mobile GTX 1080, and our test bench trails the pack with a GTX 1070 under the hood.
Metro: Last Light Redux
Metro: Last Light Redux is another GPU-intensive game title, with all of the GTX 1080-equipped systems performing within 1 FPS of each other, at any resolution. The Avatar barely edges out the win at 1920 x 1080 and 2560 x 1440, and it once again ties our test system at 3840 x 2160. The GTX 1070-equipped test rig falls behind the GTX 1080s by 16-20% across the board, and none of the systems can put up playable framerates at 4K with details at maximum.
Rise of the Tomb Raider
The Avatar again places first in the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark, although it's by a negligible margin. The Titan Pro manages a win over our test rig at 3840 x 2160 (although its only by 0.7 fps), and all three GTX 1080-equipped systems easily outpace a GTX 1070.
The Avatar hits the top of the charts again with The Division, but the performance difference between the GTX 1080-equipped systems is, once again, less than 1 FPS apart at all tested resolutions. This isn't a surprise for the GPU-bound game, and the GTX 1070 falls behind the pack by 20-25%.
The Avatar's overclocked CPU gives it a clear advantage against the similarly-equipped competition at 1920 x 1080 in the Thief benchmark. However, similar to our Bioshock Infinite results, the superiority is short-lived, and turning up the dial to 2560 x 1440 or 3840 x 2160 narrows that lead. The CPU's impact on performance, and its diminishing returns, are also responsible for the GTX 1070's win against the Titan Pro at 1080p, with the laptop pulling ahead of the lesser desktop graphics card at 1440p (and more so at 4K) due to its superior GPU.