Metro, Tomb Raider & Ghost Recon
Metro: Last Light (DX11)
Despite its age, Metro: Last Light is a staple in our test suite for its ability to tax modern graphics cards. We use the Very High Quality preset with 16x anisotropic filtering, Normal Motion blur, and Normal Tessellation.
Everything from a Radeon R9 Fury X and up cuts through Metro fairly easily at 2560x1440. The Titan X (Pascal) and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti serve up comparable performance, both beating Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 by about 19%.
The results at 4K are marginally more interesting, since last generation’s flagships can’t quite deliver smooth performance at Metro’s top detail settings, yet the fastest Pascal-based cards do. Not even a GeForce GTX 1070 cuts it.
As we saw in GTA V, another DX11 title, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti takes a slim loss at 2560x1440 and turns it into a slimmer victory at 3840x2160. The resulting average frame rate is 26% higher than Nvidia’s vanilla 1080, and 60% faster than the aging 980 Ti.
Rise of the Tomb Raider (DX12)
In an effort to make our Rise of the Tomb Raider more demanding than in past reviews, we enabled 2x SSAA (rather than SMAA, a post-processing effect that has been shown to leave many surfaces aliased).
The performance impact of increasing the internal rendering resolution is understandably immense. Whereas we saw 110+ FPS from the Titan X back in August using SMAA, we’re under 80 FPS at 2560x1440. That’s a good target for ultra-high-end GPUs, though.
Averaging 79.5 FPS, the GTX 1080 Ti is 34% faster than a 1080 and 70% faster than a 980 Ti.
Although this a DX12-enabled title, AMD’s Radeon R9 Fury X struggles mightily. A couple of big frame time spikes translate into problematic sequences our unevenness index flags as unplayable. It doesn’t look good for the bottom half of this chart as we shift to 4K.
Even the GP102-based boards suffer under super-sampling. Our unevenness index suggests we’re still in the playable range on Titan X (Pascal) and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. However, the other cards clearly stutter. Given the pixel density of a 27” 4K monitor, you’d probably be fine turning anti-aliasing off entirely at this resolution and enjoying the extra performance.
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Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands (DX11)
We received our keys for Ghost Recon Wildlands right as we were finishing up benchmarking and decided to add this title for its newness factor. The game’s Ultra preset hits performance unbelievably hard, given graphics we consider good but not groundbreaking. So we dialed back to Very High, which has the side benefit of turning off Nvidia’s Turf Effects feature. Until we can quantify its effect on AMD’s hardware, that only seems fair.
Ghost Recon is a DirectX 11-based title. As such, we’re hardly surprised to see Nvidia’s cards fare so much better than AMD’s in this TWIMTBP game right out of the gate. Perhaps the better comparison is 1080 Ti to Titan (the 1080 Ti is already a little faster), 1080 Ti to 1080 (1080 Ti is 23% quicker), and 1080 Ti to 980 Ti (big Pascal trumps big Maxwell by almost 56%).
The burden of Very High settings weighs heavy on even the fastest single-GPU cards. Interestingly, Titan X takes the lead, while 1080 Ti is just 18% faster than 1080. Our unevenness index isn’t kind to any card—they all fall short of perfect. So perhaps we need to revisit Ghost Recon once both AMD and Nvidia have a chance to do a little optimization work.