Results: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, Thief And Tomb Raider
Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
A run through Middle-earth’s benchmark at 2560x1440 is child’s play for all of these advanced graphics cards, despite our selection of the Ultra detail preset. The only artifact bothering us is the dual-Hawaii Radeon’s spiky output, which is typically better than Titan X’s, but frequently drops below the GM200-powered card’s performance, too.
The average frame rates in Middle-earth are higher than the other games we’ve looked at thus far, though the finishing order doesn’t change. AMD’s Radeon R9 295X2 finishes on top according to the averages. However, it remains frenetic, dipping under the GeForce GTX Titan X several times.
Both the GeForce GTX 980 and Radeon R9 290X are fairly playable, while the GeForce GTX Titan and 780 Ti flirt with less appealing minimum performance levels.
Performance consistency continues to affect AMD’s Radeon R9 295X2 in Thief. The frame rate over time looks somewhat similar to what we saw in our initial review of the card. However, several single-GPU boards start the benchmark with stronger frame rates. Still, the averages put AMD on top, followed by GeForce GTX Titan X and GeForce GTX 980.
For the fifth time in a row, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX Titan X shows it can muster an average frame rate high enough to be considered playable. A greater than 30% advantage over GeForce GTX 980 means the difference between using the game’s Very High detail preset and dialing it back. Check out the frame rate over time graph. That performance range right there is a perfect use case for G-Sync. We’ll explain shortly.
Of course, AMD’s Radeon R9 295X2 continues posting higher numbers. The strange dips and spikes aren’t as pronounced; the win appears more clear-cut.
The minimum frame rates in Tomb Raider look low—especially for a benchmark run at 2560x1440. But our custom sequence is designed to crush these cards. There’s really only one passage that prominently features the TressFX hair effect, and that’s where performance tanks. Through the rest of our test, they all stay above 50 FPS. Our average frame rate numbers confirm smooth performance.
Tomb Raider is another one of those titles that belies the benchmark results. Averages in the 30s don’t sound impressive; however, you’ll still find most of these cards to be playable through our taxing little run. And if you want to bump frame rates up, choose the Ultra preset instead of Ultimate, disabling the compute-heavy TressFX effect and smoothing out the frame rate dip.