I've been swamped with work over the last month, flying over to Taipei for Computex 2015, back for the launch of the GeForce GTX 980 Ti, the Radeon R9 390X, the launch event in Sydney, Australia for the Radeon R9 Fury X, and then the launch of the R9 Fury X itself. This means my triple 4K content has taken a slump, but I'm going to warn you now - be prepared, as it is back, and it's not going to stop anytime soon.
Now that we have had the launch of the GTX 980 Ti, R9 390X and R9 Fury X, we have plenty of cards to play around with now. Starting with the GTX 980 Ti cards in SLI, where we should see the 980 Ti beating the Titan X cards in SLI, so let's jump right into it, shall we?
The samples going out for the Radeon R9 390X haven't been well spread to other sites, but we were fortunate enough to have three separate cards sent to us for review. What do you do with three Radeon R9 390X cards? Well, you throw them into CrossFire and run them at 4K, that's what! We have our review of the SAPPHIRE Tri-X R9 390X 8GB and the MSI Radeon R9 390X Gaming 8G.
A single R9 390X provides ample performance at 4K with a mix of medium/high settings, but I wanted to see if AMD had improved the scaling on the 390X, which has impressed me so far. We've used our SAPPHIRE Tri-X R9 390X 8GB and MSI Radeon R9 390X Gaming 8G for our CrossFire testing, and only tested 4K obviously.
I was going to test 1080p and 1440p, but people spending $800+ on a duo of 390X cards most likely aren't going to sit around running 1080p. If you want to see 1080p and 1440p, let us know in the comments below and I'll write another article looking at 1920x1080 and 2560x1440.
One of our more popular articles was the 'How much VRAM do you really need at 1080p, 1440p and 4K?' but I did promise a follow up article where I would crank up the in-game AA. Here we are, a few days later, with that very article, pushing our video card much closer to the wall.
I changed out video cards from the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti to the Titan X, so that when we did use more VRAM, I wouldn't run out thanks to the Titan X sporting 12GB of GDDR5. This was the only change in hardware, but I did get some more games into the tests.
We now have Far Cry 4 and The Witcher 3 to our VRAM consumption tests, as some of you requested. Far Cry 4 is quite taxing on our video cards with VRAM usage.
2015 is the year of 4K, right? But how much VRAM do you really need to play games in 1080p, 1440p, or 4K? There are so many conflicting reports: you need 6GB! No, 8GB! No, that's what the 12GB on Titan X is for! Well, with the next-gen AMD Radeon Fury X right around the corner rocking High Bandwidth Memory (HBM), and only 4GB of it, we have to start asking: just how much VRAM do you really need?
Most flagship GPUs are now coming with a minimum of 4GB, but with the release of the Titan X we saw this swell up to a huge 12GB. Thi
NVIDIA announced and released its GeForce GTX 980 Ti on June 1, with the reference card providing Titan X level performance, for a price tag of $649. Considering the Titan X is still $999, the GTX 980 Ti offered similar performance to the Titan X, with $350 off of its price tag.
We reviewed the reference card and fell in love with it, and with the promi
World exclusive: I reached out to be quiet! a few weeks ago to see if I could get myself a new PSU, but once I started looking at their offerings on the chassis, CPU cooler and fan side of things, I got excited. The company asked if I wanted the rest of their line up, so I happily agreed.
We are going to be building a new PC inside of the Silent Base 800 chassis from be quiet!, as well as powering it with the Dark Power Pro 11 1200W PSU, which is the German-based company's latest and greatest power supply.
The Dark Power Pro 11 features a 135mm "virtually inaudible" SilentWings 3 fan, and is built for high resolution PC gaming and multimedia users, multi-CPU based server systems, 3D CAD systems and the usual video and image editing machines. Multi-GPU systems with NVIDIA SLI or AMD Crossfire VGA cards can also pick up the Dark Power Pro 11 1200W, as it will handle all of those types of builds without breaking a sweat.
I recently had a reader e-mail me asking about the difference between a stock or reference NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 and the various overclocked models on the market. I haven't been able to do an article on this as I stepped into the shoes of VGA Editor a few months after NVIDIA launched its GeForce GTX 980s.
This meant that I didn't have any non-reference GTX 980s, but I've just secured one from MSI recently in the form of the MSI GeForce GTX 980 Gaming 4G LE. Thanks to MSI, we can now run a benchmark of an overclocked GeForce GTX 980 against the still-impressive reference GTX 980 from NVIDIA.
For the last three days, I have probably run the Grand Theft Auto V benchmark at least 300 times. Without a problem. I've been sitting here in my lab, running GTA V at 1080p, 1440p and 4K.
Rockstar has powered GTA V with its custom RAGE engine, which might be impressive for the consoles, but it's something else entirely on the PC. The studio has added in improvements to the engine that are just for the PC which include higher resolutions than the consoles are capable of, improved graphical details, denser traffic and pedestrians, better AI, new and improved weather and damage effects, and much more.
AMD and NVIDIA were quick to release their respective Grand Theft Auto V ready drivers, but during our testing we found that both sides of the VGA fence were great performers in single GPU solutions. But our SLI and Crossfire testing found NVIDIA coming out on top.
Grand Theft Auto V has been out on consoles for close to 18 months now, but the PC has finally gotten that beautiful taste of Rockstar Games' open world title on the PC, and now we can benchmark the game and go nuts with our hardware setups to see what you'll need to run it at specific resolutions and frame rates.
What do you need to run the game at 4K 60FPS? Not much, actually. We tested three of our VGA cards: the SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X 8GB Vapor-X, the GeForce GTX 980 and GeForce GTX Titan X (both reference) with surprising results. Each card was capable of 4K 60FPS in GTA V.
After a few weeks of playing around with our triple Acer XB280HK 28-inch 4K monitors on our various NVIDIA GPUs, such as the GTX 980s in SLI, the Titan X on its own and again with Titan X in SLI, we're now back with some AMD numbers to show you.
We had some reader feedback that wanted to see how the dual-GPU Radeon R9 295X2 would go in the ring with the GeForce GTX 980s in SLI and the Titan X in SLI at 6480x3840, and we're glad to report that for a card that is close to a year old, it did surprisingly well.