We've been getting some of our rigs up to speed in the last few months, throwing our VGA cards into different battles. We've been playing around with Titan X versus GTX 980, Titan X SLI versus GTX 980 SLI and everything in between.
The articles are only going to expand, where we wanted to see how two AMD Radeon R9 290X cards in Crossfire would perform against the Maxwell-powered cards from NVIDIA. We are using two of SAPPHIRE's Radeon R9 290X 8GB Tri-X cards, which are factory overclocked and feature an impressive aftermarket cooler.
Comparing the stock Radeon R9 290X against the R9 290X 8GB Tri-X cards from SAPPHIRE, we have the stock card with a GPU clock of 1000MHz versus the 1030MHz on the SAPPHIRE card. The company has overclocked the GDDR5 RAM from 1250MHz to 1375MHz. Not only that, but thanks to the better cooling setup, we can squeeze some more performance out of the SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X 8GB Tri-X, all while it continues to operate at decent temperatures.
When I first got the review sample of the GeForce GTX Titan X from NVIDIA, I was more excited than I had been in quite sometime. I've only been the VGA Editor for TweakTown for a little over three months now, but this was my first true beast of a video card to test. I had some interesting plans for it, and was immediately asking NVIDIA for a second card.
Just as NVIDIA's GPU Technology Conference was coming to an end, I was handed a second Titan X to take home for some truly mind-bending tests. Well, here we are back with our 4K Surround testing, where we're going to be pushing the boundaries of what the GM200 core can do at 6480x3840.
A few days ago we gave you a peek into what we've been working on here in the TweakTown VGA labs: NVIDIA's 4K Surround, or ~6K - a resolution of a huge, GPU busting 6480x3840. It's not easy to bust out this many pixels, but that's what we do here at TweakTown - continue to push the boundaries that no one else wants to do.
Sure, there are only a handful of people in the world that would be gaming on a 4K Surround setup, but that's what we do here - test the bleeding edge of 'real-world' gaming. Anyone with the money to spend on 4K Surround can go out and buy it, but more importantly, what type of GPU setup do you need to secure yourself around 60FPS average frame rate? This is what we 're here for.
We have been waiting quite a while for the stars to align to bring you this article, and many that will follow - NVIDIA's 4K Surround. We have 3 x Acer XB280HK monitors in a triple portrait set up - all running 3840x2160, or 4K. This provides a native resolution of 6480x3840.
Let's clarify that: 6480x3840. This means we're rendering 1,492,992,000 pixels per second. 1.4 billion pixels, every second. Compare this to 1920x1080 (Full HD, or 1080p) which is rendering 124,416,000, or 124 million pixels per second - the 4K Surround system is rendering over 10x that of the 1080p resolution.
Instead of writing about how many pixels are being rendered, we've put them into a chart so you can better understand just how many pixels we're driving here today. Right now, the 'next-gen' consoles are rendering games at around 720p - 900p, which if they were running at 60Hz (or 60FPS) which most of the time they aren't, it's usually 30FPS or so, they would be rendering 55 million pixels per second.
Our review sample of the GeForce GTX Titan X is sitting behind me as I type, and while we can't test it just yet because we don't have our hands on drivers, we're seeing a really nice sneak peak at the performance and it is mind blowing to say the least.
Before our review of the Titan X goes live, I thought I would run our GeForce GTX 980s in SLI through our benchmark suite and update our numbers. This will give us a better look at how the new Maxwell-based Titan X fares against the Maxwell-based 980s in SLI.
Seeing as though we can expect around 30-50% more performance over a single GTX 980, the Titan X should do quite well against even the GTX 980s in SLI. In VRAM limited situations (which we're going to get into with another article) the Titan X will trounce the competition thanks to its 12GB framebuffer.
Our review sample of the new NVIDIA GeForce GTX Titan X is here, so we decided to snap some high-res shots of the entire card to give you the best look at it yet.
If you didn't see our post on it, NVIDIA's founder and CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, unveiled the card during Epic Games' GDC 2015 event. The company hosted its own 'Made to Game' event, but kept the Titan X under wraps for a few more hours. Even with GTC 2015 right around the corner, the company has shipped out Titan X samples to various people in the media, including TweakTown.
We've been playing around with our various GPUs here in the TweakTown VGA labs in the past few weeks, throwing them into battle against each other in various combinations. First, we started playing around by using an AMD-powered system with the AMD FX-9590 processor. We thought we'd play around with some Radeon GPUs, so we tested out the Radeon R9 290X 8GBs in Crossfire against the Radeon R9 295X2 dual-GPU card.
For our second test with the AMD CPU powering the system, we wanted to see how two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980s in SLI would go against two Radeon R9 290X cards in Crossfire. Both of these tests were performed at 4K, so where can we go from here? Before we begin our testing with the Intel Core i7-5960X when it gets here in the coming weeks, we thought we would see how we'd go by really pushing the in-game details up to their maximum, and pitting all three set ups against each other. Oh yes.
It hasn't been too long since we had our AMD Radeon R9 290X and Radeon R9 295X2 in the benchmarking ring, taking swings at each other in the battle of 4K dominance. The dual GPU card came out on top of course, but that wasn't the point, as we knew the R9 295X2 would dominate. What we're here to do, is just see how these two cards are doing with the latest drivers, at 4K, after all this time.
Well, here we are again but now we have two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 cards against two of SAPPHIRE's Radeon R9 290X Vapor-X 8GB cards, yeah - those 8GB cards that we all know and love. The two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980s have 4GB of VRAM, while the SAPPHIRE Radeon R9 290X Vapor-X cards have 8GB of VRAM. At 4K, VRAM usage is up much more than most other resolutions.
When AMD launched the Radeon R9 290X in October of 2013, it was one serious powerhouse of a GPU. Based on AMD's latest architecture, codenamed Vesavius, it was and still is to this day, one of the best GPUs the company has crafted.
A bunch of AIB partners made some seriously powerful versions of the R9 290X, with the likes of SAPPHIRE, MSI and ASUS throwing their expertise behind the GPU and making even better cards from an impressive GPU. Nearly six months later, AMD unveiled its dual GPU in the form of the Radeon R9 295X2. The Radeon R9 295X2 is still, again, to this day one of the best video cards you can buy.
They're both still very relevant cards, and with myself planted in the position of Video Card Editor, we're going to play around with our new found toys. Starting with Tweakipedia, we're going to see how well these cards scale with the latest drivers at 4K in our suite of benchmarks. We're going to follow this up with another article showing off how Mantle performance is with Battlefield 4 and a few others, and then we're going to verse these Hawaii-based R9 290X and Vesavius-based R9 295X2 cards against the Maxwell-based GeForce GTX 980 from NVIDIA.
The battle of the Radeons begins, right here, right now. We have a bunch of SAPPHIRE's Radeon R9 290X 8GB Vapor-X GPUs, and we plan to put them to the test over the coming months. One of the first things we're doing is seeing how they fare against the GIGABYTE Radeon R9 290X 4GB WindForce GPUs, before we retire the GIGABYTE cards for these 8GB beasts.
I thought I would throw both of the cards under a high-resolution bus, cranking the resolution up to 4K and applying maximum AA within our suite of benchmarks. This will give us a nice look at whether 8GB on a GPU is doing much these days.
Note: There are various other games and modifications that can be used for testing, and we will be playing around with those in the New Year. These include Grand Theft Auto IV and a huge list of mods, as well as some of the insane mod packs and upgrades to Skyrim.