As regularly featured on BabelTechReviews, this driver analysis will examine the performance of 29 PC games using the latest Crimson Software Catalyst 15.11.1 hotfix Beta drivers which were released last week. We will compare these drivers versus Catalyst 15.9.1 drivers using our PowerColor Fury X, and we are also comparing the reference 290X on the last 15.11 beta Catalyst (non-Crimson) drivers. We are also going to benchmark using our latest benchmark, Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.
BTR’s The Big Picture, once reserved for video card reviews, is now included with every driver performance analysis. We are comparing recent GeForce Driver WHQL 359.00, using the GTX 980 Ti versus the Fury X, the GTX 980 versus the R9 390X OC, the GTX 970 OC versus the R9 290X, and also giving 290X CrossFire and GTX 980 SLI results.
AMD’s latest Crimson Drivers – Catalyst 15.11.1 – had some serious issues that reportedly have damaged some cards, but they were hot-fixed on November 30, so we are bringing you the very latest Fury X and 290X driver performance results for this Big Picture.
We want to document the performance changes of the current Crimson Software Catalyst 15.11.1 hotfix beta drivers on Windows 10. Here we are going to give you the performance results of our cards at 1920×1080, 2560×1440, and at 3840×2160, using 29 games and 3 synthetics tests. This will be the last time that we benchmark Assassin’s Creed Unity, as it has been replaced by Syndicate. This driver performance evaluation will compare the performance changes brought by the latest Crimson drivers since AMD’s older driver set Catalyst 15.11 beta released on November 12 using 290x, and with Catalyst 15.9.1 that we last benched Fury X with in October.
Our testing platform is Windows 10 64-bit Home Edition, and we are using an Intel Core i7-4790K which turbos all cores to 4.4GHz, an ASUS Z97E motherboard, and 16GB of Kingston “Beast” HyperX RAM at 2133MHz. The settings and hardware are identical except for the drivers being tested.
At R9 280X and above, we test at higher settings and at higher resolutions generally than we test mid-range and lower-end cards. All of our games are now tested at three resolutions at 60Hz: 3840×2160, 2560×1440, and 1920×1080, and we use DX11 whenever possible with a very strong emphasis on the latest DX11 games. .
Let’s get right to the test configuration, to the driver release notes, and then to our results.