As part of a regular feature for BabelTechReviews, this driver analysis will look at the performance of 27 PC games using the latest Catalyst 15.11 Beta drivers which were released last week. We will compare these drivers versus Catalyst 15.8 drivers which were released on August 30 using the reference 290X and 290X CrossFire. We are also going to focus on our latest benchmark, Ashes of the Singularity, which is the first publicly released DX12 benchmark, so far.
We have introduced something new at BTR. The Big Picture, once reserved for video card reviews, is now included with every driver performance analysis beginning with the last one. We are comparing 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 for added information, the most recent 290X CrossFire and GTX 980 SLI results. The Fury X is benchmarked with the Catalyst 15.9.1 betas, and the GTX 980 Ti/SLI and GTX 980 are using Nvidia’s GeForce 358.50 drivers.
We want to document the performance changes of this current Catalyst 15.11 beta driver 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 27 games and 3 synthetics tests including the “Kite Demo” on Unreal Engine 4. This driver performance evaluation will compare the performance changes since AMD’s older driver set Catalyst 10.8 released at the end of August.
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 midrange 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.