The Summary Chart

 

Here is the summary chart of 32 games and 3 synthetic tests. The highest settings are always chosen and it is DX11 when there is a choice; DX10 is picked above DX9, and the settings are ultra or maxed. Specific settings are listed on the Main Performance chart.  We have added the “Kite Demo” on Unreal Engine 4 using the default settings at 1920×1080 as measured by Fraps.

The benches are run at 1920×1080, 2560×1440, and 3840×2160.  All results, except for Firestrike, show average framerates and higher is always better. In-game settings are fully maxed out and they are identically high or ultra across all platforms.  “NA” means the game would not run at the settings chosen, and an *asterisk means that there were issues with running the benchmark, usually visual artifacting.
Main-ChartfxWe note only very few performance improvements of Fury X with AMD’s new Catalyst 15.7 WHQL driver over the slightly older launch 15.15 drivers in only a few games.  Generally, the differences are just incremental benchmarking “noise”, and well within the benching margin of error.  However, Assassin’s Creed: Unity evidently got a decent performance boost at our three resolutions, although most games were mixed, with small improvements perhaps at only one or two resolutions.

We are not 100% sure of our Fury X Far Cry 4 results since the 15.15b launch drivers were a mess visually while 15.7 appears to have cleared up the artifacting, but the performance has significantly dropped.  Although we have verified the game files, we are going to reinstall the game and will update BTR Community with our Far Cry 4 results later this week.

Batman: Arkham Knights and the Witcher 3 use 15.6B results instead of 15.5B for the 290X to compare with the new WHQL drivers, as they brought stability and performance, and these drivers were also used in our Fury X versus GTX 980 Ti review.

We do see solid performance gains with the 290X that may bring it very close to 390X performance, since the older 200 series was tested with older drivers while the new 300 series evidently got new drivers for their launch.  Some of these 290X gains are very impressive in some of the newer games as with Far Cry 4, even considering that the last WHQL Catalyst drivers were released last year.

Conclusion:

BatmanAK 2015-06-30 15-42-48-59So far, we would definitely recommend upgrading to the latest Catalyst 15.7 WHQL driver because there are generally advantages that are sometimes significant, and no large performance-impacting negatives that we have encountered.   Catalyst 15.7 brings new features to Radeons that are really worth checking out.

Catalyst WHQL 15.7 is also the driver to use for the latest really fun games that we are playing including, GTA V, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, ProjectCARS, the Witcher 3, and Batman:Arkham Knight.

Stay tuned, next up we are benching for a new evaluation covering SLI scaling with a pair of GTX 980 Tis.

In the meantime, join BTR’s Community for great tech discussions and also feel free to comment on this Performance Analysis in the comments section below.

Happy gaming!