As regularly featured on BabelTechReviews, this driver analysis will examine the performance of 26 PC games using the latest Crimson Software Catalyst 126.96.36.199 hotfix drivers which were released last week. We will compare these drivers versus Catalyst 16.4.2 drivers using our reference PowerColor Fury X and VisionTek 290X, and we are also comparing the reference 280X on the last tested 16.1 Crimson drivers. We are also going to benchmark using our latest benchmarks, DOOM & Hitman.
BTR’s The Big Picture, once reserved for video card reviews, is now included with every driver performance analysis. We are comparing recent GeForce Drivers, using the GTX 1080 and GTX 980 Ti versus the Fury X, the GTX 980 and the GTX 970 OC versus the R9 290X and 280X. We want to document the performance changes of the current Crimson Software Catalyst 188.8.131.52 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 26 games and 1 synthetic test.
Our testing platform is a very recent clean install of Windows 10 64-bit Home Edition, and we are using an Intel Core i7-4790K which turbos all cores to 4.4GHz in the BIOS, 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, except for the 280X which is not strong enough for 4K; and we use DX11 whenever possible with a very strong emphasis on the latest DX11 games. We also test 3 games on the DX12 pathway, Ashes of the Singularity, Hitman, & Rise of the Tomb Raider .
Let’s get right to the test configuration, to the driver release notes, and then to our results.