Test configuration

Test Configuration – Hardware

  • Intel Core i7-4790K (reference 4.0GHz, HyperThreading and Turbo boost is on to 4.4GHz; DX11 CPU graphics), supplied by Intel.
  • ASUS Z97-E motherboard (Intel Z97 chipset, latest BIOS, PCIe 3.0 specification, CrossFire/SLI 8x+8x)
  • Kingston 16GB HyperX Predator DDR3 RAM (2×8 GB, dual-channel at 2133MHz, supplied by Kingston)
  • Intel Core i7-6700K (reference 4.0GHz, HyperThreading and Turbo boost is on to 4.4GHz; DX11 CPU graphics)
  • ASRock Z7170M motherboard (Intel Z7170 chipset, latest BIOS, PCIe 3.0/3.1 specification, CrossFire/SLI 8x+8x)
  • Kingston 16GB HyperX Predator DDR4 RAM (2×8 GB, dual-channel at 3200MHz, supplied by Kingston)
  • RX 480 8GB, reference version, at stock clocks (1266/1120MHz).
  • VisionTek R9 290X 4GB, reference clocks (1000/1250MHz); fan set to 100% to prevent throttling.
  • XFX R9 390 8GB, Double Dissipation XXX OC Video Card, at XFX clocks (1015/1500MHz)
  • GeForce GTX 980, 4GB, reference clocks(1126MHz base/1216MHz boost), supplied by Nvidia
  • GALAX GTX 970 EXOC 4GB, GALAX factory overclock (1165MHz base/1317 Boost), supplied by GALAX
  • Two 2TB Toshiba 7200 rpm HDDs for each platform
  • EVGA 1000G 1000W power supply unit (for both platforms)
  • Cooler Master 2.0 Seidon, supplied by Cooler Master (Devil’s Canyon)
  • Thermaltake Water2.0, supplied by Thermaltake (Skylake)
  • Onboard Realtek Audio
  • Genius SP-D150 speakers, supplied by Genius
  • Thermaltake Overseer RX-I full tower case, supplied by Thermaltake (Skylake)
  • Thermaltake Chaser II, full tower case, supplied by Thermaltake (Devil’s Canyon)
  • ASUS 12X Blu-ray writer
  • Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K

Test Configuration – Software

  • The AMD Crimson Software 16.6.2 beta hotfix drivers were used for benching the RX 480, the XFX 390 and the 290X.
  • Nvidia’s GeForce 368.22 WHQL drivers were used for the GTX 980 and the GTX 970.  High Quality, prefer maximum performance, single display. 
  • VSync is off in the control panel.
  • AA enabled as noted in games; all in-game settings are specified with 16xAF always applied
  • All results show average frame rates including minimum frame rates shown in italics on the chart next to the averages in smaller font.
  • Highest quality sound (stereo) used in all games.
  • Windows 10 64-bit Home edition, all DX11 titles were run under DX11 render paths. Our three DX12 titles are run under the DX12 render path. Latest DirectX
  • All games are patched to their latest versions at time of publication.
  • Crimson Software’s WattMan was used for the RX 480.
  • EVGA’s Precision XOC, reviewer’s version 4 used for Nvidia cards.

The 26 PC Game benchmark suite & 1 synthetic test

  • Synthetic
  • Firestrike – Basic & Extreme
  • DX11* Games
  • Crysis 3
  • Metro: Last Light Redux (2014)
  • GRID: Autosport
  • Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor
  • Alien Isolation
  • Dragon’s Age: Inquisition
  • Dying Light
  • Total War: Attila
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • ProjectCARS
  • the Witcher 3
  • Batman: Arkham Origins
  • Mad Max
  • Fallout 4
  • Star Wars Battlefront
  • Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
  • Just Cause 3
  • Rainbow Six Siege
  • DiRT Rally
  • Far Cry Primal
  • Tom Clancy’s The Division 
  • DOOM (*OpenGL)
  • Mirror’s Edge Catalyst
  • DX12 Games
  • Ashes of the Singularity
  • Hitman
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider 

AMD Settings

Here are the settings that we always use in AMD’s Crimson Control Center for our default benching.  They are identical settings to what we used in the older Catalyst Control Center.  The new Power Efficiency Toggle which was recently made available for the Fury X and the 300 series cards is left off in our benching.  Please note that 100% fan speed is used for benching the 290X reference version, and it does not throttle at all.  The RX 480 was benched at completely stock settings on both platforms.GLOBALsettings

GLOBALsettings---wattmanThe above is our test bench. Let’s check out our performance charts

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