Test Configuration & Driver Release Notes


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, PCOe 3.0 specification, CrossFire/SLI 8x+8x)
  • Kingston 16 GB HyperX Beast DDR3 RAM (2×8 GB, dual-channel at 2133MHz, supplied by Kingston)
  • GeForce GTX 980, 4GB reference clocks, supplied by Nvidia
  • GALAX GTX 970 EXOC, 4GB, underclocked -76MHz to reference clocks, supplied by GALAX
  • Two 2TB Toshiba 7200 rpm HDDs
  • Corsair 750W power supply unit
  • Thermaltake Water2.0 Pro watercooler, supplied by Thermaltake
  • Onboard Realtek Audio
  • Genius SP-D150 speakers, supplied by Genius
  • Thermaltake Overseer RX-I full tower case, supplied by Thermaltake
  • ASUS 12X Blu-ray writer
  • HP LP3065 2560×1600 30″ LCD display


Test Configuration – Software

  • Nvidia GeForce 347.52 WHQL drivers for both cards; GeForce 347.09 WHQL drivers for the GTX 980 and 347.25 for the GTX 970. High Quality, prefer maximum performance, single display.
    Windows 7 64-bit; very latest updates
    Latest DirectX
    All games are patched to their latest versions.
    VSync is off in the control panel.
    AA enabled as noted in games; all in-game settings are specified with 16xAF always applied; 16xAF forced in control panel for Crysis.
    All results show average, minimum and maximum frame rates except as noted.
    Highest quality sound (stereo) used in all games.
    Windows 7 64, all DX10 titles were run under DX10 render paths; DX11 titles under DX11 render paths.

The 33  Game benchmarks & 3 synthetic tests

  • Synthetic
    • Firestrike – Basic & Extreme
    • Heaven 4.0
    • The Witcher 2
    • Borderlands 2
    • Crysis
    • STALKER, Call of Pripyat
    • Max Payne 3
    • the Secret World
    • Sleeping Dogs
    • Hitman: Absolution
    • Far Cry 3
    • Tomb Raider: 2013
    • Crysis 3
    • BioShock: Infinite
    • Metro: Last Light Redux (2014)
    • Battlefield 4
    • Splinter Cell: Blacklist
    • ArmA 3
    • Total War: Rome II
    • Batman: Arkham Origins
    • Thief
    • Sniper Elite 3
    • Watch_Dogs
    • GRID: Autosport
    • Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor
    • Alien Isolation
    • Assassin’s Creed Unity
    • Civilization Beyond Earth
    • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
    • Far Cry 4
    • Dragon’s Age: Inquisition
    • Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes
    • The Crew
    • Evolve
    • Total War: Attila

Since Evolve and Attila are new benchmarks for BTR, here are the settings we used:


Evolve 2015-02-13 05-08-00-50

Total War: Attila

Lets look at Nvidia’s release highlights regarding the GeForce 347.52 WHQL driver before we head to performance testing.  Please see the GeForce 347.52 Release Notes as a download for complete details

Release Notes Highlights for GeForce 347.52

This is a really short list highlighting some solid performance improvements in recent games.

Just in time for the highly anticipated title Evolve, this new GeForce Game Ready driver ensures you’ll have the best possible gaming experience With support for GeForce SLI technology and one-click game setting optimizations within GeForce Experience, you’ll have the best possible performance and image quality during gameplay. In addition, we are delivering performance improvements across GeForce GPUs that will immediately benefit a wide variety of titles at various resolutions.

Game Ready
Best gaming experience for Evolve, including support for SLI Technology and GeForce Experience 1-click optimizations

Gaming Technology
Performance improvements across various GeForce GPUs. Some examples are:

GeForce GTX 980
• GRID: Autosport: up to 12%
• Alien: Isolation: up to 6%
• Dragon Age: Inquisition: up to 4%

• Metro: Last Light: up to 10%
• Dragon Age: Inquisition: up to 7%
• The Crew: up to 5%

• GRID: Autosport: up to 13%
• Dragon Age: Inquisition: up to 6%
• Far Cry 4: up to 6%

GeForce GTX 970
• BioShock Infinite: up to 13%
• Assassin’s Creed Unity: up to 12%
• GRID: Autosport: up to 12%

• GRID: Autosport: up to 11%
• Assassin’s Creed Unity: up to 11%
• Bioshock Infinite: up to 8%

• GRID: Autosport: up to 10%
• WarThunder.: up to 8%
• Assassin’s Creed Unity: up to 7%

GeForce GTX 960
• Assassin’s Creed Unity: up to 7%
• Far Cry 4: up to 4%
• Crysis 3: up to 3%

• Assassin’s Creed Unity: up to 10%
• Far Cry 4: up to 4%
• WarThunder: up to 3%

Test System Configuration:
Intel Core i7 5930K
Asus X99 Deluxe
16GB memory
Win 8.1 x64

Performance gains comparing driver 347.25 to 347.52 and normalized using the latest game patches.

For the first time, we are going to cover all of these games except for WarThunder. Let’s head to the charts and compare the driver progress with the GTX 980 and with the GTX 970 since we tested them last time.