Test Configuration & Driver Release Notes

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 TITAN X, 12GB, reference clocks, supplied by Nvidia
  • Two 2TB Toshiba 7200 rpm HDDs
  • EVGA 1000G 1000W power supply unit
  • Cooler Master 2.0 Seidon, supplied by Cooler Master
  • 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
  • Monoprice Crystal Pro 4K

 

Test Configuration – Software

  • Nvidia GeForce 350.12 WHQL drivers for both cards; GeForce 347.52 WHQL drivers for the GTX 980 and 347.88 for the GTX TITAN X. 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; 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 8.1 64, all DX10 titles were run under DX10 render paths; DX11 titles under DX11 render paths.  Latest DirectX
  • All games are patched to their latest versions

The 31 Game benchmarks & 2 synthetic tests

  • Synthetic
  • Firestrike – Basic & Extreme
  • Heaven 4.0
  • DX9
  • The Witcher 2
  • DX10
  • Crysis
  • DX11
  • 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
  • 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
  • Grand Theft Auto V

Since GTA V is a new benchmark for BTR,  the settings we used are completely maxed-out Ultra (including Grass), with every setting on and at highest, except for 2xMSAA Reflections and “Softest Shadows” (so we can compare with AMD cards directly).  We use FXAA but no MSAA.

Lets look at Nvidia’s release highlights regarding the GeForce 350.12 WHQL driver before we head to performance testing.  Please see the GeForce 350.12 Release Notes as a download for complete details

Release Notes Highlights for GeForce 350.12

This is a really short list highlighting the fact that Nvidia’s WHQL driver release schedule is tied to the release of new games.  This one is especially for GTA V.

Just in time for the highly anticipated title Grand Theft Auto V, 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, this driver is aligned with today’s launch of the world’s fastest gaming GPU; the GeForce GTX Titan X.

Game Ready
Best gaming experience for Grand Theft Auto V, including support for SLI Technology and GeForce Experience 1-click optimizations

Supported Products

GeForce 900 Series

GeForce GTX TITAN X, GeForce GTX 980, GeForce GTX 970, GeForce GTX 960

GeForce 700 Series

GeForce GTX TITAN Z, GeForce GTX TITAN Black, GeForce GTX TITAN, GeForce GTX 780 Ti, GeForce GTX 780, GeForce GTX 770, GeForce GTX 760, GeForce GTX 760 Ti (OEM), GeForce GTX 750 Ti, GeForce GTX 750, GeForce GTX 745, GeForce GT 740, GeForce GT 730, GeForce GT 720, GeForce GT 710, GeForce GT 705

GeForce 600 Series

GeForce GTX 690, GeForce GTX 680, GeForce GTX 670, GeForce GTX 660 Ti, GeForce GTX 660, GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST, GeForce GTX 650 Ti, GeForce GTX 650, GeForce GTX 645, GeForce GT 645, GeForce GT 640, GeForce GT 630, GeForce GT 620, GeForce GT 610, GeForce 605

GeForce 500 Series

GeForce GTX 590, GeForce GTX 580, GeForce GTX 570, GeForce GTX 560 Ti, GeForce GTX 560 SE, GeForce GTX 560, GeForce GTX 555, GeForce GTX 550 Ti, GeForce GT 545, GeForce GT 530, GeForce GT 520, GeForce 510

GeForce 400 Series

GeForce GTX 480, GeForce GTX 470, GeForce GTX 465, GeForce GTX 460 SE v2, GeForce GTX 460 SE, GeForce GTX 460, GeForce GTS 450, GeForce GT 440, GeForce GT 430, GeForce GT 420

Let’s head to the charts and compare the driver progress with the GTX 980 and with the GTX TITAN X since we tested them last time.