Today’s driver performance analysis charts the performance of 25 games using the GTX 980 Ti with the very latest GeForce WHQL driver 365.10, and we are also focusing on the competing Fury X and AMD’s Crimson Software version 16.4.2.

FCPrimal 2016-03-02 21-25-26-43We are also testing the GTX 980 versus the R9 290X with these new drivers from both AMD and Nvidia featuring our newest 2016 games including Far Cry Primal, Tom’s Clancy’s The Division, as well as Ashes of the Singularity and Rise of the Tomb Raider using DX12.  We will compare the performance of 25 modern games, including the very latest, at 1920×1080, 2560×1440, and at 3840×2160 resolutions for our recently revamped benching suite.

BTR’s The Big Picture, once reserved for video card reviews is now included in every driver performance analysis. We want to document the performance changes of the GeForce WHQL 365.10 driver since we tested Nvidia’s 364.51 WHQL driver set on Windows 10, as well as taking a closer look at the performance changes of this latest driver with our newest target games.  In like manner, we will chart the performance changes of the Crimson Software driver 16.4.2 since 16.3. This comparison was completely up to date earlier this week until Hotfix 15.5.1 was released this Tuesday, including the testing of all games with their very latest patches.

It is clear that Nvidia is focusing on VR and especially on the very latest games with their newest WHQL driver GeForce 365.10.  AMD also appears to be focused on these same games with Crimson Software 16.4.1, so this will be an interesting evaluation.

Our testing platform is Windows 10 Home 64-bit, using an Intel Core i7-4790K at 4.00GHz which turbos to 4.4GHz for all cores, an ASUS Z97E motherboard, and 16GB of Kingston “Beast” HyperX DDR3 at 2133MHz. The settings and hardware are identical except for the drivers being tested.

At R9 280X or at GTX 970 performance level and above, we test at higher settings and resolutions generally than we test midrange and lower-end cards.  All of our games are now tested at three resolutions, and we use DX11 or DX12 when available with a very strong emphasis on the latest demanding 2015-2016 PC games.

Let’s get right to the test configuration, to the driver release notes, and then to the results.