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 Ti, 6GB reference clocks, supplied by Nvidia
  • EVGA GTX 980 Ti, 6GB, at reference clocks, supplied by EVGA
  • 2TB Toshiba 7200 rpm HDD
  • 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 353.62 WHQL drivers and GeForce 355.82 WHQL drivers for the GTX 980 Ti including for SLI. 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 10 64-bit Home edition, all DX11 titles were run under DX10 render paths.  Latest DirectX
  • All games are patched to their latest versions at time of publication.
  • PrecisionX, latest version.

The 26 Game benchmarks & 3 synthetic tests

  • Synthetic
  • Firestrike – Basic & Extreme
  • Heaven 4.0
  • Kite Demo, Unreal Engine 4
  • DX11
  • STALKER, Call of Pripyat
  • the Secret World
  • Sleeping Dogs
  • Hitman: Absolution
  • Tomb Raider: 2013
  • Crysis 3
  • BioShock: Infinite
  • Metro: Last Light Redux (2014)
  • Battlefield 4
  • Thief
  • Sniper Elite 3
  • GRID: Autosport
  • Middle Earth: Shadows of Mordor
  • Alien Isolation
  • Assassin’s Creed Unity
  • Civilization Beyond Earth
  • Far Cry 4
  • Dragon’s Age: Inquisition
  • The Crew
  • Evolve
  • Total War: Attila
  • Wolfenstein: The Old Blood
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • ProjectCARS
  • the Witcher 3 
  • Batman: Arkham Origins

Since Batman: Arkham Knight has had its settings revamped by the Interim patch,  the settings we use are completely maxed-out, with every setting on, and at the highest settings.  Since GameWorks Interactive Smoke/Fog as well as Interactive Paper Debris depend on GPU PhysX and CUDA, they cannot be run on Radeons, we are now benching with those two settings Off.BatmanAK 2015-09-05 10-40-43-05

Batman: Arkham Knights was released early this Summer, and shortly afterward, sales were halted due to bugs and performance issues that have not affected our PC.  The game itself is outstanding and we hope to have a performance/IQ evaluation of it when the game is finally re-released, hopefully soon.

The “Kite demo” is an Unreal 4 demo based on a custom dev version allowing use of the console that was put together by psolord at AnandTech VC&G forums.  We run it at its default settings at 1920×1080 and use Fraps to measure its frame rates.

Lets look at Nvidia’s release highlights regarding the GeForce 355.82 WHQL driver before we head to performance testing.

Release Notes Highlights for GeForce 355.82

This is a really short list highlighting the fact that Nvidia’s WHQL driver release schedule is tied to the release of AAA games.

The latest GeForce Game Ready driver, release 355.82 WHQL, ensures you’ll have the best possible gaming experience for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Mad Max.

Game Ready
Best gaming experience for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Mad Max

For the comprehensive release notes, you will need to download the .pdf

Let’s head to the chart and compare the driver progress with the GTX 980 Ti and with the GTX 980 Ti SLI since we tested the last time.