Performance summary charts & graphs

Here are the summary charts of 32 games and 2 synthetic tests. The highest settings are always chosen and it is DX11 when there is a choice; DX10 is picked above DX9, and the settings are ultra or maxed.  Specific settings are listed on the Main Performance chart.  The benches were run at 1920×1200, 2560×14400, and at 3840×2160.

All results, except for FireStrike, show average framerates and higher is always better. In-game settings are fully maxed out and they are identically high or ultra across all platforms.  We see some very impressive results with the GTX 980 beating the R9 290 that are simply eclipsed by the GTX TITAN X and the GTX 980 Ti.

The Big Picture


The Crew, Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, and Metal Gear Solid V each have a hard cap on the framerate at 60fps which is why we used maximum setting only at the highest resolutions for the fastest cards.  Evidently there are issues with Nvidia drivers and Wolfenstein.

There is a lot of information on the big picture, so here are three sub-charts.  First, let’s just compare the top 4 cards.


It is an absolute blowout and the R9 290X is left in the dust by the GTX TITAN X and the GTX 980 Ti.  Even the GTX 980 is significantly slower than the new Ti and the TITAN X. There are no games out of 30 where the Radeon even manages to tie the GTX 980 Ti although it does come close to the GTX 980 in a couple of games.  With both cards at stock, the TITAN X is overall about 3-6% faster than the GTX 980 Ti in most of the games we tested, although the results are even less decisive when both cards are overclocked further.

Now, let’s look at overclocked results of the GTX 980 Ti versus the TITAN X and compare their performance to GTX 980 SLI and R9 290X Crossfire.Chart-OC

It is amazing to see that a single overclocked GTX 980 Ti or a TITAN X can hold its own with AMD’s flagship cards in Crossfire, or even with GTX 980 SLI.  And there are a few games where ‘only’ 4GB of vRAM does hold back performance or even refuses to run at 4K with high details and AA.  No overclocked watercooled 290X will manage to make up the deficit.  We hope that AMD has a strong reply in a successor to the R9 290X.

Finally, let’s compare the GTX 980 Ti and the GTX 980 to the former Kepler flagships, the GTX 780 Ti and to the GTX 680, released just over 3 years ago.chart-older

The GTX 680 with its 2GB of vRAM is showing its age when it attempts to play the very newest games at high detail settings.  We did not even bother to test the newest games at 4K with the GTX 680 as it is very painful playing with frame rates in the low teens. Far Cry 4 refused to start because of the ultra settings that were left over from the previous card, and short of a game reinstall, we could not get it to run.  Wolfenstein evidently has issues with GeForce drivers and all resolutions were a slideshow, and The Crew would crash to desktop before fully loading.  The GTX 780 Ti is still holding up well although Kepler has less features and a weaker tessellation engine than Maxwell.

We tested only with HairWorks On in the Witcher 3.  For future benchmarking, we will test with it On and Off like we do with PhysX in Metro Last Light Redux.

Let’s head for our conclusion.

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