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Frame Rating: Catalyst 13.8 Brings Frame Pacing to AMD Radeon

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: AMD

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 (DirectX 11)


 

Master the power of the Nanosuit. Armor, Speed, Strength and the ability to cloak are the ingredients of the most effective tactical combat armor ever created. Suit up! It's all yours in Crysis 3.

 

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At 1920x1080 the results are again impressive for the new Catalyst 13.8 driver with much better frame times and lower variances across the board. 

 

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Our 2560x1440 results look impressive as well with the black line representing the HD 7990 with the new driver being much thinner and tighter than the orange line.  The blue line of the GTX 690 is still more consistent throughout but the new AMD solution very rarely creeps in the 5 ms variance range.  In both resolutions though the HD 7990 becomes the fastest card in our tests, overtaking the GTX 690.

 

August 1, 2013 | 02:19 PM - Posted by mAxius

Good work Ryan you nerd keep the pressure on them :D

August 1, 2013 | 02:33 PM - Posted by Particle (not verified)

Does the new frame pacing setting apply to just the Radeon 7000 series parts or will owners of 6000 series (or perhaps older) cards also benefit? I ask as an interested dual 6970 user, and I haven't really seen anyone talking about anything but 7000 series parts.

August 3, 2013 | 02:59 AM - Posted by Automaticman (not verified)

Frame Pacing will work on 5000, 6000, and 7000 parts. I'm personally using it on my 2 CF 6950s with good results.

August 1, 2013 | 02:38 PM - Posted by Mac (not verified)

No before and after videos? No side by side comparisons with the competing solutions? :( The data makes my head hurt

August 1, 2013 | 06:28 PM - Posted by Chris B (not verified)

It can be pretty confusing, but here's my understanding of it!

Doing a before and after video would be incredibly difficult because video files are recorded at a set FPS. In a nutshell, think of a metronome ticking.

TICK-one-two-TICK-one-two-TICK-one-two-TICK-one-two-TICK-one-two.

That's the ideal framerate, a frame at every tick of the metronome.

What was happening was:

TICK-TICK-one-two-three-four-five-TICK-TICK-TICK-one-two-TICK-one-TICK-one-two-three-four-TICK.

Ideally the graphs would show a flat line with no peaks in it, the further they deviate from that flat line, the further they are from that perfect tempo.

August 1, 2013 | 10:21 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

The best 'before' would be to check out ryans first piece on the subject. 

August 2, 2013 | 12:25 AM - Posted by nabokovfan87

yes...

There are some good videos there. Check out the far cry 3 one.

November 11, 2013 | 04:34 PM - Posted by Rob (not verified)

> The data makes my head hurt.

It is no different than any form of exercise.

* Practice lifting (reading) smaller weight (difficulty) first.
* Do some workouts (skim the Article, and read the suggested backlinks that offer more info) to build up your strength.
* Go back and do more exercise, both when tired and not.
* Practice and take breaks.

That WILL make your Brain hurt, just like exercise makes your Muscles ache; same reason, the same benefit.

Your Brain will hurt less and less as the years pass, and you will be as fast as Bruce Lee (but not at Kung Fu unless you practice that in between reading Technical Materials).

Rob - http://www.youtube.com/user/LowLightVideos

August 1, 2013 | 02:42 PM - Posted by Fishbait

Great work! Now when I get a 2560 x 1440 panel I can think about getting a second 7950 :D

August 1, 2013 | 02:55 PM - Posted by brisa117

So just to be clear, when you say multi-monitor isn't fixed, is that only eyefinity? I have two monitors, but only game on one at a time.

August 1, 2013 | 10:24 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

So long as eyefinity is disabled, you're good. 

April 21, 2014 | 05:15 PM - Posted by Sebastian (not verified)

Well, not for a few minutes. 7-mile stage Sportspsychiatrist Dr Steve
Peters, the team participates in friendship visits in which they
meet individuals with disabilities. Strategically placed jets pump out air and suddenly it's like riding
a bike to be more interested in youu as a person,
during his or her safety. Therefore, cyclists can suffer from Patellofemoral pain or Runner's knee syndrome.

August 1, 2013 | 03:08 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

You exaggerate a little with the last Sleeping Dogs graphs. The important question is: can a gamer perceive a 5ms variance at below 25ms?? I think the answer is NO.
Sleeping Dogs feels just as smooth on the 7990 as on the 690.

August 1, 2013 | 03:18 PM - Posted by Terminashunator (not verified)

Sounds good Dr. Anon

August 1, 2013 | 10:25 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

Depends largely on the gamer.

August 2, 2013 | 12:26 AM - Posted by nabokovfan87

And it's also not just lag, screen tearing, latency on input, all kinds of things are affected.

August 1, 2013 | 03:10 PM - Posted by Patatas X (not verified)

I just the the way the review reveals pretty much everything that AMD is still hiding on the new driver. Don't get me wrong, I'm an APU user; I'm greatly affected by this issue myself... albeit in a small scale.

Great job as always Ryan! Make em bleed!

August 1, 2013 | 03:18 PM - Posted by Metwinge (not verified)

Hopefully not to long for 3 way and multi monitor support as that was what I was hoping for in the first place.

Good job either way Ryan!

August 1, 2013 | 03:50 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Good job once again Ryan. Very good news for Radeon users. Now to test 3- and 4-GPU configs to see if the benefits apply there as well...

August 1, 2013 | 04:05 PM - Posted by André Coelho (not verified)

Congratulations in proving you had solid data on the issue and in making AMD see this was something they needed to address. Also, congratulations on this amazing in-depth analysis of the new driver. It's really well laid-out and very thorough. Excellent work. This is the kind of stuff that keeps me coming back to see the content you produce.

August 1, 2013 | 04:39 PM - Posted by tbone8ty (not verified)

now that we have a proper crossfire driver from AMD.

curious how well this works on AMD's mobile side...

Specifically I have a laptop with an A10-4600m APU + 7670m discrete gpu (7660g+7670m)...

will this help my setup?

thanks

August 1, 2013 | 05:09 PM - Posted by Johnny Rook (not verified)

I have said it before and I say it again: This frame-pacing, frame-pacing, FCAT or whatever you want to call the methodology, was the biggest step in gaming and GPU industry since DirectX 9 came along. And Ryan deserves a lot of credit for picking up from what Tech Report's has done and giving it an all new dimension, to the point AMD couldn't ignore it anymore. THIS IS A MAJOR WIN FOR US, THE GAMING COMMUNITY.
I'm glad this is out but, I only wish this were here sooner, when I had my HD4870X2 back in 2008 or my 2x HD4890 in 2009 or my HD5970 in 2010. After 5 years, I was burnt out and move on to a single-GPU card and got the best one I could afford, a GTX780. We can't have it all, I suppose.

August 1, 2013 | 05:51 PM - Posted by JC (not verified)

This option does not show up for the 7950 for some reason. I did a clean install of the driver and I don't see this option at all for my Radeon 7950.

August 1, 2013 | 06:00 PM - Posted by grommet

Do you have two 7950s in Crossfire? - It is only a fix for crossfire configurations so I imagine it doesn't show up in single card setups.

August 1, 2013 | 06:27 PM - Posted by JC (not verified)

The 7950 is two GPU's on one board though. If it works for a single 7990 and 7970, then it should also work for the 7950 as it is also a dual GPU card.

August 1, 2013 | 07:08 PM - Posted by biohazard (not verified)

The 7950 and 7970 are NOT dual GPU cards the 7990 is basically two 7970s on the same PCB and is the only dual gpu card AMD sells.

August 1, 2013 | 07:21 PM - Posted by JC (not verified)

Thanks! Totally my mistake. The name/numbering schemes for these cards confuse me.

August 1, 2013 | 06:43 PM - Posted by Nilbog

I would really like some clarification on if this works with the 6900 series.

I have this installed, i see the "Frame Pacing" enabled in CCC.
Is this doing anything?

August 1, 2013 | 07:35 PM - Posted by Jeremy Hellstrom

I guess the biggest question is ... does Crossfire look smoother to you now when you game?

August 2, 2013 | 12:28 AM - Posted by nabokovfan87

7xxx only is what I have heard.

Easy way to test it to go to a benchmark and run it with it off. Pay attention to screen tearing on the background more so then fps and numbers. If you notice the jitter go away when you turn it on and run the same thing, then it works. If not... well... not.

August 2, 2013 | 07:03 AM - Posted by M00s3 (not verified)

This does make a big difference on my dual 6950s. One easy quick way to notice the difference is to use MSI Kombuster DK11 and turn frame pacing on and off. So that's good, but really except for a few very recent games this fix isn't all that great for me. I don't really think crossfire or sli is a big deal for single screen resolutions. I'm glad AMD is addressing the issue, but it's a very obvious problem, and it's irritating some other review sites didn't mention how obviously bad Eyefinity and Crossifre work with each other. Gaming across 3 monitors is really an awesome experience, and I imagine so is 4k.

August 2, 2013 | 05:34 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I installed this and battlefield 3 seems to be running much smoother for me. There was always the feeling that something was off playing that game but now the whole experience just feels much smoother.

My settup is a i7 3820 currently at stock, with dual 6950 2gb's.

Hopefully other's with 6XXX setups can comment more on this though.

August 1, 2013 | 08:15 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Does it help A series APUs like the A10 when running dual graphics? (i.e. 8650G+6670)

August 2, 2013 | 12:28 AM - Posted by nabokovfan87

You may need dual 7xxx or better, but yes. dual anything is what this applies to.

August 1, 2013 | 08:23 PM - Posted by Ron Jacob (not verified)

Hey Ryan, good read.
I would just like to point out that since you cannot play on tiled 4K monitors with any Nvidia GeForce card ( they do not support dual monitor surround) means that the 7990 is in fact the fastest solution for 60hz 4K, because The Titan, 780, 690 and any GeForce card for that matter cannot be used in dual monitor surround.

August 1, 2013 | 10:30 PM - Posted by Allyn Malventano

I believe that's nothing more than a driver update from Nvidia...

August 2, 2013 | 10:55 AM - Posted by Photonboy (not verified)

I believe he said 4K 30Hz was supported, but 60Hz was NOT.

August 2, 2013 | 11:30 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

This is not true. Nvidia has a driver that supports tiled displays as of a couple weeks ago.

August 1, 2013 | 08:38 PM - Posted by Carlos Rex (not verified)

The fact that you cannot play at all on ANY Nvidia card using 60hz 4K monitors, means that the 7990 is in fact the fastest graphics card in 4K as well !
http://youtu.be/jLmzs_KLECA?t=11m13s

August 2, 2013 | 11:30 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

this is wrong. Please see my comment above.

August 1, 2013 | 09:03 PM - Posted by MONKEYpatch (not verified)

Any word on if this supporting the last generation of amd cards? ie 6970/6990? Is it coming?

August 2, 2013 | 12:42 AM - Posted by nabokovfan87

The driver was JUST released. Breathe man... breathe.

August 2, 2013 | 07:02 AM - Posted by M00s3 (not verified)

This does make a big difference on my dual 6950s. One easy quick way to notice the difference is to use MSI Kombuster DK11 and turn frame pacing on and off. So that's good, but really except for a few very recent games this fix isn't all that great for me. I don't really think crossfire or sli is a big deal for single screen resolutions. I'm glad AMD is addressing the issue, but it's a very obvious problem, and it's irritating some other review sites didn't mention how obviously bad Eyefinity and Crossifre work with each other. Gaming across 3 monitors is really an awesome experience, and I imagine so is 4k.

August 2, 2013 | 07:02 AM - Posted by M00s3 (not verified)

This does make a big difference on my dual 6950s. One easy quick way to notice the difference is to use MSI Kombuster DK11 and turn frame pacing on and off. So that's good, but really except for a few very recent games this fix isn't all that great for me. I don't really think crossfire or sli is a big deal for single screen resolutions. I'm glad AMD is addressing the issue, but it's a very obvious problem, and it's irritating some other review sites didn't mention how obviously bad Eyefinity and Crossifre work with each other. Gaming across 3 monitors is really an awesome experience, and I imagine so is 4k.

August 2, 2013 | 07:05 AM - Posted by Mac (not verified)

This driver is good for everything from the 5000 series up or so I'm led to believe

August 2, 2013 | 12:52 AM - Posted by mk6g (not verified)

Nice article! Only it lacks Bioshock Infinite wich i can say is much smoother now(with two 7950s here), but still not perfect or very acceptable and frame tearing is also there. Also i wonder if microstuttering and tearing on hight solid framerates are connected

August 3, 2013 | 03:07 AM - Posted by Automaticman (not verified)

Just bear in mind that Bioshock Infinite's engine has a stuttering problem all by itself regardless of what GPU you are using.

Tearing is a completely different and well understood issue that happens most commonly at above 60 FPS (or whatever the refresh rate of your monitor is). V-Sync is the fix for tearing, but it can add some input lag depending on how it is implemented.

August 3, 2013 | 03:07 AM - Posted by Automaticman (not verified)

Just bear in mind that Bioshock Infinite's engine has a stuttering problem all by itself regardless of what GPU you are using.

Tearing is a completely different and well understood issue that happens most commonly at above 60 FPS (or whatever the refresh rate of your monitor is). V-Sync is the fix for tearing, but it can add some input lag depending on how it is implemented.

August 2, 2013 | 06:18 AM - Posted by Paul Keeble (not verified)

Any chance that you can publish the raw scan line data?

The reason I ask is because it looks from the graphs that AMD might be using a threshold based algorithm that only kicks in when a certain amount of adjustment is required. This would result in the stepping you are seeing and I am fairly certain that with a bit of signal analysis and some custom software that I can determine what the likely threshold is if there is one.

August 2, 2013 | 11:31 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I would love to! Send me an email!

August 2, 2013 | 01:11 PM - Posted by Dennis (not verified)

AMD should have added you to their payroll for exposing this. It is >>tragic<< for a manufacturer not to have tested the true display performance of their cards and having a reviewer showing them how it' s done. Unacceptable.-

On the other hands, Kudos!

August 2, 2013 | 01:46 PM - Posted by irdmoose

I'm glad to see that AMD was willing to acknowledge and fix the issue, even if they did it kicking and screaming the whole way.

August 3, 2013 | 02:39 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Dear amd, I thank you that the "secreted" anal hammering you have been delivering for years and swore you weren't doing has been reduced, even though it took many beatings and incarcerations before you owned up to your problem.
We don't know if you are stupid or blind or both, or just a liar.
Since you likely have 4 or 5 other major secrets right now just like the runts you anal hammered on everyone for years while in public denial, this is not a real thank you, it is just a reminder about who and what you really are.

August 3, 2013 | 07:10 PM - Posted by Big Boom (not verified)

I've got a 6990 with an arctic cooling cooler on it.
I've also got shit eyes and can't seem to notice any difference yet. Farcry 3 still plays like crap and my golf gti exhaust is still blowing balls, but hey.
I'm very happy AMD are listening and gradually sorting this problem out, I just wish they would be more pro active instead of sorting shit out when people call them out.

August 4, 2013 | 05:17 PM - Posted by Mac (not verified)

It's impressive how well the 7870 xfire works with this driver, those frametime plots are as good as any you'll see with the geforces if not better

August 4, 2013 | 05:53 PM - Posted by praack

well i'll be diggydee dogged!

i did not think they could do it without a hardware fix- well here is pie in my face!

nice to see the first results did so well, it will be nice to see how the software matures over time

nice writeup

August 13, 2013 | 03:12 AM - Posted by Obi-Wan Kenobi (not verified)

Ahhh this is great news for my ATI Dept. AMD Radeon HD 6990 too then, I plan to beta test for AMD with such things, this really seems worth beta testing I do find :)

August 25, 2013 | 02:23 PM - Posted by Nerdel (not verified)

Great work! And great review! I hope AMD will take a look at Dual Graphics issue. Because this release doesn't affect Dual Graphics. And It's really annoying, coz It's great deal for notebooks, there is just no contest for AMD A10-4600M(7660G+7690M) combo for that money and productivity. So please aks AMD about Dual Graphics issue. I believe in you.

August 31, 2013 | 09:52 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hi,

I have a 7970 crossfire setup. The rest of my computer is listed below: I7 4770k factory speed, gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD3H motherboard, 16gb ram, 650w 80+ gold psu, windows 7 x64. When i try running BF3 with the 13.8 beta driver, I get black thick bands flashing horizontally across my screen, sometimes immediately and sometimes after 5-10 minutes. My game would then crash and I would then get static artifacts of squares with little squares in them with the error titled: Directx Function Get Device Removed Reason. Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you,
Wayne

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