Review Index:

Frame Rating: GeForce GTX Titan, GeForce GTX 690, Radeon HD 7990 (HD 7970 CrossFire)

Crysis 3

Crysis 3 (DirectX 11)


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In Crysis 3 at 1920x1080, we found the Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire fell between the GTX 690 and the GTX Titan.

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Observed frame rates are much lower once again, with the emulated HD 7990 dropping well below the frame rate both NVIDIA options.

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The frame time graph tells the story of what is going with a high frequency of runt frames being detected on the 7970 cards.  Both the GTX 690 and the GTX Titan have very tight bands of frame times though indicating solid and consistent frame times.

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Our minimum frame rate graph give a real world average over the course of the testing at 23 FPS or so, 41 FPS on the Titan and 53 FPS with the GTX 690.

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Frame variance data shows that the HD 7970s basically are never running in line with each other and are in a constant state of flux.  Both the GTX 690 and the GTX Titan show much less frame time deviation but you can see just a bit of a tail on the GTX 690 indicating that frame times are closer together on the Titan.


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Jacking up the resolution to 2560x1440 actually moves the Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire ahead of both NVIDIA cards in the FRAPS based data metrics, but again that changes below...

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Observed frame rates are lower with some occasional spikes up. 

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Frame times are very erratic again with oscillations between low and expected frame times once again.  There are more instances of convergence here, spans where frame times ARE consistent, but they are definitely in the minority.  You might also notice that the GTX 690 frame time band is a noticeably wider and more varied than the GTX Titan now that we have moved to 2560x1440.

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With the disparity between high and low frame times, as well as the converged areas of the frame time plot above, the average frame rate of both the 7990 and Titan cards are the same at the 50th percentile.  However, as we slide up the scale they diverge rather quickly and NVIDIA's Titan card is maintaining higher frame rates the rest of the time.  The GTX 690 is definitely the better performer here with a modest slope down (lower frame rates) towards the upper 90s levels.

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Finally, our frame time variance paints the story of the HD 7970s that are representing the HD 7990 - clearly there is an issue from the outset once again.  Towards the end of the graph we are seeing frame time gaps of as much as 25 ms while the GTX Titan never gets above 5 ms. 


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As we move up to the triple monitor resolutions we once again see the problems with the AMD Radeon HD 7970s dropping a lot of frames and HUGE artificial spikes in frame rates.

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Observed frame rates paint a totally different story with the HD 7990 trailing the pack and GTX 690 and Titan sharing a lot of the same performance levels.

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The plot of frame times tells us two things: first, Eyefinity is just borked with CrossFire.  We don't like it!  Also, the GTX 690 is definitely more variant than the GTX Titan which might mean we have a different "performance leader" in this case compared to the prior resolutions.

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This is pretty interesting; we expected the HD 7970s to run slower (and they do) but take a look at how the GTX 690 and GTX Titan start out and then swap places.   Clearly the Titan provides the most consistent experience from beginning to end even though it might not always be the fastest.

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While we have expected the frame variance to be poor with the HD 7970s in CrossFire, the GTX 690 also takes a bit of a beating here when compared to the Titan.  As we dive in to the 90th percentile and above we are seeing 20 ms and more frame time variances indicating a lot of potential stutter.  The GTX Titan, with its single high powered GPU, never breaches the 7-8 ms level.


March 30, 2013 | 01:40 AM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

Personally, I'll be the first to say that I could care less about ANY of this shit since I own a Sparkle Calibre 680 and a Galaxy 680 White to complement it.


March 30, 2013 | 01:44 AM - Posted by Anon (not verified)

Just because you can post doesn't mean you have to.

March 30, 2013 | 06:35 AM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

The same applies to you as well.

June 2, 2013 | 11:11 PM - Posted by clearlice (not verified)

Soon after all these years I had been undertaking this exercising
pondering it was going to whip me in shape, wow!

March 31, 2013 | 12:02 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


Battlefield 4 running at 60FPS, 3K resolution on an AMD Radeon 7990.


March 31, 2013 | 03:20 PM - Posted by renz (not verified)

60 fps won't matter if it doesn't play as smooth as it should be. hence the whole point of these article

April 4, 2013 | 03:22 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

you mean at a reported 60 fps. as you can see by the charts above, reported versus actual is about a 2:1 ratio. so take that as the radeon running at 30 fps.

April 5, 2013 | 09:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

how stupid is this hole page comparing two 7970's and not a 7990

July 8, 2013 | 09:39 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How stupid are you for not spelling whole right?

March 30, 2013 | 02:00 AM - Posted by rezes

you using still old drivers!!

AMD: 13.2 beta 7 ????

March 30, 2013 | 03:38 AM - Posted by Edge86 (not verified)

As you should have noticed also the NV Drivers where older (314.07 & 314.09 for TITAN). This is because he started a time ago to make these time-consuming tests. At that Moment the AMD Driver wasn't old. :)

Thanks Ryan for the interesting Frame Rating tests so far (and upcoming). Would it be possible the add 3-way & 4-way MGPU-Setups for an extra review in future?


March 30, 2013 | 05:37 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

LOL 13.2 beta 7 is SOO OOLLDD!!  :)

All of our testing was completed as of March 15th, and it was the latest driver as of that date.  And trust me, nothing that affects what we are seeing here is changed with the latest beta drivers. 

As for 3/4 card configs, we can do it, its just a time concern now.  

March 30, 2013 | 06:27 AM - Posted by John Doe (not verified)

Talk about being subjective.

Not everyone updates their drives like they change their underwear, dummy.

June 2, 2013 | 11:11 PM - Posted by Darlene (not verified)

Soon after all these years I had been carrying out
this physical exercise considering it was going to whip me in shape,

March 30, 2013 | 07:03 AM - Posted by Prodeous (not verified)

Totally agreed with you.

March 30, 2013 | 09:38 AM - Posted by rezes

Thank you for answering

March 30, 2013 | 03:46 PM - Posted by technogiant (not verified)

Would be interesting....I've heard else where that tricrossfire eliminates least subjectively....would be good to shine the truth light of "frame rating" on that statement.

March 30, 2013 | 05:27 PM - Posted by arbiter

I doubt it eliminates the stuttering problem as it just increases FPS to a point you can't see it anymore. nvidia doesn't have stuttering cause its what they do on the hardware to prevent it which AMD doesn't but supportable gonna make a fix for in July which would have to be software fix.

April 2, 2013 | 01:16 AM - Posted by ThorAxe

I'd like to see that too. I used to run 4870x2 + 4870 in Tri-fire and I don't recall stutter. However, I have run 6870s in Crossfire and did notice issues in BFBC2.

I don't have problems with my GTX 570 SLI or GTX 680 SLI PCs.

It would be great to see older cards tested too.

April 1, 2013 | 10:30 AM - Posted by mfpterodactyl (not verified)

Oh, Ryan you rascal! Are you not familiar with the MO of the AMD diehards? These guys are more deluded than the Westboro baptist church.

Let me bring you up to speed.

The latest beta driver, released at 3am the night before, not available on the official AMD website, and available only through obscure links passed around by the AMD diehards, is the JESUS DRIVER THAT WILL FINALLY CHANGE EVERYTHING! It will unlock all the untold power that AMD diehards just KNEW was in their cards all along. This situation repeats EVERY SINGLE TIME a new beta driver is released, publicly or not.

To be perfectly honest you're throwing the diehards way too much of a bone by using beta drivers to begin with. You wouldn't review beta (non-production) hardware, now would you? But that's another discussion for another time.

I really am sorry Ryan for all the venom some people will spit at you now and in the future because you're the first tech journalist in quite a while to actually do some investigative journalism instead of being a press release parrot. There are a lot of people that appreciate all your hard work, please don't forget that. The real value in what you're doing is not just in evaluating current hardware and making better buying decisions, but in shaping the future of the industry. Because of your hard work, future hardware WILL run games more smoothly than they would otherwise, and for that we thank you. Thanks, Ryan.

April 3, 2013 | 12:32 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hope and beta driver change. Praise be the new frame rate!
The future is here and this is the driver we have been waiting for! Honor be upon Catalyst Maker, the oceans are receding and all crossfire rigs now rise with this tiding of good joy!
Banished are the runts frames, in Abu Dhabi's name.

April 1, 2013 | 09:48 AM - Posted by steen (not verified)

I agree, 3/4-way multi gpu setups might show interesting results.

People are getting too hung up depending on their preference. This is genuinely interesting stuff, that has't been applied by end-user review sites before. Both IHVs have resources that are beyond anyone else. I don't buy for a minute that any of the major IHVs doesn't analyze the render pipeline in great detail.

March 30, 2013 | 02:22 AM - Posted by pdjblum


Great work you have done. Has Scott at techreport had anything to say about it?

March 30, 2013 | 01:19 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Disappointing that I never get a response from the staff. I have been a loyal reader for some time now, and do not get why you guys cannot once in a while respond.

March 30, 2013 | 01:39 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I love you, and I care for you.  I just have no idea what Scott has communicated with Ryan about.

March 30, 2013 | 01:43 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Back at you Josh. Thanks for replying.

March 30, 2013 | 02:22 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I'd rather keep conversations between Scott and I private. 

March 30, 2013 | 03:01 PM - Posted by pdjblum

I was just hoping he was impressed with how far you have taken this thing. No doubt, your work has nvidia and amd taking notice, which is quite a thing.

March 30, 2013 | 05:29 PM - Posted by arbiter

nVidia made some tools that are used in this testing which pcper is in process of making their own up to move away from using nvidia made tools

April 2, 2013 | 08:45 PM - Posted by Tom Petersen (not verified)

I watch everything Ryan does:)

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