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

Summary Thus Far

Because of the complexity and sheer amount of data we have gathered using our Frame Rating performance methodology, we are breaking it up into several articles that each feature different GPU comparisons.  Here is the schedule:

Welcome to the second in our intial series of articles focusing on Frame Rating, our new graphics and GPU performance technology that drastically changes how the community looks at single and multi-GPU performance.  In the article we are going to be focusing on a different set of graphics cards, the highest performing single card options on the market including the GeForce GTX 690 4GB dual-GK104 card, the GeForce GTX Titan 6GB GK110-based monster as well as the Radeon HD 7990, though in an emulated form.  The HD 7990 was only recently officially announced by AMD at this years Game Developers Conference but the specifications of that hardware are going to closely match what we have here on the testbed today - a pair of retail Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire. 

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Will the GTX Titan look as good in Frame Rating as it did upon its release?

If you are just joining this article series today, you have missed a lot!  If nothing else you should read our initial full release article that details everything about the Frame Rating methodology and why we are making this change to begin with.  In short, we are moving away from using FRAPS for average frame rates or even frame times and instead are using a secondary hardware capture system to record all the frames of our game play as they would be displayed to the gamer, then doing post-process analyzation on that recorded file to measure real world performance.

Because FRAPS measures frame times at a different point in the game pipeline (closer to the game engine) its results can vary dramatically from what is presented to the end user on their display.  Frame Rating solves that problem by recording video through a dual-link DVI capture card that emulates a monitor to the testing system and by simply applying a unique overlay color on each produced frame from the game, we can gather a new kind of information that tells a very unique story.

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The capture card that makes all of this work possible.

I don't want to spend too much time on this part of the story here as I already wrote a solid 16,000 words on the topic in our first article and I think you'll really find the results fascinating.  So, please check out my first article on the topic if you have any questions before diving into these results today!

 

Test System Setup
CPU Intel Core i7-3960X Sandy Bridge-E
Motherboard ASUS P9X79 Deluxe
Memory Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 16GB
Hard Drive OCZ Agility 4 256GB SSD
Sound Card On-board
Graphics Card NVIDIA GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 4GB
AMD Radeon HD 7970 CrossFire 3GB
Graphics Drivers AMD: 13.2 beta 7
NVIDIA: 314.07 beta (GTX 690)
NVIDIA: 314.09 beta (GTX TITAN)
Power Supply Corsair AX1200i
Operating System Windows 8 Pro x64

 

On to the results! 

Continue reading our review of the GTX Titan, GTX 690 and HD 7990 using Frame Rating!!

April 3, 2013 | 05:07 AM - Posted by Panta (not verified)

I would have thought for sure this article
was going to be testing the ASUS ARES II or the Powercolor Devil 13, to see if there's a diffidence between CF & single board Dual GPU's.

because we already know clearly how 2 7970 would perform in CF.

puzzled.

April 3, 2013 | 07:09 AM - Posted by DrFramesPerSecond (not verified)

AMD gets OWNED. That's why the nvidia prices are so high, too high. Gives a break Nvidia!

April 3, 2013 | 10:19 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Don't forget the 10% IQ cheat AMD introduced with their 10.10 catalyst and initial 6000 series cards, porting it back to all of the 5000 series.

We don't hear about that because it's still ongoing.

So we have the up to 10% IQ cheating, now add in the 100% cf frame rate cheating... what are we up to in terms of percentage of fps epic fail by amd ?

Who even wants to say, it's so humiliating.

April 4, 2013 | 01:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I just read the ENTIRE thread, 33 pages, at Overclock:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1377275/pcper-frame-rating-comparison-hd-7950...

The amd fanboys are in TOTAL DENIAL, and there are 2 posters who actually read the articles or gave themselves clue one by studying just a bit.

The ENTIRE 33 pages of comments there has not ONE, I repeat NOT ONE comment that points out in CF in the game they are moaning about that EVERY OTHER FRAME WAS ENTIRELY DROPPED FROM THE END USER SCREEN.

So there you have it - the fanboy brain wins out over all other facts, including the often tried and true massive ignorance, total lack of reading, completely ignorant BLISS accompanied by the raging radeon fanboy screed "It just can't be!"

So their tinfoil DUNCE caps are lofted upon their heads in FULL SPLENDOR. It is absolutely amazing.

It also appears that just one commenter on the entire 33 pages had any inkling that the frames presented to the gamer were ALL CAPTURED in real time, and could be gone through manually frame by frame by frame SO THAT NO OVERLAY FCAT CREATED BY NVIDIA COULD BE A BIAS ISSUE !

So expect, I'd say, about 5 or 10 YEARS before the amd fanboys finally admit runt and dropped frames ever even happened, and 5 or 10 years from now they will repeat the current refrain: " AMD driver problems are a thing of the past and the drivers are equal with nVidia, whose had problems too ! > ...link....(from 5 years ago).

Just remember people, the average human is a C grade, and half the people are DUMBER THAN THAT !

So you have to spell it out EXPLICITLY to them, directly, in simple retard friendly terms... then explain how their conspiracy theory about it's all one big lie is not actually possible, because there are things called FACTS.

AMD was DROPPING EVERY OTHER FRAME IN CROSSFIRE IN SOME GAMES. THAT MEANS THAT FRAPS FPS WAS 100% TOO HIGH! CUT IT IN HALF, YOU HAVE THE EQUIVALENT OF "JUST ONE CARD".
ADD IN THE STUTTER FROM EVERY OTHER FRAME BEING DROPPED OR TOTALLY RUNTED, AND GUESS WHAT AMD FANBOYS ?

If you are a low C, or below that, or a B, or claim to be an A student, who cares, the amd fanboy in you will win out over all the collective intelligent consciousness in the entire multiverse.

April 4, 2013 | 04:35 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hey, calm down ... you're going to need new keyboard too soon.

April 4, 2013 | 04:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Hey, calm down ... you're going to need new keyboard too soon.
And reading 33 pages? You must have been very angry boy.

April 4, 2013 | 12:19 AM - Posted by Luke Daley (not verified)

Thank you ryan, groundbreaking work !

April 4, 2013 | 06:26 AM - Posted by AlienAndy (not verified)

If I had a pound for every time some one told me that the latest AMD driver fixes everything I would be a millionaire.

Funny really as it's impossible to believe when you have AMD cards shoved in your system yet some one doesn't seem to spot all of the issues.

April 4, 2013 | 04:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So this is the cave where nVidia fanboys sleep?

April 4, 2013 | 04:53 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I just love how many fine young crossfire combos owners come here and in such a polite way tell us story about all their many many years long unsolved issues with their expensive, totally useless gfx configs.....I don't know should I laugh when sucha nicely mannered "AMD owners" don't react in more believable way to all this bashing from green side. Amuzing masquerade. Many red masks with green smiles underneath.

April 4, 2013 | 05:06 PM - Posted by George

Ryan,
Don’t worry about the negative and bias comments.
Thank you for this great review, it has opened my eyes to the cause of these problems. And hopefully a new way to review all Graphics cards in future, instead of just looking at the highest FPS numbers.
I have always thought smooth experience is better than a fast (high FPS) and choppy visual gameplay.
Hopefully AMD and Nvidia will consider these issues in there next GPU and or driver releases now it has been exposed, rather than targeting figures. This means a better gameplay experience for the consumer.
Thank you and Keep up the good work.

April 4, 2013 | 05:07 PM - Posted by George

Ryan,
Don’t worry about the negative and bias comments.
Thank you for this great review, it has opened my eyes to the cause of these problems. And hopefully a new way to review all Graphics cards in future, instead of just looking at the highest FPS numbers.
I have always thought smooth experience is better than a fast (high FPS) and choppy visual gameplay.
Hopefully AMD and Nvidia will consider these issues in there next GPU and or driver releases now it has been exposed, rather than targeting figures. This means a better gameplay experience for the consumer.
Thank you and Keep up the good work.

April 5, 2013 | 01:54 AM - Posted by uartin (not verified)

I think that instead of the percentile curve you could reach a more meaningful result using a derived curve(of the frametime curve).
Let's say that the average is 60 fps.
Now let's say that 20 percent of the frames are 25 ms(40fps).
The difference is how these 25 ms values are spread in the curve. If they are all together or if they are alternated to 17 ms ones, forming saw-like shape in the curve.
You will not have the same feeling stutter-wise
What i want to say is that the percentile graph is not appropriate for the kind of analysis that you are doing. You should use a derived curve since deriving a function measures how quickly a curve grows (negatively or positively) and this is not measured by the percentile grows. After this you could measure the area of this curve and you could also arrive to use one only number to measure the amount of stutter.Infact in this way you would bring out of the equation the part of the frametime curve that is below the average but that runs steadily.
Calculating the area of a very saw-like derived frametime curve you would obtain a high number whereas calculating the area of a smooth (even if variating) derived frametime curve you would get a very low number. This would tell you how smooth are transitions, not if the gpu is powerful enough to make the game playable. For this you should check the average fps.
So in the end if you got decent fps and very low value for the area of this function you got a great experience,
if oyu got decent fps but high derived func area value then you got stutterish experience.
If you got low fps and low value you got a underdimensioned gpu but good smoothness.

April 5, 2013 | 02:13 AM - Posted by uartin (not verified)

I think that instead of the percentile curve you could reach a more meaningful result using a derived curve(of the frametime curve).
Let's say that the average is 60 fps.
Now let's say that 20 percent of the frames are 25 ms(40fps).
The difference is how these 25 ms values are spread in the curve. If they are all together or if they are alternated to 17 ms ones, forming saw-like shape in the curve.
You will not have the same feeling stutter-wise (and here i am not saying anything new)
What i want to say is that the percentile graph is not appropriate for the kind of analysis that you are doing. You should use a derived curve since deriving a function measures how quickly a curve grows (negatively or positively) and this is not measured by the percentile curve. After this you could measure the area of this curve and you could also arrive to use one only number to measure the amount of stutter.Infact in this way you would bring out of the equation the part of the frametime curve that is below the average but that runs steadily(something that with percentile curve you cant do).
Calculating the area of the derivation of a very saw-like frametime curve you would obtain a high number whereas calculating the area of the derivation ofa smooth (even if variating) frametime curve you would get a very low number. This would tell you how smooth are transitions, not if the gpu is powerful enough to make the game playable. For this you should check the average fps.
So in the end if you got decent fps and very low value for the area of this function you got a great experience,
if oyu got decent fps but high derived func area value then you got stutterish experience.
If you got low fps and low value you got a underdimensioned gpu but good smoothness.
EDITED :I made some corrections to the post i previously wrote since it is not possible to edit it

April 7, 2013 | 10:16 PM - Posted by PClover (not verified)

Quick Google "geforce frame metering" and you will find out why the nVi cards rarely have runt frames. In fact, nVi cards DO have them. They just delays those frames a bit to match with other good frames' speed, therefore the frame time chart looks good miraculously.

That's nVidia, it's meant to SELL, at crazy pricetags of course.

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