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Frame Rating: High End GPUs Benchmarked at 4K Resolutions

Author: Ryan Shrout
Manufacturer: Various

Battlefield 3 - Single GPU Cards

Battlefield 3 (DirectX 11)


 

Battlefield 3™ leaps ahead of its time with the power of Frostbite 2, DICE's new cutting-edge game engine. This state-of-the-art technology is the foundation on which Battlefield 3 is built, delivering enhanced visual quality, a grand sense of scale, massive destruction, dynamic audio and character animation utilizing ANT technology as seen in the latest EA SPORTS™ games.

Frostbite 2 now enables deferred shading, dynamic global illumination and new streaming architecture. Sounds like tech talk? Play the game and experience the difference!

Our Settings for Battlefield 3

Here is our testing run through the game, for your reference.

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We are only using single GPUs here so we see very little change from the FRAPS reported results and the observed frame rates found from using our Frame Rating system.  Clearly the GTX Titan is the best single GPU option for 4K gaming but at twice the cost.  We were able to play BF3 over 30 FPS consistently at Ultra settings while the other cards struggled to stay over 20 FPS.  Of those under $500 options, the HD 7970 GHz Edition from AMD is looking the best with the 2GB and 4GB versions of the GTX 680 very evenly matched.

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Frame times in general are pretty good at 4K resolutions with the 2GB GTX 680 the lone outlier with some noticeable and significant spikes and jumps in performance.  The fact that the 4GB variant does not exhibit that problem tells us that the 2GB frame buffer is just not enough to keep up 3840x2160 at these settings.

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The Titan is averaging something around 35 FPS at Ultra settings at 4K resolutions - pretty nice!  The Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is well behind at 27 FPS followed by the GTX 680 cards at just under 25 FPS.

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Both the Titan and the HD 7970 have the best / lowest frame time variance with the GTX 680 2GB coming in last.  It is interesting to see the added frame buffer of the 4GB GTX 680 making a noticeable difference in potential stutter.

 

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The Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire have the same runt frame problems in our 4K testing as they did at 19x10 and 25x14 resulting in a much lower observed frame rates.  A pair of Titans in SLI are doing well at keeping the frame rate near or above the 60 FPS mark and the GTX 680 4GB cards in SLI can almost hit 50 FPS. 

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The orange mess is still representing the current status of CrossFire scaling with high amounts of runt frames that do not add to animation smoothness.  The GTX Titans in SLI have a very narrow and smooth band of frame times.  The GTX 680 4GB frame times are also noticeably tighter and doesn't exhibit nearly as many spikes in frame times as the 2GB models do. 

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A pair of Titan cards are averaging about 63 FPS while the GTX 680s are hitting 47-48 FPS.  The Radeon HD 7970s are way down there at under 30 FPS thanks to the runt frame issue...

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Frame time variance picks up very quickly on the HD 7970s in CrossFire at about the 70th percentile and the 2GB version of the GTX 680 ratchets up at the 80th.  I find it very interesting that the GT 680 4GB cards from EVGA in SLI mode exhibit much less potential stutter than the 2GB cards, in line with the GTX Titans.

 

Looking for native 4K captures of our Battlefield 3 gameplay?  Have fun!

Download the MP4 (350MB)

May 1, 2013 | 02:02 AM - Posted by Chris Green (not verified)

I'd love to see a photo of this experiment:

Set the desktop to the native 3840x2160 resolution of that TV.

Go into photoshop and draw a checkerboard pattern, and display it zoomed to the "actual pixels" setting.

Get as close to the screen as your digital camera will focus and take a full-res picture of the checkerboard pattern.

That image should both verify that you're getting the full native resolution without scaling, and provide an evaluation of how sharp it would be for normal desktop use.

May 1, 2013 | 03:07 AM - Posted by 63jax

i see no point of such a high res if the PPI i actually low, give me 27-30 inch panel with this res and i'll be happy, it's all about PPI, not the size.

May 1, 2013 | 05:37 AM - Posted by DeadOfKnight

My thoughts exactly. It seems that 1440p would be a better experience.

May 1, 2013 | 11:26 AM - Posted by Randomoneh

Huh?

May 1, 2013 | 11:13 AM - Posted by Randomoneh

It's all about the angle between pixel centers. Further you go, angle is lower (which is good).

If you want such a high [angular] resolution, you can always sit further away, can't you? But if you have a small display with the same resolution, you'd have to sit closer, and you can't keep coming closer forever.

May 1, 2013 | 03:54 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why did they leave out GTX 690 in SLI?

May 1, 2013 | 07:33 AM - Posted by Mac (not verified)

Does the prototype driver work on Xfire 7970s or is it just for the 7990? Anyone?

May 1, 2013 | 11:41 AM - Posted by Sulu (not verified)

Skyrim at 4k. Mmm. Ryan you are such a tease. What with me not being able to afford it for another few years.
Nice article. Can't wait for you to run it again with the new crop of amd cards coming down the pike this fall.

May 1, 2013 | 12:33 PM - Posted by SirHammerlock (not verified)

Well I tried to download the MP4 but I get a ridiculous message from MEGA.co.nz saying that "your browser is not modern enough to download a file this large" and I can't download it.
Really?!? I can't download a file <700MB in the latest version of Safari for Snow Leopard? How much is Google paying them for that lame (and completely false) advertisement? FYI, Chrome is using the same underpinnings as my browser, WebKit.
I guess all those 1.5GB Combo Updaters and Service Packs etc that I downloaded never really happened, since I can't download files as large as 684MB according to Mega.
I don't trust anybody that withholds information and lies about why they are holding it back from you.

May 1, 2013 | 12:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"3840x2160 is exactly four times the resolution of current 1080p" ??

Please do your maths first...

May 1, 2013 | 12:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"3840x2160 is exactly four times the resolution of current 1080p" ??

Please do your maths first...

May 1, 2013 | 12:46 PM - Posted by Mac (not verified)

Well you can fit 4 1080p screens in a 3840x2160 space

May 1, 2013 | 04:08 PM - Posted by Randomoneh

When we're dealing with human perspective, resolution is not a pure number of pixels. Pure number of pixels is called "pixel count".

Now, we tend to perceive things this way: 4x4 image is twice as clear / sharp as the same 2x2 image. Therefore, you need to quadruple the pixel count to double "The Resolution". Just like "Retina" iPad looks [up to] twice as sharp as the old one.

May 7, 2013 | 12:54 AM - Posted by w_km (not verified)

Well...

1920 x 1080 x 4 = 8294400

3840 x 2160 = 8294400

Hmm...I guess they're pretty close.

May 7, 2013 | 12:55 AM - Posted by w_km (not verified)

Well...

1920 x 1080 x 4 = 8294400

3840 x 2160 = 8294400

Hmm...I guess they're pretty close.

May 1, 2013 | 01:35 PM - Posted by Fence Man (not verified)

How does the GTX 690 with 2gb ram win the day? When I play sleeping dogs maxed out with high red textures I use over 3gb at 2560x1600, how can 2gb be enough for 4K?

Are you banning people for disagreeing with you??

May 1, 2013 | 01:37 PM - Posted by Mark Rejhon (not verified)

This HDTV supports 120Hz at 1920x1080.

It's been confirmed -- see this post:
http://www.blurbusters.com/4k-tv-for-only-1500-supports-1080p-120hz-and-...

May 1, 2013 | 05:13 PM - Posted by nickbaldwin86 (not verified)

Can I play @ 2560x1600 @ 120hz if I bought this monitor and say a 690 or a Titan or two :P

I just wondering if this monitor/TV is able to run that res and refresh rate?

May 1, 2013 | 05:23 PM - Posted by Mark Rejhon (not verified)

Some tester said this HDTV managed to overclock -- it was able to accept 192Hz at 1280x720 (but that frameskipped). There is no answer about how 2560x1600 120Hz would behave -- someone will need to test that out.

May 1, 2013 | 06:13 PM - Posted by nickbaldwin86 (not verified)

Please do... that would be great! thanks

May 2, 2013 | 02:21 AM - Posted by Mark Rejhon (not verified)

I read a report of 32Hz operation at 4K. I wonder if it can overclock to 48Hz during 4K.

May 1, 2013 | 08:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

>>> HDMI 1.4 can support 4K resolutions, but it can do so only at 30 Hz That doesn't mean we are limited to 30 FPS of performance though, far from it.

Uhh of course it does. just becuase your card is rendering 100 frames a second doesnt mean you will actually get to see any more than 30 per second if thats all your screen supports.

May 2, 2013 | 02:22 AM - Posted by Mark Rejhon (not verified)

It does reduce input lag, if we can render 100fps, and send only the most freshly-generated frames to the display.

May 2, 2013 | 02:22 AM - Posted by Mark Rejhon (not verified)

It does reduce input lag, if we can render 100fps, and send only the most freshly-generated frames to the display.

May 1, 2013 | 11:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have a GTX 690 with two dual DVI and one DisplayPort connectors. Will a 4k signal transmit with a DVI to HDMI adapter?

PS Great review. I almost pulled the trigger on a Sony 55" 4k and then a Sharp PN-K321 just this past weekend. Now I may get the Seiki just to settle my 4k lust until the market catches up.

May 5, 2013 | 05:30 PM - Posted by Skye (not verified)

I have the same card X2 running in Quad SLI ..
Ordered 2 of the Tvs ...
Can't get it to run any Higher than 1080p and it looks like Crap ... 8(
Using the factory Adapters DVI < HDMI that came with the cards from ASUS.
No Joy ...
Even tried a Mini DP to Hdmi cable that I had on my other Rig ... No joy .. dosnt work.

Can anyone shed some light on how they did this Review ?

May 3, 2013 | 02:57 PM - Posted by P.Jack Kringle (not verified)

Why do some of your screenshots only show 1920 x 1200 resolution, yet you claim 2160p resolution across all tests?

May 3, 2013 | 03:59 PM - Posted by aparsh335i (not verified)

Sooooooo....If you got 3 of these TVs could you do 11520x2160 Eyefinity or Surround?

May 4, 2013 | 02:20 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Any possibility of uploading one of the captured video files? Maybe not one of these 4K ones, but some of the ones from the other reviews? I'd like to see the video with the color bars on it, and maybe mess around with running the data extraction myself.

May 5, 2013 | 11:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So as I understand this new 4k tech - for desktop use only - does HDMI 1.4 spec only support 30hz refresh rates? If so, that would mean some very stuttery mouse movements (such as the difference between using 1080i and 1080p on the desktop). Very jittery mouse movement.

I am far less interested in what this new "inexpensive" new Seiki monitor can do for me in gaming and more for what it is capable of as far as desktop productivity. If my mouse if jumping around, or when trying to relocate a window, is terribly jittery and craptacular - then I will be waiting for the next gen of graphics support that will enable smooth desktop useage.

I am inclined to believe that it "should" be smooth, considering that 'eyefinity" can handle 6x1080p monitors smoothly. I would certainly love to replace the need for 6 monitors with 2 of these - which would technically provide more usable space.

Any input on this greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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