Frame Rating: AMD Improves CrossFire with Prototype Driver
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.
In this first graph we see that both iterations of the HD 7990 result look identical - solid average frame rates throughout the 60 second run, both of which outperform the GTX 690 and the GTX Titan.
But here we see some change! Notice how the orange line of the 13.5 beta driver without the new frame metering technology quickly dips in the observed frame rates because of runt frames (which we have discussed a lot in the last 60 days). The new prototype 2 driver does not seem to have this problem and as a result the HD 7990 looks like a totally different contender, matching or beating the GTX 690!
And now for the real magic - compare the orange and the black lines that represent the frame times for the HD 7990 with different drivers in use. Clearly the prototype 2 driver is resulting in the better experience with much more even frame times throughout our testing. It is definitely still faltering a bit behind the dual-GPU GTX 690, but compared to the other HD 7990 result, the black line is a dramatic shift for AMD.
How does it affect our perceived average frame rate? The HD 7990 actually takes the performance lead over the GTX 690 here and is able to hold on to it until we cross the 90th percentile. Look at the orange line that removes the runt frames and you can tell it was running at nearly half the effective performance.
Again, compare the orange and black lines to see the improvement AMD has made already with the 2nd prototype driver. The HD 7990 with the new driver still has higher frame variance than the GTX 690 but not by much any more.
And now for some video evidence of this new driver in action, I present a side-by-side comparison! For the best viewing, be sure to download the original 60 FPS MP4 file though you might still be able to see the differences in the Flash-based 30 FPS YouTube embeds.
Reports from most users are telling us that you NEED to download these files for a solid comparison!
Battlefield 3 - 13.5 beta vs Prototype 2 Comparison