Battlefield 4

Kicking off our benchmark suite is Battlefield 4, DICE’s 2013 multiplayer military shooter. After a rocky start, Battlefield 4 has since become a challenging game in its own right and a showcase title for low-level graphics APIs. As these benchmarks are from single player mode, based on our experiences our rule of thumb here is that multiplayer framerates will dip to half our single player framerates, which means a card needs to be able to average at least 60fps if it’s to be able to hold up in multiplayer.

Battlefield 4 - 2560x1440 - Ultra Quality

Battlefield 4 - 1920x1080 - Ultra Quality

Though not doing poorly, Battlefield 4 has not been a game AMD’s products have excelled at lately. Case in point, at 1080p even the referenced clocked R9 380X can’t unseat the GeForce GTX 960; it takes the ASUS factory overclock to do that. Overall while the 380X is on average 10% faster than the GTX 960, as we’ll see as we work through our games it will not take the top spot in every single game, so this will not be a clean sweep.

Meanwhile Battlefield 4 is a good example of why AMD wishes to focus on 1440p, despite the fact that Tonga is going to come up a bit short in overall performance. As we’ve seen time and time again, AMD’s performance hit with resolution increases is less than NVIDIA’s, so a loss for the R9 380X at 1080p is a win at 1440p. There are a few cases where the R9 380X is fast enough for 1440p, but by and large you’d have to take a quality hit to reach the necessary performance. So unfortunately for AMD this bulk of the focus on the R9 380X is going to be at 1080p.

As for comparisons with past cards, we’ve gone ahead and thrown in the Radeon HD 7850 and the GeForce GTX 660, 2GB cards that launched at $249 and $229 respectively in 2012. Part of AMD’s marketing focus for the R9 380X will be as an upgrade for early 28nm cards, where the R9 380X is a significant step up. Between the greater shader/ROP throughput, greater memory bandwidth, and doubled memory, the R9 380X is around 82% faster than the 7850, which traditionally is around the area where a lot of gamers look for an upgrade.

Finally, at the other end of the spectrum, it’s worth pointing out just how far ahead of the R9 380X the R9 390 and GTX 970 are. In the introduction we called them spoilers, and this is exactly why. They cost more, but the performance advantage of the next step up is quite significant.

The Test Crysis 3
Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • funkforce - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    Haha, funny you should ask that...

    Check the comments...

    January 2015

    "jeffrey - Thursday, July 02, 2015 - link
    Ryan Smith, any update on GTX 960
    Ryan Smith - Thursday, July 02, 2015 - link
    As soon as Fury is out of the way. "
  • extide - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    Looks like you missed a comment, because there was one at one point that said that there will not be a 960 review. I don't have a direct link to it because I'm not obsessed with the topic, but yeah, it was said.
  • funkforce - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    You're right, I don't know when that was said. I waited months for that review, because I trust the unbiased reviews here and wanted to buy a new graphics card based on info I could count on.
    And I just really don't like when you keep promising things, stringing your readers on, and then never delivering. I don't care if the review gets posted, it's just how it was handled. I've been raised that a person's word means something (he told me personally on twitter that he would do it). And I'm sure you could go on that this is the internet etc. but when you've been reading a site since it's start, it's content means something, at least to me. I guess it's why we're all here to some extent. If you go back on your word, then you should at least let ppl. know, a bit more officially, than in a comment section of, I would assume, another article.
  • Samus - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    The problem with reviewing the GTX960 is the drivers have been optimizing around improving its performance all year, and every single card performs so different. The GTX960 overclocks incredibly well, some people hit 1400MHz is the board has the right power configuration. This is why you hear people talk about the GTX960 completely trumping the R9 28x/38x's when in reality, both GPU's give and take blows in various games at stock.

    But when overclocked, the GTX960 is a bit faster than an overclocked R9 28x/38x. I think this causes a lot of reviewers to tip-toe around these cards. And when you consider a GTX960 with 4GB is over $200 and a GTX970 with 4GB (er technically 3.5GB) is $260-$280 after rebate, it becomes muddled.
  • OrphanageExplosion - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - link

    I own the GTX 960. Mine hits 1450MHz easily. I think they all do because temps and power consumption barely budge. I also own the R9 380 in 4GB configuration.

    Drivers have barely improved the 960 performance and the 380 is faster in almost every game I own. Overclocking gets the 960 to parity, or slightly better to a small extent where you can't really tell the difference.

    Of the two I'd take the 960 simply due to the efficiency, but driver updates have really made no difference to anything other than the games they were optimised for. Library titles have seen no improvement.
  • dananski - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    I also waited a while, checking the site often. I think I spotted some 960 benchmarks slipped into some analysis article on here many months later, but no post to say they'd been done, let alone a full review.

    It's not just the graphics section either. I really don't get why there are so many announcements and so few reviews on here these days. It's a shame because reviews like this one here are the reason I like AnandTech so much.
  • olivaw - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    I wanted the GTX 960 reviewed because it seems to be pretty good for an HTPC, since the power consumption is lower than most chips. I know the card is good, but I wanted an AnandTech review :)
  • drwhoglius - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    From Steam Hardware Survey

    October 2015 results

    GTX 970 3.80%
    GTX 960 2.16%

    R9 200 Series 1.06%
    R9 300 Series not yet measurable (or too new to be measured as GTX 950 isn't measured either)
  • Tikcus9666 - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    Power difference is irrelevant in desktop PC's a 75W difference... 20 hours of usage at Full load is ~20p in the UK

    a 1000 hours of gaming (a years worth?) for an extra £10

    This does not factor in some of this usage is in Winter months, so the extra heat generated reduces the amount of heat required from other sources, thus reducing other heating costs
  • jasonelmore - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    what about idle power consumption? which uses 24/7 365 days.

    it can add up

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now