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
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  • Ryan Smith - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    The power demands on the CPU are much more significant under a game than under FurMark.

    Also, that specific GTX 960 is an EVGA model with a ton of thermal/power headroom. So it's nowhere close to being TDP limited under Crysis.

    Edit: My apologies to one of our posters. It looks like I managed to delete your post instead of replying to it...
  • The True Morbus - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    So after all this time, this graphics card has the same performance as the now 2 years old GTX760?
    Right... I'm beginning to think the 760 was the best purchase of my life.
  • RussianSensation - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    Same performance? You may need to re-check benchmarks across the web. R9 380X is more than 40% faster than a GTX760 2GB. TPU has it 43% faster at 1080P and 45% faster at 1440P:

    If you only have a 2GB version of the 760, you are also reducing texture quality in many games like Titanfall, Shadow of Mordor and have choppiness in Watch Dogs, AC Unity, Black Ops 3, and simply cannot even enable highest textures in some games like Wolfenstein NWO.

    R9 380X isn't anything special when we've seen GTX970/290/290X/390 for $250-270 but it beats your card easily by 35-40%.
  • Laststop311 - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    The 380x was a pointless launch. 50 dollars less you can just get the 380 which is only 10% slower. Or 50 more dollars and just get the 390 which blows the 380x away. This card targets a very narrow range and wasn't really needed imo.
  • Makaveli - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    I believe the difference in Shadow of Mordor between the 7970 and the 380x at 1080p may only be clockspeed and not a difference from Tahiti or Tonga!
  • silverblue - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    The 380X may come with extra features over the 7970, however has TrueAudio ever truly been tested? Its addition was to help reduce CPU usage and it would be a shame if it went unused in favour of the motherboard sound.
  • silverblue - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    Slight correction, it was to provide better effects, though I imagined that it would help a little with CPU usage anyway.
  • Makaveli - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    The only difference between them that counts is GCN 1.0 vs 1.2 TrueAudio has to be supported by the game and modor doesn't support it.
  • Cryio - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    You guys REALLY need to switch to a Skylake i7 4.5 GHz with DDR4 3000+ system for benching GPUs.

    That Ivy 4.2 GHz is certainly holding back AMD GPUs, core parking issues, not as fancy drivers and all.
  • Ryan Smith - Monday, November 23, 2015 - link

    The GPU testbed is due for a refresh. We'll be upgrading to Broadwell-E in 2016 once that's available.

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