Is Nvidia Neglecting Older Cards? Plus, Better AMD Drivers Needed

Every aspect of Project CARS that I've touched so far has been stunning. I've enjoyed going through the various cars and admiring them on the starting line. Along with the incredible visuals, audio is great and gameplay certainly won’t disappoint.

While the game scales down well to play on slower hardware and consoles, diehard race simulator fans will want the life-like visuals to become fully immersed. Though we have yet to see what AMD Radeons can do in Project CARS, we have a clear picture of Nvidia’s line up and can therefore predict best case scenarios for AMD.

Those wanting to tackle any weather conditions at 1080p while still maintaining a 30fps minimum will be shocked to learn a GeForce GTX 780 Ti is required.

Our test with 20 AI controlled opponents has the benchmark starting at the grid where frame rates are usually at their lowest, something to keep in mind. As the pack thins out, frame rates tend to recover though this isn't necessarily reflected in our results. Put in other words, our test shows a worst case scenario which is important as you don’t want frame rate lag when trying to execute the perfect overtaking maneuver.

Nvidia: Kepler (old) vs. Maxwell (new)

An interesting result we observed was the GeForce GTX 970 performing slightly faster than the GTX 780 Ti in clear conditions and much faster when it’s raining. Even more surprising, the GeForce GTX 960 was slightly faster than the GTX 780. That’s a stab in the eye with a sharp pencil for Kepler owners right there.

For months we've been hearing Kepler owners complaining about the lack of optimization as Nvidia appears to be focusing solely on Maxwell. If we look back at our GeForce GTX 960 review in January we see that in almost every game tested the GTX 780 crushes the GTX 960.

Given the suspiciously poor Kepler performance it will be interesting to see how AMD’s Radeon R9 290 series can compare if and when AMD gets a decent driver out.

As we often find these days, those gaming with high-end GPUs will be best off with an Intel Core i5 or Core i7 processor, while AMD’s affordable quad-core processors should really only be paired with mid-range to low-end GPUs.

Finally, for all those angry Radeon owners out there we wish we had word as to when AMD will be releasing an updated driver. All we can tell you is AMD appears to be working hard on a solution and we hope a driver fix comes shortly. When that happens, we'll update this article accordingly.