Star Wars Battlefront is a truly gorgeous video game and arguably the best we've seen this year. The game features Photogrammetry to deliver real Star Wars props into the gaming environment, resulting in a highly realistic look and feel. But considering how exceptional the visuals are, the game's GPU demands aren’t that exceptional which is actually a good thing.
Although the Radeon R9 380X is based on the latest Graphics Core Next architecture, at its roots you will find a graphics card that is almost four years old now, the venerable Radeon HD 7970. Debuting back in 2012, the 7970 ran for a cool $550 and was at the time AMD's flagship part. The R9 380X starts at $230, but does it deliver?
Windows 10 has been out for a few months now and with it came a number of improvements that make it Microsoft's best OS yet. However, one of the operating system's biggest features has yet to be seen in action. DirectX 12 is a key ingredient dedicated to PC gamers but the long wait is coming to an end.
Nvidia released four new GPUs in 2015 while AMD delivered eight cards if you're willing to be loose with the definition of "new" and three if you're not: Radeon R9 Fury X, Fury and Nano. With possibly no more releases for the remainder of the year, let's break down each price bracket where key battles are being played out to pick some bang-for-buck winners. The GPU battle awaits!
Based on the fully fledged Fiji XT, the Radeon R9 Nano gets the same 4096 stream processors as the Fury X, just in a much more compact package. The Nano measures only 6" (152mm) long, which is made possible by the Fiji GPU's modest power consumption and HBM technology. AMD hopes to enable 4K gaming in tiny Mini-ITX systems with the Nano.
Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is now out for PC and consoles. Powered by the Fox Engine, you can expect to see subsurface scattering, physically-based rendering and other impressive technologies. Using the latest AMD and Nvidia drivers, we tested 26 DirectX 11 graphics cards covering most price ranges.
Compared to reference designs by Nvidia and AMD, their partners usually come up with creations that run cooler and quieter. A perfect example of this is Gainward's GTX 980 Ti "Golden Sample", with a 15% factory overclock that provides 11% more performance on average and a "Zero RPM fan design". Not wanting to simply just revisit the GTX 980 Ti's performance, we'll be hooking up two of these in SLI and test them agains a pair of AMD's Radeon R9 Fury X cards in Crossfire.