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Borderlands 2 GPU & CPU Performance Test

By Jos · 57 replies
Sep 20, 2012
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  1. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,713   +874

    Techspot was surprised the 3770k was outclassed by the 3960X? It's happened in several games including Tribes and Skyrim.
    And this is another game that shows you get what you pay for with those Radeons... PhysX is a very obvious advantage and the gaming experience with a GTX is once again the best available on the planet. Period.
  2. l2ez4m

    l2ez4m TS Rookie

    Could you please include at least one of so popular SB or IVB - i3, Pentium cpus. :S
  3. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    We aim to please. From GameGPU.

  4. champmanfan

    champmanfan TS Member Posts: 59

    Good article. I've found that this game on maximum detail + FXAA drags down to 55fps on GTX680-SLI 19x12 with a 2700K@4.7GHz. Latest drivers too so any tips to improve this I may have missed?

    Do you also know that that the line PhysXLevel=2 for "WillowEngine.cfg" is located ... Documents\My Games\Borderlands 2\WillowGame\Config\LauncherConfig

    It generates this on saving the changes in the game menu, simply change that value on exiting the game normally.
  5. Sarcasm

    Sarcasm TS Guru Posts: 354   +40

    What do you mean 19x12?
  6. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

    99.99% sure that means 1920x1200
  7. champmanfan

    champmanfan TS Member Posts: 59

    1920x1200 as LNCPapa rightly said... gives me more vertical height that normal 16:9 displays lack. Vital for a mainly FPS gamer.

    I was also wondering how many others were playing with all ingame sliders to the max and what your average framerate was (use Afterburner, Fraps, Xfire, etc).

    I still have the feeling this game needs patching to sort performance on this port despite the recent mini-patch on release. I used to use 2K textures for Borderlands and I dread trying that for B2 which still uses 1024. I remember the same laggy feeling with BF3 on Ultra but my GTX680-SLI manages that with ease at 125fps average. Maybe I have it all wrong and these 'Ultra' options are for future GPUs, not current ones. Trouble with that theory is by Q2 next year this game will have be played to death and we'll have grown bored of playing it umpteen times - despite being as amazing as it is :D
  8. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,247   +448

    I have all the in-game options maxed and currently play at 1920x1080 w/vsync and I've never seen it drop below 60. I have a similar setup to you.
  9. Regarding AMD FX performance:

    What happens if you disable every other "core" (the interger half of it) and rerun the game test ? Since FX-4170 is doing quite well in comparison with the FX-8150 this means the game mostlikely isn't using more than 4 threads at any given time so running on 4 real cores (as opposed to 2 cores + 2 gimped integer clusters) should produce even better results.

    While you are at it, why not post the Task Manager screenshot showing CPU usage in game like some other review sites do ? This was you can easily tell how many CPU-heavy threads the program is using ...
  10. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,919   +595

    LOL @ 3x7970's for gaming @ 19x12 and bitcoin mining.
  11. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,713   +874

    Wow, maybe I should have read the article before posting. The Radeons perform quite well with PhsyX on after the chop mod. Still, its Nvidia's technology.
  12. Can someone notify the author or site that their methodology is wrong and are spreading misinformation. There have been a few comments already addressing their flawed method.

    This article should be yanked or marked with a giant disclaimer. Not all PhysX effects will work properly with just a Radeon, had the author bothered to check he'd have realized this.

    Shoddy article. NeoGAF/Anandtech already caught on to the misleading conclusions, don't be fooled.
  13. I did some PhysX testing with my i3 in case anyone is interested...
  14. venomblade

    venomblade TS Rookie Posts: 69

    I still don't understand how AMD GPUs can use PhysX just by editing an .ini, when PhysX requires CUDA cores which AMD GPUs physically don't have...
  15. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,262

    Must be a "Back to the Future" class power usage...

    ...since HD 7970 time in the marketplace is 8.5 months.
    Retail launch 9 January, 2012
    DanUK likes this.
  16. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,223   +163

    I'm running 3X 7970's and I can't figure how you come out on top with the electric bill 'bitcoining' either. as Chef was eluding to, it's close to a 1.21 jigowatt deal during BF3
  17. Look at the i3 video up there, it works... but the physx work is all done by the CPU in this case...
  18. Sarcasm

    Sarcasm TS Guru Posts: 354   +40

    Supposedly it gets offset to the CPU to do the work. Some of the hardcore AMD fans are swearing that it makes no difference but I honestly don't believe the CPU can keep up with some of the heavier gameplay sections with tons of physics going on at once. I could be wrong though.
  19. Sarcasm

    Sarcasm TS Guru Posts: 354   +40

    What more can they do exactly? All the cloth, particles, and liquid physics looks great. It's just something you don't really notice unless you pay attention. See the borderlands 2 physx video comparison on youtube.
  20. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon TS Addict Posts: 161   +51

    Bitcoin mining doesn't require memory bandwidth. Dropping memory speed to 300mhz, and maintaining 1150mhz overclocks at 1.08V average (1.175V peak) results in a GPU power usage of ~170W per card. Also, the value of each bitcoin has increased from $5-6 to $12 since January. The electricity cost for me varies from 6.5 ¢/kWh Lowest Price (Off-peak), 10.0 ¢/kWh Mid Price (Mid-peak) to 11.7 ¢/kWh Highest Price (On-peak).

    Gaming 2-3 hours a day, mining 20-21 hours a day for almost a year.

    Each 7970 @1150mhz generates ~ $80 bitcoins a month. 3 such GPUs then earn $240 a month, every month for 10 months so far.

    That's ~$2,400 in bitcoins earned - $520 in electricity costs (510W for the 3 cards + 150W system @ highest electricity rate of 12 ¢/kWh for the worst case scenario x 21 hours a day x 310 days = ).

    So ya, it's more than $1,600 in profits so far.


    retail launch 9 January, 2012 ---> it's been almost 10 months. Jan 9 to Sept 23 is not 8.5 months, but 9.5 months. Keep in mind, every month the 3x 7970s continue to make $240 in bitcoins, so another $240 in October, $240 in November too. They have already paid for themselves off fully.
  21. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon TS Addict Posts: 161   +51

    Ya, my math has failed, it's 8.5 month. However, my conclusion doesn't change. You guys can check this yourself. Even now 3x 7970s would make $195 a month after electricity costs:


    Hash Rate for 3 is: 2040
    Electricity Rate: $0.12
    Power consumption: 660W
    Timeframe: 1 month
    Cost of mining hardware: 0

    Net profit per month: $198 @ peak rate

    The mining difficulty has increased since January so more coins were generated during the first half of the year. My electricity rate < 12 cents though, so I put in the worst case scenario.
  22. At least the people running Borderlands 2 with an AMD CPU didn't spend as much as the Intel guys, right? That's a good thing right? Right?!
  23. ThePicard

    ThePicard TS Rookie

    Just wanted to report that an "old" Core i7-920, OC'd to 3.8 Ghz and with a GTX 670, with max settings in BL2 at 1920x1200, does a super-smooth 60 fps. I don't dispute that it's been around for a little while, but don't count out a great chip!

    Very enjoyable read. For anyone in the market for a new GPU, the GTX 670 is fantastic so far and a free copy of Borderlands 2 is just icing on the cake.
  24. This is correct. I'm using an i7-2600k @ 4.8GHz with 2xHD7970s @ 1920x1200 and with PhysX set to High (=2 in .INI file, same as setting via game menu... no need to pretend it's a "hack," gaming journalists, just select the option like a normal person) the game runs great until you get into a heavy firefight with grenades, shotguns and rockets. FPS will tank to 14-15 during these scenarios until the particles fade away. Setting PhysX to medium helps a lot, and setting to low obviously results in 60FPS 100% of the time on this rig.

    Whatever test they used for this benchmark was obviously not actual gameplay, or they didn't actually enable high level PhysX effects.

    Also of note, even with PhysX set to high, my CPU loading never exceeds 40%, and GPU loading never exceeds 60%. Reeeeal efficient.

    Fun game, though.
  25. In the review, Steve mentioned that AsRock motherboards needed a BIOS update to avoid crashing on startup. Can anyone point me in the direction of this fix? I'll even accept a mean-spirited LMGTFY response.

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