Benchmarks: Dirt 2, Far Cry 2
Dirt 2 has a fantastic built-in benchmark tool that measures actual gameplay performance very accurately. The game was run in DirectX 11 mode with 4xAA and the best visual quality settings enabled.
Considering that we see much higher frame rates in this game we left the 4xAA setting in place for the tests which saw the GeForce GTX 590 deliver 92fps on average at 5040x1050 making it 11% faster than the Radeon HD 6990.
This margin was reduced to just 6% in favor of the GeForce GTX 590 at 5760x1200 and then at the resolution of 7680x1600 everything went wrong for the GTX 590. Probably a driver bug or a video memory limitation, the Radeon HD 6990 sailed along happily with 53fps but the GeForce couldn't deliver. We tried reducing the anti-aliasing level to 2x which did breathe quite a bit of life back into the GeForce GTX 590 as it was able to average 42fps at 7680x1600, which still made it 28% slower than the Radeon HD 6990.
Far Cry 2
To test Far Cry 2 we used the "Action Scene" from the custom benchmark tool. We feel this is an excellent representation of real gameplay performance. We ran this DirectX 10 title using its best graphics settings with 4xAA.
When we reviewed the GeForce GTX 590 we saw it deliver 46% faster performance than the Radeon HD 6990 at 2560x1600, a very significant margin, though for that test 8xAA was enabled.
Now at 5040x1050 with 4xAA the GeForce GTX 590 was just 2% faster than the Radeon. Meanwhile at 5760x1200 the Radeon HD 6990 took the lead pushing 7% better performance and it maintained this advantage at 7680x1600.