Our GPU test rig uses Intel's X99 platform. Specifically, we use the Asus Rampage V Extreme paired with an Intel Core i7-5960X
. This combination gives us 40 PCI-E 3.0 lanes to play with, meaning that even if we test 4-way SLI set-ups, we'll have available the maximum possible bandwidth. With eight cores and 16 threads via HyperThreading, the CPU ensures even the most mutli-threaded games won't be bottlenecked, and we've overclocked it to 4.2GHz as well with a baseclock of 127.3MHz, a multiplier of 33 and a vcore of 1.25V, further alleviating CPU bottlenecks. The CPU is paired with 16GB (4 x 4GB) of Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 clocked at 2,800MHz and cooled by a Corsair Hydro Series H75
The rig is powered by the Corsair AX1500i, which has enough wattage and 8-pin PCI-E power connectors to deal with any multi-GPU set-up we care to throw at it. It's all housed inside a Corsair Graphite Series 760T
, which is spacious enough for 4-way set-ups with any card. The final component is an OCZ Vector 180
960GB SSD, giving us plenty of space for game installs.
Our results come from are a mix of built-in benchmarks and custom, manually played sections, depending on the game. We use FRAPS to record the average and minimum frame rates, with all benchmarks repeated at least three times to ensure consistency. We test at 1,920 x 1,080 (1080p) and 2,560 x 1,440, as well as at 3,840 x 2,160 (4K) with higher end cards. The operating system is an up-to-date copy of Windows 8.1 64-bit.
AMD Graphics Cards
- AMD Radeon R9 Fury X 4GB - 1,050MHz GPU, 1GHz HBM (Catalyst 15.15)
- Sapphire Radeon R9 Fury 4GB - 1,040MHz GPU, 1GHz HBM (Catalyst 15.15)
- MSI Radeon R9 390X 8GB Gaming - 1,100MHz GPU, 6.1GHz GDDR5 (Catalyst 15.5 Beta)
- Sapphire Radeon R9 390 Nitro 8GB - 1,010MHz GPU, 6GHz GDDR5 (Catalyst 15.5 Beta)
- AMD Radeon R9 290X 4GB - 1,000MHz GPU, 5GHz GDDR5 (Catalyst 15.5 Beta)
Nvidia Graphics Cards
- MSI GeForce GTX 980 Ti Gaming 6G 6GB - 1,178MHz GPU (1,279MHz boost), 7.1GHz GDDR5 (GeForce 353.06)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB - 1,000MHz GPU (1,075MHz boost), 7GHz GDDR5 (GeForce 353.06)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 4GB - 1,126MHz GPU (1,216MHz boost), 7GHz GDDR5 (GeForce 353.06)