The OS we use is Windows 8 Pro 64bit with all patches and updates applied. We also use the latest drivers available for the motherboard and any devices attached to the computer. We do not disable background tasks or tweak the OS or system in any way. We turn off drive indexing and daily defragging. We also turn off Prefetch and Superfetch. This is not an attempt to produce bigger benchmark numbers. Drive indexing and defragging can interfere with testing and produce confusing numbers. If a test were to be run while a drive was being indexed or defragged, and then the same test was later run when these processes were off, the two results would be contradictory and erroneous. As we cannot control when defragging and indexing occur precisely enough to guarantee that they won’t interfere with testing, we opt to disable the features entirely.
Prefetch tries to predict what users will load the next time they boot the machine by caching the relevant files and storing them for later use. We want to learn how the program runs without any of the files being cached, and we disable it so that each test run we do not have to clear pre-fetch to get accurate numbers. Lastly we disable Superfetch. Superfetch loads often-used programs into the memory. It is one of the reasons that Windows Vista occupies so much memory. Vista fills the memory in an attempt to predict what users will load. Having one test run with files cached, and another test run with the files un-cached would result in inaccurate numbers. Again, since we can’t control its timings so precisely, it we turn it off. Because these four features can potentially interfere with benchmarking, and and are out of our control, we disable them. We do not disable anything else.
We ran each test a total of 3 times, and reported the average score from all three scores. Benchmark screenshots are of the median result. Anomalous results were discounted and the benchmarks were rerun.
Please note that due to new driver releases with performance improvements, we rebenched every card shown in the results section. The results here will be different than previous reviews due to the performance increases in drivers.
|Motherboards||ASUS Maximus VI Formula|
|Ram||Gskill TridentX 8GB (2x4GB) 2666Mhz 11-13-13 Dual-Channel Kit|
|CPU Cooler||Custom Liquid Cooling|
|Hard Drives||8x Western Digital RE4 2TB 7200RPM 3Gb/s Hard Drives (Raid 5)|
|SSD||3x Kingston HyperX 240GB SATA III 6Gb/s SSD|
|GPU||Sapphire Radeon R7-240 Dual HDMI|
Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 780 3GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX TITAN 6GB Video Card
Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 4GB Video Card
|GeForce Drivers||327.23 (GTX 760,770, 780,TITAN and 690)|
Catalyst 13.11 (AMD Radeon R9-280X and R7-240)
|PSU||Thermaltake Toughpower XT 1475W Gold|
|Mouse||Tt eSPORTS Theron Gaming Mouse|
|Keyboard||Tt eSPORTS Meks G1 Illuminated|
Synthetic Benchmarks & Games
We will use the following applications to benchmark the performance of the R9-280X video card.
|Unigine Heaven 4.0|
|Batman Arkham City|
|Dirt 3 Showdown|
|Metro Last Light|
|Sniper Elite V2|
Here you can see that like I said this card is not made for the 3D Gaming world as it is simply outmatched by a very large margin in 3D testing.
In 3DMark Firestrike and extreme the card shows the same
Unigine Heaven 4.0
Unigine Heaven is a benchmark program based on Unigine Corp’s latest engine, Unigine. The engine features DirectX 11, Hardware tessellation, DirectCompute, and Shader Model 5.0. All of these new technologies combined with the ability to run each card through the same exact test means this benchmark should be in our arsenal for a long time.
Even though the 240 is not made for it I was surprised that it handled choppy but still showed motion and honestly I was sure it would crash but it chugged right along.
Sleeping dogs is an AMD pushed game but at full res the 240 is only able to pull just shy of 7FPS
Metro 2033 is another area I thought the card would crash but it simply chugged along albeit quite choppy.
Batman Arkham City
Batman Arkham City showed higher framerates as the game load was less….. but in order to accurately compare this is at max settings so realistically with some lowered detail settings I could see Batman being somewhat playable which honestly is a surprise to me.
Tomb Raider being a heavily AMD based game with very high end graphics I knew it would be a rough ride and the 240 simply wasn’t up to it..
Metro Last Light
Here we have Metro Last Light another killer game and it simply could not be playable on the 240 which honestly is of no surprise since most upper end cards barely pull stable higher framerates.
Sniper Elite V2
Sniper Elite V2 showed some decent frame rate for max settings here which shows some promise to this cards capabilities.
Dirt 3 Showdown
Dirt 3 Showdown for being such an amazing looking game actually seems like it could be very playable here if settings were tweaked to middle of the road instead of max.