NVIDIA GeForce 347.52 Performance Analysis

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅14-02-15
Benchmarks: DSR Performance Cost

During Nvidia Dynamic Super Resolution testing we incrementally changed the in-game rendering resolution, beginning at 1080p, then increasing to 1440p and 4K respectively. MSAA settings for Far Cry 4 and Assassins Creed 4 were adjusted downwards to more realistically simulate a relevant use-case, rather than re-purposing previous results which would have been unhelpful at higher resolutions.

Results for these tests are interesting to unpack. First off, it's admirable to see just how well GIGABYTE's GTX 970 G1 GAMING coped with DSR resolutions of 1440p, especially in Thief 4. For a title not all that old being able to hold above 43fps with high levels of DSR and some MSAA thrown in for good measure is a mark of the quality of Nvidia's GPU, and shows that 1440p is not at all a bad fit for this card.

At tweaked quality settings Assassins Creed Unity was also a solid contender at 1440p with average frame rates above 60fps, although the power of a GTX 970 couldn't arrest the awful texture pop-in exhibited in that game. Frame rates dropped precipitously at 4K, with minimum FPS below what we'd consider to be a playable level. Hitting 4K resolutions is asking a lot of the GPU, but the fast fall-off may indicated issues with frame buffer size and bandwidth.

Far Cry 4 by contrast shows a much more linear drop-off in frame rates as you progress to 4K and, although 4K frame rates are still effectively unplayable, it should be possible to tweak settings for a far better experience. An experience at 1440p should still be a good one, but it's a pity that it can't quite hit that 60fps sweet spot.

Overall DSR is a great addition to Nvidia's arsenal of tools, and anyone with a mid-range to performance GPU should seriously consider dabbling in it. This is especially the case for less taxing titles than the three above such as League of Legends and Counterstrike Source, where DSR can really make use of the horsepower overhead of a Maxwell or high-end Kepler GPU.

Tests like these not only show the weakness of super-sampling techniques, but also the strengths of syncing refresh rates to your display. Nvidia's G-SYNC monitors, manufactured by an ever-widening cohort of brands, make the very best use of fluctuating frame rates between 30 and 60 fps, and our results should tend to urge users towards coupling a 1440p G-SYNC monitor with an single Nvidia GPU, rather than attempting to reach for 4K and having a poor experience.

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