An “X” Rated Rumble.


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The Obligatory Preamble

My initial intention for the analysis you are about to assimilate had been to stick with the proven strategy of specifying several quality based templates for each tested resolution via a combination of settings applied in the video cards’ control panels and preferences available in individual games.

However, it quickly became evident that the majority of titles I had chosen were more closely aligned than ever with the hardware they were utilizing and that the drivers underpinning both products provided proprietary methods for edge blending, filtering and tessellation which if employed, might well have yielded misleading results.

Upon reflection, I decided it was far wiser to leave all variables on their defaults and appoint the profiles solely from within the applications.

Here is how the control panels were set.

The three resolutions under review were 1080p, 1440p and 2160p (4K). The first the present gold standard, the second, an increasingly popular compromise and the third, an enthusiast’s dream that is every GPU’s mission to realise. Some might scoff at my decision to run anything under 4k due the CPU inevitably impeding proceedings. To them I would suggest that irrespective of frame size, there are circumstances when seemingly fathomless graphical horsepower can evaporate faster than a shopaholic’s pension once offset against a sumptuous sprinkling of sugary optics!

To demonstrate as such, I’ve devised three additional pre-sets for the selected resolutions calibrated to “medium” “high” and “ultra” levels of detail, forgoing a fourth iteration for “low” on the assumption that any armchair assassin who amasses over 500 gold pieces to acquire superior speed would only do so to annihilate their adversaries in razor sharp clarity.

For further reference, I have included a series of screen captures illustrating the profiles compiled for each game, which differ according to fanciful terminology and the variety of adjustable values. Sometimes “ultra” is defined as “very high”, “extreme” as “maximum”, “insane” as “certifiable” and so on. On other occasions, there may be no options to activate anti-aliasing, enhance motion blur, refine reflections, engage exotic lighting effects, toggle temporal termites, disable dynamic brown dwarfs or initialize anisotropic aardvarks.

Test System.

  • Motherboard – Asus Rampage Gene IV
  • CPU – Core i7 Sandy Bridge-E 3970x at stock 3.5 with Turbo Boost
  • Memory – 4x4GB Crucial 1333mhz RAM 9-9-9-27
  • Hard Drive – 1x 500gb WD Black (OS Drive). 2x 256GB Samsung PM800 in Raid 0 (game drive).
  • Creative Soundblaster X7 “White” edition. (I mistyped the “W” with an S!).
  • PSU – Corsair AX860i Digital (860 watts 71 amps on the 12v rail).
  • 2x AMD R9 Fury X (Powercolor brand) with singing pumps.
  • 2x Geforce GTX Titan X (Zotac brand) with whispering fans.


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