XFX Radeon R9 280X Black Edition Video Card Review


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Gaming Benchmarks

Far Cry 3

Far Cry 3 is the next installation in the Far Cry series which pits players against a tropical landscape and hostile indigenous forces. After escaping from ruthless kidnappers, the player is sent on a mission to avenge his brother’s death and find and rescue the remaining members of his initial party. With DX 11 optimization, Far Cry 3 uses the Dunia engine to render the island and village landscapes in stunning detail. One of the most difficult jobs of any graphics engine is to render water, and Far Cry 3 has plenty of that.

  • Far Cry 3
    • High Settings, DX11, 4xAA, 4xAF


Tomb Raider

The Tomb Raider game includes a benchmark in it that highlights the TressFX features used in the game. TressFX is specifically a hair quality physics feature that aids in realistic looking hair in games. Each strand of hair is given dozens of connections in a chain-like fashion. Each strand can be affected by gravity, wind, and head movements. The hair is also given collision, so that the overlapping hairs don’t merge together and they don’t penetrate solid surfaces like the character’s head.


Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock Infinite, by Irrational Games, was one of the most highly anticipated games of its time. According the vast majority of reviews on the game, it didn’t disappoint. Having played it, I can tell you that the story line grabs you and doesn’t let go. The moral and ethical quandries and twisting plot will keep you in front of your screen for hours on end. The graphics are nothing to shake a stick at either. That being said, Bioshock Infinite was built on the aging (although still widely used) Unreal Engine 3. That same engine has been in use since DX9 and was designed to take full advantage of shader hardware. In Bioshock Infinite, of course, the engine uses DX11 features to make the graphics that much more realistic.


Lost Planet 2

Capcom provides a stand-alone benchmark tool for Lost Planet 2. Reviewers love stand alone benchmarks, and users should, too, since they allow the evaluation of a system without the trouble and expense of purchasing and configuring the actual game. Lost Planet 2 takes place on E.D.N. III, the same planet in the original Lost Planet game, but ten years later. The snow has melted and somehow giant tropical jungles have grown to fill the landscape.

Lost Planet 2 takes advantage of DX11 features including tessellation and displacement mapping on water, level bosses, and player characters. In addition, soft body compute shaders are used on ‘Boss’ characters, and wave simulation is performed using DirectCompute. These cutting edge features make for an excellent benchmark for top-of-the-line consumer GPUs. There are two parts to the benchmark: Test A, which is a semi-random script that’s a good example of normal game play, and Test B, which is a deterministic script that places a significantly heavier load on the card being tested.


Assassin’s Creed III

Assassin’s Creed III is based on the AnvilNext engine and uses Havok CPU physics. This makes it a perfect game to test using both NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards, as long as your CPU doesn’t bottleneck performance at all. Assassin’s Creed III is very visually intensive and utilizes DX 11 features, especially tesselation, to provide an extremely realistic experience. Wood and clothing grains are extenuated and movement and environment look more natural than ever.

Assassin’s Creed III is the latest in the Assassin’s Creed line and follows Desmond Miles as he steps into the memories of his ancestors. This time, Miles is transported to early American history as his native American ancestor, Connor, battles his way through both sides of the American Revolutionary War. The area covered in the game is enormous and the landscape and features are very detailed.

  • Assassin’s Creed III
    • High Settings


That’s it for the benchmarks. Now let’s take a look at temperatures and power consumption.


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