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.
|Case||Level 10 GT|
|CPUs||Intel i7 4770K @ 4.7GHz|
|Motherboards||ASUS Maximus VI Formula|
|Ram||Patriot Viper 32GB (4x8GB) 2133Mhz 11-11-11Quad-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||ASUS ROG GTX 980 Matrix Platinum|
Synthetic Benchmarks & Games
We will use the following applications to benchmark the performance of the ASUS GTX 980 Gaming video card.
|Unigine Heaven 4.0|
|Batman Arkham City|
|Batman Arkham Origins|
|Dirt 3 Showdown|
|Metro Last Light|
|Sniper Elite V2|
3DMark 11 the Matrix platinum now takes the top spot in our charts which is sign of a solid performer right out of the box.
In 3DMark Firestrike and extreme the Matrix platinum edges out the previous top contender in both tests but more so in the standard 1080p firestrike.
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.
Heaven shows the Matrix Platinum once again walking in and taking the top spot, easily topping even the GTX 690.
Sleeping Dogs shows that there is a plateau in terms of performance as all of the top cards seem to collect at right around the same area and the Matrix only nudges by a fraction of a FPS. In 1440 testing it actually loses a fraction to the Gaming 980 from MSI.
Even after many years, Metro 2033 is still one of the most demanding DX11 video games available to really push the limits of your system. The Matrix pulls a 1 FPS lead in 1080P testing but in 1440p its a dead heat for the top spot.
Batman Arkham City
Batman Arkham City is a fun game and utilizes FXAA fully. It is nice to see the full screen anti-aliasing getting picked up by popular titles. Here the Matrix Platinum pulls a single FPS lead at 1080p and surprisingly 2 FPS lead at 1440.
Batman Arkham Origins
This is the newest installment to the Arkham series Batman games and in order to ensure an even playing field I disabled Nvidia Physx and Nvidia based AA sticking with a standard high AA variant to ensure as equal loading as possible. The Matrix Platinum once again pulls a decent lead at both resolutions matching the GTX 690 1 to 1.
Tomb Raider a heavily pushed AMD title is topped on the charts by the 690 but the Matrix platinum takes a serious bite into that lead and gets close at 1080p but beats out the 690 at 1440. This is most likely due to the larger 4GB framebuffer on the 980 vs the 2GB on the 690.
Metro Last Light
Here we have Metro Last Light which is a brand new game added to our testing platform as it just came out. If you thought Metro 2033 was stressful you have seen nothing yet. The particles and lighting, as well as the PhysX effects all add up to an amazing looking game that can put a stun even the most powerful system in its tracks. Once again we disabled the Nvidia technology PhysX to ensure even results and playing field. the Matrix Platinum jumps well above the top cards at 1080p but is betsed by two FPS at 1440p.
Sniper Elite V2
Sniper Elite V2 is a fun game which, when first released, was quite stressful but still playable on most higher end cards. By now, most cards have surpassed it, and the Matrix Platinum sits dead even with the top card but only bests it at the higher 1440p resolution where it takes a commanding lead.
Dirt 3 Showdown
Dirt 3 Showdown is a visually beautiful game with excellent lighting and overall motion blurring creating a real visual spectacle of a game. The Matrix Platinum takes the top spot in both resolutions over everything including the dual GPU 690.