GPU Wars Heating Up with New Leaks
2014 has almost passed and the year 2015 is quickly coming upon us. I used to be more excited about Christmas while dreading the new year in light of the stark reminder that gift anticipation was over and school was about to begin. Now, I’m an adult, Christmas means only one day off, and the upcoming GPU news makes 2015 a much more exciting prospect than that sock-shaped present under the tree. In recent days some performance numbers have leaked for not only the new AMD flagships, but NVIDIA has some mentions of their upcoming monster graphics cards as well which give us some gaming and power performance comparisons. Spoilers and speculation ahead!
The first, and probably most, enticing info that was leaked were charts that showed the performance of the new GPUs with not only their older counterparts, but also showed tests that compared both manufacturers together. The first tests involved a compilation of 20 games followed by a single comparison of Battlefield 4. The next tests picked out several singular titles at 4k resolution. Without going into too much detail, the end result looks to have the AMD flagship card (Bermuda XT / R9 390X) taking the lead with the NVIDIA flagship (GM200 Full-fat) not far behind. This is amazing news because the green side has managed to hold on to the single GPU performance lead for some time. Red has countered with some impressive pricing structures, but with this kind of tight competition, we are bound to see some GPU wars that will make upgrades very affordable for consumers next year. Not only that, but if the Figi XT chip (supposedly being branded as the R9 380X) releases around the same MSRP of $299 like its predecessor, we will be seeing the dawn of affordable 4k gaming. Since this chip looks like it’s slightly edging out the GTX 980, we would almost certainly see a price drop from NVIDIA. Both cards are running games at 4k resolution with High/Max settings while staying at or above 30 FPS. That’s pretty impressive but power consumption is looking very good as well.
We already knew Maxwell hit it out of the park in the power consumption arena. What comes as a surprise to some is that AMD decided they could play ball as well. While power ratings haven’t been leaked for either flagship model, we do have some numbers for the cut down GPUs. The GTX 980 Ti (unofficial title) comes in at 225W. That’s a sizable leap from the 180W GTX 980. On the other hand, that is nowhere near the 286W rating the R9 290x managed to achieve earlier. What’s interesting is the Figi XT (R9 380X) is looking like it will rate at 215W. Since its performance seems to be pretty smack-dab in the middle of the two aforementioned NVIDIA cards, that power figure is very impressive. With all these statistics laid out, it looks like the only factors that will be able to sway buyers are performance, price, and drivers with the obvious preferences of one manufacturer over another.
With the gaming and power performances from both Red and Green, I say, “Who needs 2014.” I suppose we all do because if it wasn’t for 2014, there could be no 2015. That being said, next year is looking very exciting with what is coming down the pipes. There’s also the probability of some 20nm manufacturing, down-sampling negating AA within drivers, and High-Bandwidth Memory just to mention a few other things to look forward. So while I hope that everyone has a great Holiday season, I really hope that next year does some amazing things for PC enthusiasts by making our dreams of ultimate computing stations closer to a reality!