Benchmark shows Vega-based AMD card running like a demon in ‘Doom’

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Update 6/6/2017 6:59AM: As is the nature of leaks, not all of them are authentic. As we noted in our original copy, there were a few elements of this leak that appeared questionable, and many now claim it a fake. 

Nvidia produced its fastest GeForce-branded card to date, the Titan XP, in April. It replaced the company’s previous Titan-branded card with the same $1,200 price tag, cranking up the core count from 3,584 to 3,840, and the boost speed from 1,531GHz to 1,582GHz. Right now, AMD doesn’t have a graphics card to compete with Nvidia’s titanic-priced Titan XP. But based on a leaked benchmark, AMD plans to take the monstrous Titan XP down this summer when it finally reveals its Radeon RX Vega lineup during the SIGGRAPH conference at the end of July.

The leaked benchmark pits an unknown Vega-based graphics card against Nvidia’s recent Titan XP and the original GeForce GTX 1080 (nope, no GTX 1080 Ti here). It used Doom to benchmark their performance along with the Vulkan graphics API, which essentially enables an application to safely speak directly to a graphics card during the rendering process. The highly used DirectX 12 does the same thing although it wasn’t the chosen renderer for this test.

As for the game itself, the benchmark set Doom at a super-high 3840 x 2160 resolution, Ultra settings, and TSSAA (8TX). That’s short for Temporal Super Sampling, a method of smoothing jagged edges that aren’t in a complexly straight line, such as any object in perspective and curved surfaces. Simply put, TSSAA (8TX) is the highest setting for that specific feature in Doom, producing the best, smoothest visuals possible, and no illusion-breaking “jaggies.”

So here are the purported numbers:

Card Average framerate
Radeon RX Vega 142 frames per second
GeForce GTX Titan XP 117 frames per second
GeForce GTX 1080 62 frames per second

We should point out that the Vulkan API will favor AMD’s card due to its roots. AMD introduced a graphics rendering API called Mantle in 2013, which gave game developers better, “deeper” access to Radeon-branded graphics cards for improved visuals and performance than what was experienced with DirectX11 and OpenGL. Mantle now serves as the foundation for Vulkan, which works on AMD and Nvidia-based graphics chips, but will favor Radeon chips due to that very foundation. Microsoft’s DirectX 12 is now just as low-level, but doesn’t have a favorite.

Outside the Mantle aspect, we don’t know the testing environment of this benchmark, or whether it’s even official. The fact that “TSSAA” is misspelled in the leaked benchmark slide indicates that the numbers could be bogus, but as we’ve experienced over the years, people handling company press materials aren’t always perfect, so it could be a simple typing mistake.

One thing is for certain: AMD plans to burn fiery red this summer with the official reveal of its Radeon RX Vega cards. AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su said that the company will “launch” its new family of cards during the SIGGRAPH conference, which probably means an official hardware reveal and pre-order opportunities. The Vega-based Radeon Vega Frontier Edition card will be the first to hit the market in June, but it will target the professional market. We wouldn’t be surprised if that was the card used in the purported Doom benchmark.


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