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In Theory: Can a four teraflop GPU cut it for a next-gen console?

Additional data.

In putting together this In Theory article, I really needed to get a sense of scalability between the smaller Navi and its larger equivalent across a range of workloads - and where possible, I wanted to test using games running at around the same quality level as Xbox One X. A consistent theme in our PC port testing is the idea of 'optimal settings' - the most bang for the buck, and more often than not, we end up with a range of settings that map rather closely to the console experience. This makes a lot of sense as these games would have been built around consoles as the primary hardware target. In all tests, I paired each AMD graphics card with a Ryzen 7 3700X - the closest desktop equivalent to the eight-core/16-thread integrated CPU cluster we'll find in the next-gen consoles, while CPU frequencies were locked on all cores to 3.5GHz.

One of the first tests I carried out was on perennial GPU arsonist, Assassin's Creed Odyssey. We usually bench this on ultra high settings, but pared everything back to the standard high preset, which still looks beautiful and is effectively a match for the Xbox One X experience. Our 4.3TF Navi delivered a conclusive win against its 6.0TF GCN rivals, while 1440p results against the 9.2TF-tuned RX 5700 XT fall into the general ballpark established by other results.

AC Odyssey: High/TAA/DX11

Shadow of the Tomb Raider threw up some fascinating results because although I tweaked the game to more closely resemble the visual make-up of the Xbox One X version, none of our 4.3TF/6.0TF GPUs got anywhere near to matching the console experience at 2160p. There's the suggestion that this iteration of the Foundation Engine likes access to a lot of memory bandwidth as remarkably, the aged R9 390 running on the Hawaii processor produced the best results, especially so at 1080p. Scalability between the 4.3TF Navi at 1440p and the 9.2TF Navi at 2160p also see the gap widen a touch.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Console Settings/SMAA T2X/DX12

Finally, it wouldn't be a Digital Foundry benchmarking project if Crysis 3 wasn't somehow involved, and as usual it throws up its own range of challenging results. We've seen this title continually monster any and all GPU contenders running at 4K, to the point where you can't even get a 60fps lock on an RTX 2080 Ti. We've given the kit here some slack by paring back shading and shadows to high from very high, but the game continues to challenge the RX 5700 XT at 9.2TF to the point where the 4.3TF Navi at 1440p is 12.5 per cent faster.

Crysis 3: High/Very High/SMAA T2X/DX11

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About the Author

Richard Leadbetter avatar

Richard Leadbetter

Technology Editor, Digital Foundry

Rich has been a games journalist since the days of 16-bit and specialises in technical analysis. He's commonly known around Eurogamer as the Blacksmith of the Future.


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