Whew! There we have it, a much more comprehensive list of graphics cards from both AMD and NVIDIA, but it’s still not complete. This resolution still isn’t fully supported by AMD or NVIDIA, so performance is slightly hampered and will no doubt get better once it becomes more mainstream. Although we will likely see a single monitor with this resolution before that happens. The performance on offer from both manufacturers is impressive, the single card results are understandably low, but the second card really livens things up with playable frame rates in most games; playable being 60FPS.
Since the launch of the R9 Fury range, based on the Fiji core and HBM memory, performance in the red corner has certainly been kicked up and more evenly competes with NVIDIA. However, HBMv1 was always going to be an experiment rather than mainstream consumer option, stock levels were poor and production was extremely slow. This resulted in AMD only offering the technology in 4GB variants which cripples high resolution gameplay. Despite this glaring specification error, the actual performance is very VERY good on the Fiji based cards and it’s scalable to dual cards also, so the increased resolution doesn’t really impact the overall performance too much, but we have had to decrease the graphical settings to compensate for this across all of the cards.
I decided to keep the tri-fire R9 390X results in here because it goes to show how optimised the set-up is for general gaming. The performance is apparent in benchmark software, but almost unnoticeable in most games unless there is a profile already designed. This makes the triple card option cost more and provide poorer performance than the GTX 980Ti or R9 Fury X dual card configurations. Personally for me, I would just stick with two high end cards rather than three mid range cards.
NVIDIA know how to make a fast graphics card and up until now I thought they were crazy slapping on 12GB VRAM onto the Titan X. If we receive another sample to allow SLI, we should see some very favourable scores as the 12GB would allow the two GPU’s to really push the boundary. When it comes to the GTX 980Ti, it has the power to match the Titan X, but the 6GB VRAM just starts to take some of the performance way; although this wouldn’t be noticeable in real world usage.
In regards to reliability, the NVIDIA combinations proved very little in the way of issues, I barely had to go into the settings to correctly setup the monitors apart from telling the software which monitor was where.
Overall, no single card is a match for the immense pixel quantity of these monitors, even the R9 295×2 and Titan Z would struggle. For the time being, I would leave multiple 4K monitors to those with more money than sense, professionals or extreme gamers; at least until the pixel per inch and price comes down and more dedicated drivers are released.
- Huge workable screen size for productivity
- Immersive gameplay
- A step forward for technology
- Relatively expensive
- Affordable 4K monitors have larger bezels, detracting from the overall experience
- Multiple high-end graphics cards are required to run most games to a satisfactory level
- Can take up a lot of space if you buy larger panels
- Drivers are still being optimised to yield the best results
Thank you to our partners for providing us with the review samples to make this article possible.