Dirt Rally Performance Review – GeForce GTX 970 Versus Radeon R9 390

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CPU Utilization

Taking the middle resolution of 2560 x 1440, we watched the CPU utilization.  Across the different resolutions we tested Dirt Rally at, the CPU utilization was similar.

Sapphire Nitro 390


eVGA GTX 970 SC Dirt-Rally-970-CPU

For both video cards, the utilization was very similar.  They were both hovering in the mid-40% range.  In an attempt to get a similar CPU utilization, the sample utilization was grabbed at the 1.5 minute mark within the 3 minute benchmark.    At that specific time, the Sapphire Nitro 390 had a CPU utilization of 44%, while the eVGA GTX 970 was slightly higher at 48%.  Neither of these would raise any alarms, as they are still below 50% utilization.

Some developers optimize their games for a specific GPU chipset, while others tend to leave it open.  Codemasters Dirt Rally has been optimized towards the AMD Radeon chipset, and the optimizations that they have done, show exactly what is possible.  In a game like Dirt, you are moving so fast that the majority of the background gets motion blurred, which would allow you turn down the graphics to get the framerate you desired.  However for at higher resolutions, max details and the smoothest framerate, an AMD Radeon 390 GPU would be my recommendation for Dirt Rally.

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  • isolated1 Ray

    Sorry, when I run on a 970 with DSR up to 2560×1440 it was quite a bit slower then what you benched at.

    • nashathedog

      My Fury Tri-x (1040mhz model) is slower than there 390 apparently. I’m running 1440 via vsr on a 1080p monitor.
      min: 43.41, avg: 54.16, max: 72.43.
      It’s paired with a stock clock 4790k, 8gb’s of 2133mhz ram on Win 10 pro.

  • isolated1 Ray

    I mean, you weren’t running with 8XAA at 2560×1440?

  • isolated1 Ray

    What AA settings did you bench at?

  • Terry Perry

    Seriously this is not a Commercial for AMD both card go back and forth. Many games are made with from either card why the better performance from one another. I have the 970 and the 290 and the 970 will run on a 500 watt the 290 needs a good 700w.

    • Slater Th

      I run a r9 390 with a 530 Watt PSU, and I use 420 Watts max from the Wall. CPU: Intel XEON e3 1231 v3

    • Hottspitta jR

      Seriously, i have a 290X and it pulls no more then like around 300W tops. I have a AX860i but that is mainly because i like having overhead and efficiency. You could literally do a quality 500W PSU easily depending on the rest of your hardware.

      Not sure if you typo’d the 290 and meant 390 but i assumed not since you did it twice.

      • Shaun Walsh

        You obviously havent seen actual reviews with real power consumption numbers…

        • Hottspitta jR

          I don’t need reviews, i own the equipment to test it. You are probably referring to the peak values. Which aren’t sustained values. AKA yes the card can kick up over 300W but if it sustained those upper values the card would flatout fry itself. PSU’s also are capable of running above the sustained value for short duration because they factor this in.

        • Shaun Walsh

          No, im referring to the actual consumption of the card and what is pulled from the wall. Unless you are running a 15w processor, there is no way that you are pulling only 300w from the wall. I understand the conversion of electricity from DC to AC just fine. The difference is you are pulling 110v and converting it into 12v. That is simply increasing your AMPs, not changing the wattage of what your computer is actually receiving. Here is just the power consumption of the video card from a trusted review site
          Normal is 230w, maximum (not peak, much different) is 325w. So to tell me that your computer is not pulling more then 300w from the wall is a blatant lie. Sure, it could be pulling less Amps then the GPU is using (because your amperage goes up when converting to DC) but your wattage is the same. The only way you would change your wattage would be to change the impedance (ohms) from the wall into the system.

          Edit: This is also for a 390. Could have sworn your original statement said 390. It only goes up for a 290x.

        • Ashley Gann

          you are developing a very bad habit of being misinformed and then spouting said misinformation around – then again, i find it kind of amusing…

        • Shaun Walsh

          Oh please prove me wrong here. That would be great to see. Keep in mind a lot of power consumption tests for review sites are taken at the wall for complete systems. They are all over 300w

        • campdude

          Nobody needs to fight over power-supply size anymore. Newegg has a nice calculator. It’s pretty cool.

          I got a recommended PSU of 723W with:

          AMD FX 8 series CPU, R9 390, 32 Gigs Ram, SSD. BluRay, Desktop MB,

          The choice between 970 and 390 is easy. The 390 cross-fired will not be vram limited to 4 gigs aka 3.5.

          But as soon as you add a second 390 you need 873 Watts according to the newegg calculator.

          So get a 1000 watt PSU and it should last a long time. If you make that type of computer. If you make a different type get the PSU that you need.


        • Shaun Walsh

          This is what I find amusing. Look at that gaming power consumption. Maybe do some research before saying someone is misinformed. It’s really funny that most the time you say someone is misinformed only to come to the conclusion that you were the one that was misinformed. 295×2 not utilizing cf, dx12 limited to 6 cores, and now this…. It’s sad really

        • Ashley Gann

          you’ve learned nothing shaun – 390 is far and away the better card. please read about xdma and then see why a 295×2 is capable of even better performance. You can’t look at a child’s picture book without confusing yourself with dx12, LOL.

        • Shaun Walsh

          Learned nothing? From you? Lol, only thing I’ve learned is that you have no idea what you are talking about. 390 isnt far better at all, sorry but it just isnt (though given the choice I would buy the 390 now). The performance is nearly identical, with the 970 winning at 1080p, tying at 1440p, and 390 winning at 4k. But we have already discussed why I think both are only 1080p cards. Yes, we have covered XDMA, SFR, and PEX bridges, still doesnt change the fact that it uses CF, which you claimed it didnt. We have also proven that DX12 uses more then 6 cores, which you claimed it didnt. And now, here you are saying that im wrong again about the power consumption of a 290x, even though TONS of reviews out there say im right. When will you learn? You never post anything to back up your claims at all (outside of the 390, which one video says its the best card, reviews say they are even). This is really embarrassing isnt it? Only thing you can do is say something, but not back it up. Factual information trumps forum hearsay any day.

        • Christopher Lennon

          No, the 390 is the better card at every resolution. Here is the link to Jaystwocents review where he puts the 390 up against the 970 and the 390 wins at stock and overclocked and jay concludes, who is an nvidia fan by the way, that “…in now way can I recommend the 970 over the 3.0, the 390 is a beast”. Not to mention that it is cheaper as well…now if you want to continue saying the 970 is better, provide a link that refutes mine.

        • Shaun Walsh

          You didnt post a link, but thats ok, i’ve already seen that one. The 390 isnt cheaper also. Its base price is 330, where the 970 can be had for as low as 279 (depending on the deal you find). Here is one link
          And here is another one (although its the 390x instead)

          These cards are trading blows at 1080p, and tied (with a slight lead to the 390) at 1440p. Though I wouldnt say either card is ideal for 1440p (hence why I run a 980ti at 1440p).

    • got r9 290x with a 1000w psu, but planning to crossfire once I got the money for it xD, the r9 290x consumes around 300w on full load, so you’d be fine with a 500w psu depending on your cpu

    • Christopher Lennon

      and so?

  • DoctorT

    The 390 is also just generally more powerful than the 970..

    • Shaun Walsh

      Not really. The 970 is slightly faster at 1080p, they tie at 1440p, and the 390 wins at 4k.

      There is also OC headroom to account for in the 970.

      • cory

        It’s all in driver performance right now. That’s the only reason why the 970 is slightly faster at 1080p than the 390. But in general the 390 has more horse power