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AMD Radeon R9 285 Review - Battlefield 4, Bioshock Infinite, Crysis 3 and Batman: Arkham Origins performance Review


AMD Radeon R9 285: Battlefield 4 Performance

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Battlefield 4 is one of the PC’s biggest shooters, and it’s also an AMD-optimised game. The latter fact gave us high hopes for the R9 285’s performance, but it got off to an inauspicious start: at 1080p its 37fps minimum equalled the GTX 760, but its 44.16fps average was half a frame behind the Nvidia card.

The mediocre form continued when we upped the resolution to 2,560 x 1,440. The three cards all hit minimums of 25fps or 26fps, but the factory-fresh R9 285’s average of 30.33fps was marginally behind both of its competitors.

No card was playable at 4K using our standard settings – in order to hit smooth framerates at this resolution, you’ll need to dial back the quality or buy a more expensive card.

We hoped the R9 285’s updated architecture and Battlefield 4’s AMD-friendly coding would help the R9 285 pull clear of its older stablemate and the GTX 760 in this benchmark, but that wasn’t the case. The new card trades blows with the GTX 760, but it’s the Nvidia card that takes the narrowest of victories.

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AMD Radeon R9 285: Bioshock Infinite Performance

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Business picked up when we loaded Bioshock Infinite. At 1080p the R9 285 averaged 90.41fps, which was almost seven frames ahead of the GTX 760, and it maintained that advantage when we upped the pixel count. At 2,560 x 1,440, the R9 285 averaged 48.43fps – three frames better than its rival. The R9 285 also outpaced its predecessor, which was at least five frames slower in every average framerate test.

The R9 285 managed to play Bioshock at 4K with a smooth average framerate of 33.38fps. That’s the right side of 30fps, which is something we can’t say about Nvidia – its card faltered at 26.37fps.

The situation wasn’t so clear-cut when it came to minimum framerates. The R9 285 fell behind the GTX 760 at every resolution, but neither card managed to get beyond 30fps – and the tiny slivers of time we’re talking about here means that the framerate drops won’t cause noticeable slow-downs during gameplay.

AMD Radeon R9 285: Crysis 3 Performance

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The R9 285 continued to impress in Crysis 3. In this demanding game, run at 1080p, the new AMD card scored minimum and average framerates of 30fps and 45.91fps. The former figure equalled the GTX 760, while the latter was half a frame ahead.

The story was repeated at 2,560 x 1,440, with the R9 285 matching its rival with its minimum framerate and pulling marginally ahead with its average.

Neither card could manage to play this intensive title at 4K, but the R9 285 led the way in this test. The new AMD card also beat the older R9 280 in almost five of the six Crysis 3 benchmarks.

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AMD Radeon R9 285: Batman: Arkham Origins Performance

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The R9 285 stretched out a commanding lead in Batman: Arkham Origins. At 1080p the new card’s average of 89fps was eleven frames beyond anything that the GTX 760 could manage, and it was even further ahead of the 67fps scored by the R9 280. That pattern was repeated at 2,560 x 1,440, where the new card averaged 68fps: eight frames more than the GTX 760, and 16 better than the R9 280.

The R9 285’s 31fps average at 4K resolution was one frame ahead of the GTX 760. This resolution was the only one where Nvidia’s card could find any solace: its 17fps minimum was two frames better than the R9 285. That’s a rare Batman loss for the R9 285, but it’s not enough to make this game run with significant slowdown when compared to the GTX 760 – if you play at 4K, they’ll look similar.

Batman isn’t a very demanding game, especially at lower resolutions, but the R9 285 was still the clear winner. At 1,920 x 1,080 it easily outpaced its rivals, and it equalled the GTX 760 at 3,840 x 2,160.

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