Now that we have an idea of how the cards stand compared to each other, it’s finally time to get down to the in-game performance numbers. To do that I ran through our entire in-game benchmark test suite. The suite has 12 different games tested at both 1080p and 1440p at their highest settings. Three of the games are also tested in more than one configuration to see the difference between DX11 and DX12 performance or in the case of the most recent addition, DOOM I test out both OpenGL and Vulkan performance. The problem is, with so many results it can be a little too much to take in. To help with that I have condensed our results into two graphs, one for 1080p and the other for 1440p. All of our games are run at their max settings and we use the average FPS as the end result. The graphs below are broken down into three FPS ranges to represent unplayable (below 30), playable but not ideal (30 to 60), and ideal (over 60 FPS). So what did I find from those results? Well at 1080p, no big surprise here. The RX 480 Nitro ran through all of our benchmarks at 1080p with their settings cranked up. Two came in playable at over 30 FPS and those were both Ashes of the Singularity, a game that is always very demanding at the ultra-settings. Everything else came in at 60FPS or above. The same really for 1440p only this time there were more games in the 30-60 FPS range. Only one game was unplayable at its max settings and that was again Ashes of the Singularity. In DX11 it was below 30 FPS but DX12 bumped things up into the playable range even without adjusting the settings.
As always I also include all of our individual results for anyone who wants to wade through them. There were a few things I was specifically interested in. For starters, the 480 Nitro outperformed the reference card in every single test ran. In five of those tests, it also outperformed the GTX 1060 Founders Edition. This was mostly in the DX12 and Vulkan benchmarks where the RX 480 and frankly all AMD cards have a noticeable performance jump over Nvidia. In Doom, the 480 Nitro performed well in OpenGL with 88 FPS, but it jumped all the way up to 129 FPS when running Vulkan. That is a HUGE improvement.