This was discussed in test methodology, but it's worth bringing up again here: We're between two benches right now, transitioning, but we wanted to bring you all the latest game benchmarks. That includes Assassin's Creed: Syndicate and Fallout 4, both tested on our X99 platform. The rest of the games were tested on the Z97 platform.
Fallout 4 Benchmark – GTX 970 Hybrid vs. SSC, 390X, 980
Fallout 4 is one of the poorest-performing titles we've tested all year. There's no denying the game's popularity, though, and so we've inducted it into our GPU bench for the immediate future. We tested Fallout 4 at both 1080p and 1440p resolutions, settings tuned to 'ultra' across the board.
The GTX 970 SSC predictably outperforms the Hybrid, a result of the 50MHz stock gap, but only by about 2.5% on average – that comes out to 2FPS on the 1080p configuration. As we venture into thermals, power, and overclocking, the picture will become more clear as to the card's potential value; as it stands from this first chart, it's a tough sell for marginally lower FPS than on a same-model card.
The Hybrid isn't all about raw stock performance, as we'll find momentarily.
Assassin's Creed Syndicate Benchmark – GTX 970 Hybrid vs. SSC, 390X, 980
We tested Assassin's Creed Syndicate using our “Ultra Custom” settings, a configuration that we devised and developed during methodological research for ACS.
The above results somewhat mirror our Fallout 4 testing, producing a ~2.82% delta between the AVG FPS of the SSC and Hybrid. Again, that translates to about 2FPS AVG. Measurable, well outside of margin of error, but small.
If you're looking at the Hybrid, it's probably also worth looking at the air cooled 390X cards that are out there. In this instance, as we discussed and analyzed in our ACS benchmark, the R9 390X significantly under-performs against the GTX 970 cards – even the cheaper, $350 SSC model.
Star Wars Battlefront Benchmark – GTX 970 Hybrid vs. SSC, 390X, 980
Battlefront shows an even smaller delta at ~2%, ultimately producing yet another ~2FPS gap. Consistency is a good thing. So far, between the three games we've looked at, the 50MHz clockrate disparity has produced about a ~2-3% performance differential.
Here's the platform we're transitioning to other tests, but still use for some of the “core” benchmarks.
Metro: Last Light Benchmark – GTX 970 Hybrid vs. Reference 970, SSC
This chart's a little more interesting. Back when we briefly had an EVGA GTX 970 1050MHz card, provided by JPR, we ran it through a few of our then-standard bench games. In Metro: Last Light, the 1050MHz card (from EVGA, making it yet more comparable) lands a full 14.2% lower (AVG FPS) than the SSC model, priced just $40 more. That's a performance gap that becomes noticeable, creating more than a 10FPS swing between the two at 1080p. The Hybrid lands at ~9.3% faster than the 1050MHz card.
At 1440p, the swing is the difference between 50FPS (1050MHz) and 57FPS (1190MHz), with the Hybrid (1140MHz) landing at 55FPS.
Shadow of Mordor Benchmark – GTX 970 Hybrid vs. SSC, 390X, 980
As with Metro: Last Light, we've got the 1050MHz 970 present here as well. This card drives 71FPS AVG, measurably lower than the 77FPS AVG output of the Hybrid (8.1%). The SSC hits 80FPS, which is a gain of 3.8% over the Hybrid and 11.9% over the reference clock.
The three cards fall into a tight cluster at 1440p, ranking 58, 56, and 53FPS AVG across the respective reference clock, Hybrid, and SSC models.
COD: Black Ops III Benchmark – GTX 970 Hybrid vs. SSC, 390X, 980
First off, check our Black Ops III optimization guide to fully understand all of the graphics settings.
Using the same two cards as above and moving to our Z97 bench, which will soon – eventually – be deprecated, we're seeing still similar results. A 1.89% gap separates the performance of the SSC and Hybrid, the SSC leading.
The Witcher 3 Benchmark – GTX 970 Hybrid vs. SSC, 390X, 980
1.87%. There's an obvious trend here and, until we get to thermals and overclocking, it likely won't be broken. The 50MHz clock increase of the SSC over the Hybrid is entirely attributable to the card's performance advantage. The R9 390X lands between the two competing 970s, but suffers from dismal 0.1% low performance, as most AMD cards seem to do in The Witcher 3.
GTA V Benchmark – GTX 970 Hybrid vs. SSC, 390X, 980
This one's exciting – a whole 2.56%. Both cards retain admirable performance, with the R9 390X finally pulling slightly ahead in GTA V.
GRID: Autosport Benchmark – GTX 970 Hybrid vs. SSC, 390X, 980
GRID: Autosport wraps-up our game benchmarks; at least, until we get to the overclocked testing. The GTX 970 Hybrid performs just 1.7% slower than the SSC model, bringing us back down to the relatively uninteresting results.
Continue to the next page for thermals, power, overclocking, and the conclusion!