One of the key features of DX11 is, as explained, Tessellation. NVIDIA from the very beginning has been claiming that their Tesselation performance is best, as each of the 15 shader clusters on the GTX 480 has its own little tessellation unit. As such we recorded a part of the Unigine Heaven Benchmark to see if there is any validity in NVIDIA's claims.
Now the results we have seen thus far spread by NVIDIA will differ from ours as we go for the full monty. We select on both a Radeon HD 5870 and GeForce GTX 480 the following settings:
Shaders maxed out to HIGH
So you'll hopefully agree with me that the cards will get a much larger beating opposed to what we have seen in previous results catered by NVIDIA. Let's have a look at what happens.
Now this is a recording of roughly half the time demo and not just vanilla picked Tessellated parts. The red line being the GTX 480 and the blue line the Radeon 5870. You can see already that overall the GTX 480 is crunching better numbers.
But let's focus a little. At timeframe 11 through 31 we have heavy tessellation going on. We immediately see the GTX 480 take the lead. The same at 61 through 81.
Kickers however is the cobblestone road segment in the benchmark, that's timeframe 111 to 121, it's the most heavily tessellated segment of the benchmark. There's no doubt, the GTX 480 is faster in tessellation and overall as well.
Complete benchmark numbers are always different though. The Radeon scores 646 points with 25 FPS average and the GeForce GTX 480 722 points with a 29 FPS average. The GeForce GTX 470 reproduces 480 points with a 19 FPS average.
Please bear in mind we applied very stringent image quality settings to make it harsh on the GPUs.
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