The 2019 GPU Benchmark Suite & The Test

As we’re kicking off a new(ish) generation of video cards, we’re also kicking off a new generation of the AnandTech GPU benchmark suite.

For 2019 most of the suite has been refreshed to include games released in the last year. The latest iteration of the Tomb Raider franchise, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, is 2019’s anchor title and is the game used for power/temperature/noise testing as well as game performance testing. Also making its introduction to the GPU benchmark suite for the first time is an Assassin’s Creed game, thanks to Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’s extra-handy built-in benchmark.

For 2019 Ashes of the Singularity has been rotated out, so we’re empty on RTSes at the moment. But as an alternative we have Microsoft’s popular Forza Horizon 4, which marks the first time a Forza game has been included in the suite.

AnandTech GPU Bench 2019 Game List
Game Genre Release Date API
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Action/TPS Sept. 2018 DX12
F1 2019 Racing Jun. 2019 DX12
Assassin's Creed Odyssey Action/Open World Oct. 2018 DX11
Metro Exodus FPS Feb. 2019 DX12
Strange Brigade TPS Aug. 2018 Vulkan
Total War: Three Kingdoms TBS May. 2019 DX11
The Division 2 FPS Mar. 2019 DX12
Grand Theft Auto V Action/Open world Apr. 2015 DX11
Forza Horizon 4 Racing Oct. 2018 DX12

All told, I’m pleasantly surprised by the number of DirectX 12-enabled AAA games available this year. More than half of the benchmark suite is using DX12, with both AMD and NVIDIA cards showing performance gains across all of the games using this API. So this is a far cry from the early days of DX12, where using the low-level API would often send performance backwards. And speaking of low-level APIs, I’ve also thrown in Strange Brigade for this iteration, as it’s one of the only major Vulkan games to be released in the past year.

Finally, I’ve also kept Grand Theft Auto V as our legacy game for 2019. Despite being released for the PC over 4 years ago – and for game consoles 2 years before that – the game continues to be one of the top selling games on Steam. And even with its age, the scalability of the game means that it’s a heavy enough load to challenge even the latest video cards.

As for our hardware testbed, it too has been updated for the 2019 video card release cycle.

Internally we’ve made a pretty big change, going from an Intel HEDT platform (Core i7-7820X) to a standard desktop platform based around an overclocked Core i9-9900K and Z390 chipset. While we’ve used HEDT platforms for the GPU testbed for the last decade, HEDT is becoming increasingly irrelevant/compromised for gaming; while the extra PCIe lanes are nice, these platforms haven’t delivered the best CPU performance for games as of late.

By contrast, desktop processors with 8 cores now provide more than enough cores, and they also provide far better clockspeeds, delivering more of the single/lightly-threaded performance that games need. Furthermore, as SLI and Crossfire are on the rocks, the extra PCIe lanes aren’t as necessary as they once were.

On a side note, I had originally hoped to cycle in a Ryzen 3000 platform at this point, particularly for PCIe 4.0. However the timing of all of these hardware launches meant that we needed to go with an established platform, as it takes a week or so to build and validate a new GPU testbed. Plus with Ryzen 3000 not launching for another week, we wouldn’t have been able to use it for this review anyhow.

Otherwise the rest of our 2019 GPU testbed is relatively straightforward. With 32GB of RAM and a high-end Phison E12-based NVMe SSD, the system and any video cards being tested as well-fed. Enclosing all of this for our real-world style testing is our trusty NZXT Phantom 630 Windowed Edition case.


CPU: Intel Core i9-9900K @ 5.0GHz
Motherboard: ASRock Z390 Taichi
Power Supply: Corsair AX1200i
Hard Disk: Phison E12 PCIe NVMe SSD (960GB)
Memory: G.Skill Trident Z RGB DDR4-3600 2 x 16GB (17-18-18-38)
Case: NZXT Phantom 630 Windowed Edition
Monitor: Asus PQ321
Video Cards: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2070 Super Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2060 Super Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2080 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2070 Founders Edition
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 2060 Founders Edition
AMD Radeon RX Vega 64
Video Drivers: NVIDIA Release 431.15
AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.6.3
OS: Windows 10 Pro (1903)
Meet the GeForce RTX 2070 Super & RTX 2060 Super Shadow of the Tomb Raider
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  • Phynaz - Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - link

    Navi isn’t going to help
  • tamalero - Wednesday, July 3, 2019 - link

    different markets. supposedly VEGA is a compute strong card vs a pure gaming card of most of Nvidia lineup.
  • imaskar - Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - link

    Compute strong card without CUDA, which most of compute software relies on. Cool.
  • sing_electric - Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - link

    You might be right, but AMD's got a limited ability to lower the price on any of its Vega-based GPUs, partly because the HBMII memory on it is ridiculously expensive, and partly because the sheer wattage of these cards and chips means that they need to have pretty beefy card/cooling designs, etc.

    That's why we never really saw great deals on the Vega 56/64 even after the RTX cards came out with better performance/$ (or /w) or most consumer applications.
  • Meteor2 - Saturday, July 6, 2019 - link

    And because cryptominers bought all of them.
  • Dark42 - Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - link

    Much more important are the prices for the 5700 (XT). If AMD's Computex performance figures are correct, we now have the situation:

    5700 XT at 449$ is ~5-10% faster then the 2060 Super at 399$.
    5700 at 379$ beats is ~10-15% faster then the 2060 at 349$.
    Also there is the game bundle situation in favor of nvidia.

    With these prices, the 5700 makes no sense - for just 20$ more you get a much better 2060 Super.
    Similar for the 5700 XT: 50$ more for just 5-10% is too much.
    AMD must lower their prices, the question is by how much?
    If AMD brings the 5700 XT down to 399$ and 5700 to 349$ then Nvidia is in a world of hurt.
    Nvidia can't lower their prices too much because their chips are big and expensive and can't react with new chips anytime soon.
    While AMD has room for a price war with the small 7nm chips and more Navi variants on the horizon.
  • The_Assimilator - Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - link

    > Nvidia can't lower their prices too much because their chips are big and expensive

    NVIDIA can lower their prices all they want because they've got cash in the bank. But they won't, firstly because they just did, and secondly because they already have the market sewn up. Even if Navi does undercut Turing pricing, the former still has to overcome the market dominance of the latter (and Pascal).
  • Meteor2 - Saturday, July 6, 2019 - link

    This. The 5700 line is dead without a price-cut, immediately.
  • Gastec - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - link

    "Nvidia can't lower their prices too much because their chips are big and expensive" . You seem to know quite a lot about how much money Nvidia spends on making their products. WikiLeaks or pure divine inspiration?
  • just4U - Friday, July 5, 2019 - link

    Amd won't drop the price on the Vega VII, it keeps selling out.. limited supplies or super (heh..) popular?

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