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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  • Orange_Swan - Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - link

    Hexus have got a review with both the Radeon VII and the Vega 64.
  • Orange_Swan - Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - link

    from their review, it seems to be between the 2060 FE and the 2060 Super FE, if you HAD to get a GPU right now, rather than weighting for the new AMD releases, it would be a no brainer to go for the 2060 rather than the vega 64 as the only real advantage the 64 has is more memory, while the 2060 is cooler, quieter and uses less power.
  • V900 - Thursday, July 4, 2019 - link

    The 2060Super is definitely worth the 30-50$ more it costs compared to the 2060.

    You get way higher performance in both frame rates and RTX.

    You get
  • Vitor - Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - link

    Crazy how 4k/60fps is still a dream even for a great gpu. Oh well, joy and fun still can be had in 1440 or 1080.
  • Toss3 - Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - link

    That only if you insist on having everything on ultra (which isn't the best option considering the differences between high and ultra are so small you wouldn't know the difference).
  • Toss3 - Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - link

  • Gastec - Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - link

    You know that you CAN tweak graphics settings in video games, you don't just have to choose between generic terms like "Ultra" and "High"
  • Robs2010M6S - Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - link

    That isn't remotely true.. I have been gaming at native 4k now since 2017 with a 1080ti, 5ghz 8700k and 16GB DDR4 3600mhz ram and today I can still crank out 60fps at 4k with the latest and greatest titles. The reason no one thinks its possible is because they are stubborn hard heads and think that every single last setting has to be cranked to full ultra or they must use absurd levels of AA which is completely stupid at 4k to start with... A lot of modern games have a few settings you can tweak which rape performance for very little IF anything in return visually over their lower settings such as high or very high instead of ultra and when you take the time to find these settings 60fps at 4k with a decent rig isnt hard to achieve at all.
  • Dug - Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - link

    I would love to know settings on these games to get constant 60fps at 4k. The one's benchmarked here I have issues with at 4k, even when lowering settings.
    I'm not saying you can't get there, avg fps seem to dictate you can, but there are just too many dips below 60 that ruin the experience.
    1440 seems like the sweet spot.
  • JoeyJoJo123 - Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - link

    Thanks for breaking the pervasive stupidity on 4k60 being impossible. I, too, have been playing latest gen titles, just removing or disabling the awful settings (motion blur, godrays, etc), and using medium settings on the two big performance hitters (shadows and AA), and the game still looks 90% as good with 50~60% more framerate.

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