3DMark (2013)'s Fire Strike benchmark consists of two tests with extreme levels of tessellation and volumetric illumination, as well as complex smoke simulation using compute shaders and dynamic particle illumination. The first test called Fire Strike is designed for enthusiast-level graphics cards and dual-GPU setups; while the second, called Fire Strike Extreme, ramps up the difficulty with more tessellation, more particle effects and more taxing DirectCompute calculations.
The ASUS Radeon R9 280X card took the pole position for both tests, and against its direct rival in the form of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770, the ASUS card led by margins in the range of 8- to 8.7%. Against the previous generation AMD Radeon 7970 GHz edition card, the newer ASUS card managed to pull ahead by roughly 5% on both occasions.
Crysis 3, the much anticipated sequel to Crysis 2 and continues to be an absolute beast of a game, , much like its predecessors. It utilizes CryEngine 3, with extreme amounts of tessellation, per-pixel per-object motion blur, Bokeh Depth of Field, displacement mapping on small terrain, particle and volumetric lighting and fog shadows, improved dynamic cloth and vegetation, dynamic caustics and diffuse shadows.
For this benchmark, the ASUS card only showed the strength of the improved GCN architecture of its new R9 280X GPU, when the anti-aliasing feature of the game was enabled. This can be partly attributed to the benefits of the 48 Raster Operator units of the new GPU; in comparison, the older Radeon HD 7970 card only features 32 ROPs. This increment in the number of ROPs allows the GPU to write more pixel data to the video memory simultaneously per clock cycle. This operation will allow for better anti-aliasing performance for game titles. However, this benefit was only witnessed at Full HD resolution. At 2560 x 1600 pixels resolution, the newcomer was hardly better than the last generation. Gains over the GeForce GTX 770 was marginal to negligible as it too has 48 ROP units. What's surprising is the poor non-AA performance of the Radeon R9 280X in this test.