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AMD & NVIDIA 4K Gaming with the ASUS PQ321Q Review

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AMD & NVIDIA 4K Gaming with the ASUS PQ321Q Testing:

As the level of anti-aliasing increases, you have to expect the load on the memory bus on the cards to increase exponentially and drop the overall FPS results accordingly. To test this theory out I ran each card combination through a benchmark run of DiRT 3 with the level of anti-aliasing increased after each run. The results are below and really show the impact when running a resolution of 3840 x 2160. The question is what level of AA is acceptable with such a small pixel size? Measurement of the video memory used will be accomplished by running MSI's Afterburner utility to track memory usage throughout the benchmark run while the FPS average is pulled from the results in the DiRT 3 benchmark tool to illustrate the impact on the overall FPS when increasing the anti-aliasing levels.

DiRT 3

  • MSAA 2x-8x
  • Global Settings= Ultra

















Looking at the amount of frame buffer used in this game, you see that the usage increases as the MSAA level is boosted up from 2x to 8x. Correspondingly, the FPS level drops as you would expect. Even at 8x MSAA with a single card, the frame buffer limits are not reached with a single card or dual card combination. With the pixel density used in a UHD monitor, do you really even need to increase AA levels to have an acceptable viewing experience? In each of the games I ran through with the levels up and down, the biggest impact was the loss of FPS and not so much the visual quality. Reducing the AA level is going to allow you to game with a slightly less expensive graphics card. But that really is not going to be a concern if you are already dropping $3.5K on a monitor. Slapping in a pair of GTX 780s or GTX Titan cards will indeed increase the FPS levels in game. The next best option for AMD is the HD 7990 or even its upcoming Hawaiian Islands GPUs, since the HD 7970 is the current top end GPU in its product stack.

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