Well, there are a handful of games today that a single 7970 can't maintain a steady 60fps with at 1920x1080. Even though almost all games are console ports, some developers make the extra effort to add PC-only features that are more demanding on the hardware. One example is Batman:AC, which, with all DX11 features at the highest levels, is too much for a pair of 7970's at 2560x1600 to maintain a steady 60fps. Add in high PhysX (requires a spare nVidia card and some mucking about), and it's even more demanding.
Beyond that, as far as straight console ports go, much will depend on just how much more capable the next generation of consoles are. The big two will both be released within a year most likely. The published specs for the PS4 reveal less than half the raw rendering power of a 7970, but fast unified memory and the CPU and GPU sharing a die means performance will likely be quite high.
I'd guess that within four years, most new games will be more than a single 7970 can handle with all settings set to max. Time will tell.
Agreed, it's going to depend on the games you play. Look at games such as the latest in the Battlefield series or even The Witcher 2, programmed very well so it only takes a single 7970 at very high detail levels. Then look at games such as WoW, FarCry 3, Crysis 3, Skyrim, and any of the console ports which are released quickly, they are very underwhelming.
But then again your definition of "max settings" may be different than ours. For example, AA can cause a large performance hit, yet with the higher resolution textures used in modern games, subjectively you may not notice a difference between 2, 4, and 8x.
The Witcher 2 - 50-60fps with everything maxed, including ubersampling(solid 60fps without). BF3 on ultra, 4xMSAA, solid 60 fps and.. then comes Crysis 3 with 35fps on low, 30 on medium, 25 on high and 10-15 on very high.. I have no idea what in C3 requires that much hardware, it doesn't even look good, over bloomed console port with extremely overused amount of shaders so it looks like a house of mirrors, I feel happy I didn't buy that p-o-s and tested it with the help of a cryshiz fanboy. It is not normal that one would need to trifire 7970's to max something on 1080p..
Intel I7 3770K @ 4.5ghz, Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo, Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H, Gigabyte HD7970 ghz edition, 4x4gb Kingston HyperX Beast 2133mhz, Seasonic Platinum 860, OCZ Vertex 4 128gb, WD Black 1TB, WD Green 3TB+1.5TB, ASUS Xonar Essence ST, ASUS VE278Q, Windows 3.11
One reason why my "free" Crysis 3 code I got with my 7970 (which XFX still has "in testing" longer than I was actually able to use it) sits on my shelf collecting dust...We do have one hope, and that is that consoles are moving closer to computers, and game programmers are finally starting to learn that the community at large aren't going to pay good money for a game that takes massive amounts of money to get playable frame rates because they're to lazy.
That is strange...I am getting 48fps average on crysis3. Everything on high except shaders and game effects which are set to very high. I found using d3d overrider to force triple buffering increased framerate 9fps...this is with vert sync enabled.
Triple buffering + Vsync = Best possible configuration.
People on gaming forums this usually dont understand why, on technical and hardware forums some people agree with it.
Vsync causes frame A to be locked on screen for time of 1 monitor refresh cycle (at 60hz its 16,7 mililseconds = a plenty of time), Frame B is already written in memory, GPU can work on Frame C if there is free (third) buffer. If you dont have it, your peformance is decreasing.
Therefore those two features should be enabled together. Vsync with double buffering is causing dramatical performance reduction. Thats the reason why are people looking for "Adaptive Vsync" and similar useless features.
Secondary positive effect is that CPU and GPU is not generating more frames than your monitor is able to display. This reduces CPU and GPU utilisation and thus power consumption.
Argument regarding longer input lag is not valid if you are able to generate enought frames (typically 60). In this situation input lag is extended by exactly 16,7ms when comparing to disabled Vsync and double buffering.
If you have low framerates its no need to enable Vsync at all. Your PC is unable to run game on constant speed and the performance fluctuates. In such situation its far worse than arguing against vsync and input lag, since unstable performance is generating much longer delays.
that why I believe that Adaptive Vsync is only placebo for those who are unable to fine tune game performance to 60fps. It just turn Vsync ON when FPS grows to 60, otherwise is disabled, but to make this feature have any meaning you need to turn on triple buffering on all times.
Triple buffering is quite memory consuming... Especially on high resolutions.
Xeon X3360, Asus Rampage, Gigabyte HD 7970OC, Corsair HX-650
Largely correct, but some misconceptions in there as well. Vsync is always useful for making sure the frame buffer isn't updated in the middle of a screen refresh, regardless of the frame rate.
Triple buffering only needs to be used when the frame time sometimes goes above the refresh interval (i.e. 16.67ms for a 60Hz display), to avoid dropping from 60fps to 30fps (or 120fps to 60fps for a 120Hz display).
The display lag caused by vsync will never reach 16.67ms. If the frame time is lower than the refresh interval, the display lag due to vsync will be the refresh interval minus the frame time. So a 6ms frame time means that the image displayed at the next refresh will be 10.67ms old. If the frame time is 16ms, then the image would be less than a millisecond old when it was displayed. If the frame time were half a millisecond (possible for very, very old games), then the display lag due to vsync would be over 16ms.
If the frame time goes above the refresh interval, then the display lag due to vsync will vary, but never reach 16.67ms. With triple buffering, of course. Without it, the lag would be 33.33ms minus the frame time.
The only game I've ever seen which had pathological display lag with vsync was Dead Space. Absolutely atrocious with the built-in vsync, that locks the rate to 30fps. Much better but still noticeable if vsync forced from without with D3DOverrider to the native rate (60fps for most people).
No other game I've played (not a small list) had noticeable display lag at all, much less due to vsync. People using PVA or Overdrive panels will have a lot of display lag created by the monitor itself, so it's possible the little bit added by vsync will push it past the point of detection.
I still think screen tearing is much more obnoxious, which is why I always use vsync. I cannot comprehend how some people can claim to not notice it (or, worse, claim it doesn't happen on their screen, despite the statistical impossibility of that being true).
Fluidity is paramount. Eyes evolved to see changes, which is why you can stare at a field of 100 red squares and as soon as one flips to maroon or burgundy, or to another shape or even disappears altogether, you can see it in fractions of a second. Frame rates of movies are 24fps, yet in a theater or on a HDTV using the BR standard 1080p24 they appear fluid and how the same movie using 4¦3 pulldown on non 24hz displays can show jutters. Games can have frame rates in excess of your refresh rate, but if the timings between the frames (something AMD has been hammered for lately) aren't consistent, then you notice that as well, which is why the same game at the same frame rate can subjectively perform worse on AMD hardware than nVidia, even if the frame rate is greater on AMD hardware.
Only games I can think of which really don't like Vsync are TES games, especially I-IV. Bad mouse lag and increased wait/rest times if Vsync was used.