Stone Giant is a benchmark tech demo that showcases and measures DirectX 11 performance using the BitSquid Engine. This is a tessellation heavy benchmark that, traditionally, runs very well on nVidia hardware. The jump in measured tessellation performance by the Radeon HD 6990 was so surprisingly high, that we re-ran the test several times to make sure the results were accurate.
We experienced some rather unusual performance results from Stone Giant, scaling well beyond the figures we would have assumed the card would achieve beforehand. For instance a HD6950 scores around 40fps, and a HD6970 is just below 50fps. In full performance mode the HD6990 would consistently score between 100 and 115 fps with this test. Our final result of 107 is the average of all the runs we made between multiple reboots. This is due to the new optimised driver setting which will limit the applied tessellation.
This jump in hardcore tessellation performance is something that no one would have predicted. You can’t help feeling that AMD’s original tessellation engine, in the 5000 series, was broken and that AMD has been fixing the issue in leaps and bounds.