New Video Card benchmarks
As I mentioned in the introduction, the upgrade of my testbeds ultimately makes all previous results useless. It's at this time I always look at the benchmark line up and see if some changes can be made to help make my reviews better for you.
First let me start with what's gone. Heaven Version 1, CINEBENCH, BattleForge, Darkest of Days and Dark Void. The reasons in order are, Version 2 is more intensive and Tessellation is going to become a large part of the next generation of video cards. CINEBENCH results across most cards show very little fluctuation. The need to log into BattleForge became a pain because if the servers had maintenance, it meant I couldn't complete testing on a product. The fact that PhysX couldn't be turned off in Darkest of Days meant that AMD and NVIDIA cards couldn't be squared off evenly in it, and Dark Void is gone because I'm just sick of seeing it; it's really quite boring.
As for what's staying, 3DMark Vantage, for the simple reason it just needs to be there. It's a great starting point for our reviews. Heaven Version 2, we needed to keep one and the latest version was the logical step. Resident Evil 5, H.A.W.X. and Far Cry 2 stayed because they're just great benchmarks along with Batman AA because it looks good, runs well on most cards and supports PhysX.
As for what's been added, Mafia 2. It's new, PhysX can be turned on and off, and it's really intensive. Also, we went for the standalone benchmarks for Lost Planet 2, Aliens vs Predator, Final Fantasy XIV and Street Fighter IV. Also added is a few more AA tests which now include some of those games along with Far Cry 2 still being there.
While most of the line-up is surrounded by NVIDIA's Way it's Meant to be Played games, I'm going to be honest and say it's because they've taken the time to work with companies and offer these really handy stand alone benchmarks which gives users a real good indication of game performance. The only thing stopping AMD from offering the same kind of support is AMD. As always, though, we're keeping an eye out for what's being released and I'm sure we'll see changes in the future.