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Surround Vision Examined with ASUS MARS II 3GB Dual GTX 580

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA GeForce GPU in Video Cards | Posted: Aug 24, 2011 6:19 am
Manufacturer: ASUS



We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, MSI, Western Digital and Corsair.


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The testbed side of things doesn't bring with it anything out of the ordinary. For connectivity, we opted to use two DVI cables and a single HDMI port and of course fired up the Surround Vision configuration in the NVIDIA driver suite.




Before we get into the testing side of things, though, let's just quickly look at the resolution we're dealing with today. 3600 x 1200 is of course 3x the resolution of just a single 1920 x 1200 display, or slightly more than 3x when compared to a 1920 x 1080 display. Compared to the highest single resolution monitor, the 30" 2560 x 1600 beasts, the difference is also very large.


A single 2560 x 1600 display offers 4,096,000 pixels. 3600 x 1200, while not sounding that much higher than 2560 x 1600, the setup actually offers 6,912,000 pixels. This equates to almost 70% more pixels, or 70% more stress on the video card(s).


On the benchmark side of things we've cut out a few like 3DMark Vantage and Unigine Heaven. Any games, though, continue to be included with the only other testing removed today being AA / AF testing.


On the comparison front, we've just got the MARS II in our graphs today. Next to our 3600 x 1200 testing we have included our 2560 x 1600 results to help give you an idea of just how much more intensive the Surround Vision setup is that we're using today. The main thing we want to know is; can we still get playable FPS out of this single card solution at the massive 3600 x 1920 resolution?


Let's get started!



The FPS Numbers Explained


When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.


30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.


60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.


120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

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