Looking above you can see our testbed and as you'd expect there's really nothing out of the ordinary present with our typical X79 setup being seen here. As for the cards we'll be using today we've got a number of setups including the GTX 580 and standard GTX 680 reference card.
Along with that we've also got the Palit JetStream GTX 680 and the reference GTX 680 overclocked to 1199MHz / 6808MHz QDR. As for the AMD side of things we've got the HD 7970 on the single GPU front.
On the dual GPU front we've got the HD 6990 which continues to be one of the fastest single GPU cards along with the HD 7970 in CrossFire and the same setup overclocked in Crossfire at over 1000MHz on the core.
Before we quickly get into the testing side of things you can see our GPU-Z screenshot below that gives us a run down on the cards we're dealing with today. As we mentioned in our standalone review, the 4GB variant of the Palit JetStream GTX 680 comes in at just the reference clock speeds.
That means the core comes in at 1006MHz while the 4GB of GDDR5 carries a 6008MHz QDR clock. The last thing we want to look at is down the bottom you can see that we've of course got SLI enabled via 2 GPUs.
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.