The video cards you'll see in our graphs today are fairly standard with what you've been seeing lately from us. From the AMD side we've got the PowerColor HD 7950 overclocked to over 1100MHz on the core, the AMD reference HD 7970 GHz Edition and the AMD reference HD 7990. We've chosen to not include the HD 7990 6GB OC results in our graphs today because of the issues we had when overclocking the model.
As for the NVIDIA side we've got the reference GTX 650 TI Boost in SLI, alongside a pair of Gainward cards that are overclocked to over 1100MHz each. We've also got the GTX TITAN in a bunch of setups, including at the out of the box clocks that EVGA offer in the SuperClocked model, along with the core overclocked at 975MHz and finally a pair running in SLI mode.
Before we get into the performance, we just want to take a quick look that everything is working fine. You can see above that CrossFire is indeed enabled and in this instance it's enabled via three GPUs. While the memory clock on both cards are the same, the HD 7970 GHz Edition has a 50MHz core clock increase. While normally we'd push the HD 7990 6GB up to that speed, so that all three GPUs lined up, because of the issues we had with the new dual GPU model when overclocking, we decided to leave it at the default clock speed.
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.
Why are some graphs incomplete?
Adding new game benchmarks is a long, tedious and time consuming task as every video card has to be re-tested in those new benchmarks. Because of that reason we have always just evaluated our benchmark line up every six months. To stay up to date and current with the latest benchmarks and games available, we've changed our approach to adding new benchmarks.
Our benchmark line up will progress and be updated as newer more intensive games with benchmarks comes to light. While this will mean that initially you may only see a single video card in those particular graphs, as the weeks go on and we test more and more video cards, the results will grow quickly. This will help keep our benchmark line up as up to date as possible as we introduce and remove games on a constant basis.