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4K Showdown - Intel X79 vs. X99 with ASUS GeForce GTX 980 4GB Quad SLI

By: Shawn Baker | NVIDIA SLI Articles in Video Cards | Posted: Oct 1, 2014 1:06 pm

Test System Setup




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


When it comes to clock speeds, we'll be running both setups overclocked. That means that the older X79 i7 4960X setup will be running at 4.8GHz on our ASUS RAMAGE IV EXTREME. As for the X99 i7 5960X setup, that comes clocked in a little lower at 4.6GHz, but of course carries with it more cores and an upgrade in a few other key areas that drives performance to new levels.


The big thing about our benchmark line up here today is that everything is tested at the massive 4K resolution or 3840 x 2160. This is going to be interesting as more often than not, when we move to a resolution this high, the difference between FPS is minimal as it's all about the video card setups and not the motherboard, CPU and RAM one.


Still, let's find out, just what kind of setup you should be pairing with that Quad SLI GTX 980 4GB setup.



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.

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