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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On the testbed side of things you're not going to see anything here that wasn't really seen in our original launch coverage. We've got the i7 2600k on our ASUS Maximus IV Extreme-Z and our AMD FX-8150 on the ASUS Crosshair V Formula.
Our video card of choice is of course the same MSI GTX 580 and all the other bits and pieces are the same with our Corsair Vengeance RAM, Force GT drive and AX1200 power supply.
Of course, we know the CPUs we're dealing with today, but on the clock speed front we'll have our i7 2600k running at 5.2GHz while the FX-8150 clocks in at a fairly impressive 4.76GHz. These are the same speeds that we saw in our launch coverage.
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.