On the testbed side of things we've got our X79 setup that we've been using for a while with no changes. Before we get into the performance side of things, though, let's quickly cover the video cards that we'll be using in our graphs here today.
AMD's Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition really needs to be compared against a number of cards. There are three really important ones. The first is the reference clocked HD 7970 which comes in the form of the Diamond HD 7970 3GB. Alongside that the other two big cards that the card needs to be compared against are the GTX 670 and GTX 680 which both come in the form of reference NVIDIA cards.
Along with those cards we've got the Sapphire HD 7950 for comparison sake and two more GTX 680s in the form of the pre-overclocked Gainward Phantom version and the 4GB Palit JetStream card to help us round out the lineup.
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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- Page 1 [Introduction, Card and Specifications]
- Page 2 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup]
- Page 3 [Benchmarks - 3DMark 11]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Mafia II]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Just Cause 2]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Metro 2033]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Dirt 3]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Far Cry 2]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 14 [Temperature Test]
- Page 15 [Sound Test]
- Page 16 [Power Consumption Test]
- Page 17 [Final Thoughts]
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