Looking above you can see our testbed and in normal fashion we won't go into too much detail as everything is really covered in the above image. What we will quickly do, though, is cover the video cards that we'll be using today.
Of course we've got the Sapphire HD 7970 GHz Edition Vapor-X 3 GB overclocked, but alongside that we've got the older non GHz Edition of the HD 7970 along with the new GHz Edition. We've also included the TOXIC variant of the GHz Edition from Sapphire which did an excellent job of impressing us with it's massive out of the box clocks of 1200MHz on the core and 6400MHz QDR on the 6GB of GDDR5. These numbers are very close to what we saw out of the Vapor-X model today so performance between the two cards should be quite similar.
Along with those AMD cards we've also got some NVIDIA cards included in our line up today which include three variants of the GTX 680. We've got the reference 2GB model, the 4GB model from Palit under the Jetstream name and finally the pre-overclocked 2GB version from Gainward under the Phantom name.
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 and Package]
- Page 2 [The Card and Specifications]
- Page 3 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - 3DMark 11]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Mafia II]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator]
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