As usual, we've got a bunch of cards in our graphs today that sit alongside the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB. On the AMD side of things, we've got the HIS R9 270 IceQ X2 2GB, reference R9 270X 2GB, ASUS R9 270X DirectCU II TOP 2GB, VisionTek R9 280X 3GB, along with the reference R9 290 4GB, and R9 290X 4GB in Uber Mode to round things off. Along with all those AMD offerings, we've also got the NVIDIA GTX 770 2GB.
Before we get into the performance side of things today, it's worth quickly noting that the PowerColor R9 270X PCS+ 2GB is on the latest 13.12 WHQL driver. This is the first WHQL driver that the new R series based video cards have seen.
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 drama.
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 this, 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 come 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.