Looking above you can see our trusty X79 testbed we've been using for a while now. There's not much more that needs to be said about it as everything is really covered in the above image.
As for the video cards we'll be using today in our comparison we've got everything that you'd pretty much expect to see including the older GTX 580 and reference GTX 680. Along with that, though, we've also got the reference GTX 680 overclocked by us which came in at 1199 / 6808MHz QDR. The same memory clock, but slightly lower on the core front.
Of course we've also got some AMD representation with the HD 7950 and HD 7970. Along with that we've also got the HD 7970 overclocked to over 1100MHz on the core and the dual GPU HD 6990 which continues to be one of the fastest cards on the market thanks to the dual GPU nature of it.
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]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Just Cause 2]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Metro 2033]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Dirt 3]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - Far Cry 2]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 15 [Temperature Test]
- Page 16 [Sound Test]
- Page 17 [Power Consumption Test]
- Page 18 [Final Thoughts]