As you'd expect, as we climb higher up the mountain and test more and more video cards, the number of cards in our graphs continue to grow. As we mentioned earlier, the new R9 290X 4GB carries with it a switch that lets you choose between two BIOS modes. While the clock rates don't change, "Quiet Mode" focuses on keeping noise down, while "Uber Mode" focuses on keeping performance up. We will be testing the R9 290X 4GB in both modes to see if there's any kind of difference.
Along with comparing the card against itself, though, we've got a number of AMD offerings including the PowerColor PCS HD 7950 2GB overclocked to over 1100MHz, while the reference HD 7970 GHz Edition rounds off our collection of previous generation AMD cards.
We finish off the AMD side of things with the Sapphire R9 280X 3GB TOXIC, which did an awesome job of impressing us, while we've also included the MSI R9 280X 2GB Twin Frozr Gaming OC cards in CrossFire.
As for the NVIDIA side of things, we've got the reference GTX 770 2GB, along with the MSI GTX 780 3GB Lightning we just finished looking at. Of course being a Lightning card, we overclocked it, and as you'll see in our graphs today, the core was pushed to 1020MHz, while the 3GB of GDDR5 was pushed to 6540MHz QDR. Finally we finish off the NVIDIA side with the pre-overclocked EVGA GTX TITAN 6GB SuperClocked.
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.
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 that reason 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 comes 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.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [The Card and Specifications]
- Page 3 [Benchmarks - Test System Setup]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - 3DMark 11]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - 3DMark Fire Strike]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Phantasy Star Online 2]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Just Cause 2]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - F1 2012]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - Metro Last Light]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - Dirt Showdown]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - Nexuiz]
- Page 14 [Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2]
- Page 15 [Benchmarks - Sleeping Dogs]
- Page 16 [Benchmarks - Far Cry 2]
- Page 17 [Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution]
- Page 18 [Benchmarks - Tomb Raider]
- Page 19 [Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite]
- Page 20 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 21 [Temperature Test]
- Page 22 [Sound Test]
- Page 23 [Power Consumption Test]
- Page 24 [Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts]
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