Test System Setup
As always, we've got a bunch of video cards in our graphs here today. Alongside our Sapphire R9 290 4GB Tri-X OC, we've got the MSI R9 280X Twin Frozr Gaming OC overclocked even higher with a massive 6GB of GDDR5.
Alongside that, we've got our reference R9 290 4GB and R9 290X 4GB running in "Uber Mode." As for the NVIDIA side of things, we've got both the reference GTX 770 2GB and the recently looked at ASUS GTX 780 ROG Poseidon Platinum 3GB OC.
What we're most excited about today, though, is the fact that this is our first review utilizing our new 3840 x 2160 4K Dell Monitor. The way we're approaching this resolution in our reviews is the same way we approach our AA and AF testing.
At the end of the benchmarking, you'll see a new page that will include our video card tested at 3840 x 2160 on a few benchmarks to give us an idea of how our particular video card handles the massive resolution. We'll be testing our full benchmark line up at the resolutions on particular cards in separate articles, so keep an eye out for them.
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 and Package]
- Page 2 [Video Card Details and Specifications]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup & FPS Numbers Explained]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - 3DMark]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Unigine Heaven & Phantasy Star Online 2]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2 & Just Cause 2]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - F1 2012 & Metro Last Light]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Dirt Showdown & Nexuiz]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Sniper Elite V2 & Sleeping Dogs]
- Page 10 [Benchmarks - Hitman Absolution & Tomb Raider]
- Page 11 [Benchmarks - BioShock Infinite & Battlefield 4]
- Page 12 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 13 [Benchmarks - 4K - 3840 x 2160 Testing]
- Page 14 [Temperature & Sound Testing]
- Page 15 [Power Consumption Testing]
- Page 16 [Pricing, Availability and Final Thoughts]