Testing

Test Rig

CPU: Phenom II 1090T @4.2GHz
Motherboard: Gigabyte 990FXA-UD7
RAM: G Skill Ripjaw 1600 7-7-7-24 4gb
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500GB
PSU: Coolermaster Silent Pro 850W
CASE: Corsair 700D

The driver used for testing was CCC 11.10.

Methodology

For graphics card testing, here at XSReviews our aim is to provide a set of clean, reliable benchmarks. For each test, the test was repeated three times and then an average taken or where results were inconsistent, tests were continued until two concordant results were reached.

The benchmarks consist of a mixture of games and synthetic benchmarks; game testing is carried out through a specifically designed benchmark suite for that particular title or by using a time demo and the utility FRAPS to record the frame rates. The following software was used in the testing of the graphics cards:

  • 3Dmark 11
  • 3Dmark Vantage
  • 3Dmark 06
  • Furmark – for temperature testing
  • Unique Heaven
  • DIRT 3
  • Crysis Warhead

3Dmark 11

3Dmark11 is the latest benchmark released from industry standard firm Futuremark. It is being touted as the de-facto way to test DirectX 11 enabled graphics cards and their capabilities of processing the latest 3D features found in modern games.

Futuremark describes the 3Dmark score as “an overall measure of your system’s 3D gaming capabilities, based on comprehensive real-time 3D graphics and processor tests. By comparing your score with those submitted by millions of other gamers you can see how your gaming rig performs, making it easier to choose the most effective upgrades or finding other ways to optimize your system.”

 [easychart type=”horizbar” title=”3Dmark11 Score” groupnames=”GTX 680, GTX 670 AMP!, 5870, 6850, 6950, 7870″ valuenames=”Score” group1values=”8324″ group2values=”8250″ group3values=”4344″ group4values=”3640″ group5values=”5627″ group6values=”7304″ ]

The GTX680 sees a huge score here, showing off the massive DX11 and Tessellation performance.

3Dmark Vantage

3DMark Vantage is the industry standard performance benchmark for DirectX 10 gaming PCs. It includes two graphics tests, two CPU tests and six feature tests. Trusted by gamers worldwide to give accurate and unbiased results, 3DMark Vantage is the best way to consistently and reliably test DirectX 10 under game-like loads.

[easychart type=”horizbar” title=”3Dmark Vantage” groupnames=”GTX 680, GTX 670 AMP!, 5870, 6850, 6950, 7870″ valuenames=”Score” group1values=”26126″ group2values=”26118″ group3values=”19365″ group4values=”15095″ group5values=”19135″ group6values=”22329″ ]

PhysX was turned off for this test and we see the card hit an overall 26126 which is a awesome score although I think we’re seeing some bottle-necking here from the CPU, even while overclocked to 4.3GHz.

3Dmark 06

3DMark06 is a PC benchmark suite designed to test the DirectX9 performance of your graphics card.

A 3DMark score is an overall measure of your system’s 3D gaming capabilities, based on comprehensive real-time 3D graphics and processor tests. By comparing your score with those submitted by millions of other gamers you can see how your gaming rig performs, making it easier to choose the most effective upgrades or finding other ways to optimize your system.

[easychart type=”horizbar” title=”3Dmark06 Score” groupnames=”GTX 680, GTX 670 AMP!, 5870, 6850, 6950, 7870″ valuenames=”Score” group1values=”23602″ group2values=”23776″ group3values=”22659″ group4values=”21587″ group5values=”22780″ group6values=”24245″ ]

For some reason or another the card doesn’t score well in 3D Mark 06, whether it’s the CPU holding it back on not I’m not sure.

Unigine Heaven

“Heaven Benchmark is a DirectX 11 GPU benchmark based on advanced Unigine™ engine from Unigine Corp. It reveals the enchanting magica of floating islands with a tiny village hidden in the cloudy skies. Interactive mode provides emerging experience of exploring the intricate world of steampunk.”

The settings used are:  Shaders – High, Tessellation – Normal, AA – Off, Anistropy – 4, 1280 X 1024 Full screen.

 [easychart type=”horizbar” title=”Unigine Heaven 3″ groupnames=”GTX 680, GTX 670 AMP!, 5870, 6850, 6950, 7870″ valuenames=”Score, FPS” group1values=”2917,115.8″ group2values=”2822,112″ group3values=”1106,43.9″ group4values=”1147,45.6″ group5values=”1445,57.4″ group6values=”2192,87.4″ ]

No bottlenecks in Heaven 3! The GPU was at 99% the entire time. We see big scores here.

About The Author
William Hemmens