Testing

Installed

Click to Enlarge

Test Rig

  • CPU: Intel Core i7 3570K @ 3.40GHz
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z77E-ITX
  • RAM: Crucial BallistiX 2x8GB DDR3-1600 CL9
  • Storage: Samsung 830 Pro 256GB SSD
  • PSU: Silverstone SST-ST60F-SG 600W
  • CASE: Silverstone Sugo SG08

Latest driver was downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.

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 Vantage
  • Furmark – for temperature testing
  • Unique Heaven 4.0
  • Lost Planet

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.

Vantage

The results of Vantage are typically hard to interpret, especially in this case where we don’t have reasonable comparison material. In all fairness, on the most extreme settings possible, at a resolution of 1440p, the GTX780 manages to hold its own with very reasonable framerates. 1080p is cake for the GTX780.

Unigine Heaven

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

Unigine Heaven

A same note can be made about Unigine’s Heaven benchmark. Even though hard to interpret, it is clear that at the most extreme preset available, the GTX780 gets off with nearly 60FPS on average, which is a great number. Running the same benchmark on 1440p resulted in rather unwatchable results, with an average of around 20-25FPS. No game realistically requires the performance the Heaven benchmark puts on a graphics card at the moment, though.

Lost Planet

A decade has passed since the first game, and the face of E.D.N. III has changed dramatically. Terra forming efforts have been successful and the ice has begun to melt, giving way to lush tropical jungles and harsh unforgiving deserts. Players will enter this new environment and follow the exploits of their own customized snow pirate on their quest to seize control of the changing planet.

Test A: The primary purpose of Test A is to give an indication of typical game play performance of the PC running Lost Planet 2. (i.e. if you can run Mode A smoothly, the game will be playable at a similar condition).  In this test, the characterfs motion is randomized to give a slightly different outcome each time.

Test B: The primary purpose of Test B is to push the PC to its limits and to benchmark the maximum performance of the PC. It utilizes many functions of Direct X11 resulting in a very performance-orientated, very demanding benchmark mode.

Lost Planet

In both the playability test and the DirectX 11 test, the GTX780 leaves no one wondering; it is an undisputed winner with very acceptable framerates.

Thermals

We check the temperature after the computer has been on for 30 minutes, this is the idle temperature. The typical load temperature is when in playing games on high settings. The Furmark section is dedicated to the extreme burn-in test from Furmark, which puts more pressure on your graphics cards than realistically done by any game or application.

TempNoise

In a normal situation, the Zotac GTX780 is both inaudible and at a very reasonable temperature, at less than 40% fan speed. Under typical load, the card its fan becomes slightly audible, but this is far from annoying, and starts at around 45% fan speed. In Furmark, the card reached no more than 82 degrees Celcius, and the fan speed stayed at 55%, which was audible, but far from a vacuum cleaner. Testing the card at 100% fan speed made me worried my little ITX system would fly out of the window.

About The Author
Albert Vogd