Our testing methods
As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Tests were run at least three times, and we reported the median results. Our test systems were configured like so:
|Processor||Intel Core i7-3770K|
|North bridge||Intel Z77 Express|
|Memory size||4GB (2 DIMMs)|
|Memory type||AMD Memory
DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz
|Chipset drivers||INF update 220.127.116.111
Rapid Storage Technology 11.6
|Audio||Integrated Via audio
with 6.0.01.10800 drivers
|Hard drive||Crucial m4 256GB|
|Power supply||Corsair HX750W 750W|
|OS||Windows 8 Professional x64 Edition|
|Driver revision||GPU base
|AMD Radeon HD 8790M||Catalyst 9.011 RC2||900||1000||2048|
|AMD Radeon HD 7690M||Catalyst 9.011 RC2||600||800||1024|
Thanks to Corsair and Crucial for helping to outfit our test rig—and AMD for supplying the test platform and mobile GPUs, as well.
AMD-specific optimizations for texture filtering and tessellation were disabled in the control panel. Other image quality settings were left at the control panel defaults. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.
We used the following test applications:
Some further notes on our methods:
We used the Fraps utility to record frame rates while playing a 90-second sequence from the game. Although capturing frame rates while playing isn't precisely repeatable, we tried to make each run as similar as possible to all of the others. We tested each Fraps sequence five times per GPU in order to counteract any variability. We've included frame-by-frame results from Fraps for each game, and in those plots, you're seeing the results from a single, representative pass through the test sequence.
We measured total system power consumption at the wall socket using a P3 Kill A Watt digital power meter. The monitor was plugged into a separate outlet, so its power draw was not part of our measurement. The GPUs were plugged into our MXM to PCI Express adapter, which was itself plugged into a motherboard on an open test bench.
The idle measurements were taken at the Windows desktop with the Aero theme enabled. The GPUs were tested under load running Skyrim at its Ultra quality preset.
The tests and methods we employ are generally publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.
|The SSD Endurance Experiment: Only two remain after 1.5PB||61|
|Friday night topic: Conspiracy theories||193|
|GeForce 344.11 WHQL drivers support new cards, new games, G-Sync||7|
|Deal of the week: A 23'' IPS monitor for $150, a 200-mm fan for free, and more||23|
|GeForce GTX 970, 980 cards already widely available||31|
|Curved VA panel powers 27'' Samsung monitor||24|
|Android L to encrypt devices by default||7|
|Nvidia's GeForce GTX 980 and 970 graphics cards reviewed||366|