New methods: some examples
Our first set of example data comes from our GeForce GTX 560 Ti review. We published that review early this year, so the drivers we used in it are rather dated by now, but results should serve to help us test out some new methods, regardless. We'll be looking at results from Battlefield: Bad Company 2; the image quality settings we used for testing are shown below.
Interestingly enough, although it's a boatload of data, we can plot the frame times from each video card fairly easily, just as we have plotted FPS over time in the past. One big difference is that lower frame times are more desirable, so we'll read these plots differently. For example, the bright green line from the GeForce GTX 570 is the most desirable result of any of the GeForce cards.
As you can see, even though the data are scrunched together pretty tightly, outliers like especially high frame times can be picked out easily. Also, notice that faster cards tend to produce more frames, so there's more data for the higher-performance solutions.
We can still line up a couple of direct competitors for a head-to-head comparison graph, too. Overall, I think this result illustrates nicely how very closely matched these two video cards are. The GTX 560 Ti is markedly faster only in a short span from frames 2150 to 2250 or so—well, except for that one outlier from the Radeon at around frame 500. Let's put on our magnification glasses and take a closer look at it.