Test Setup and Errata

I am currently unable to do the frame rating/frame pacing testing that Ryan does.  It simply costs a lot of money to get that setup.  Instead, I have used the more traditional testing of FPS across multiple applications and benchmarks.  In this context, it certainly does not invalidate these results.  I do not test in SLI or CrossFire, which is where we see issues primarily crop up with frame rating.  Ryan covers every new GPU with the frame rating suite, so if a reader is curious about those results, they can find them here.

I recently changed from the AMD test system to the Intel based i7 3770K.  This CPU certainly pushes even high end graphics cards and gives us a better look at their theoretical performance.  I also started testing in only 1920×1200 and 2560×1600.  1080P is the most common resolution that games are typically run in, due to the extreme affordability of 1080P panels.

I test the cards in a rather large case, instead of an open air workstation.  I believe this is more representative of most usage scenarios, and the controlled airflow does provide positive results when it comes to thermals.

I also tested the three top end cards in Eyefinity/Surround.  Resolution is set to 5760×1200 and the applications used are Skyrim, GRID 2, Battlefield 3, and Bioshock Infinity.

For comparative purposes I use the MSI Twin Frozr HD 7950 OC and the MSI R7970 Lightning.

Intel i7 3770K

Gigabyte G1 Sniper 3

GSkill 2 x 4GB DDR-3 1866

WD 1 TB Caviar Black HD

Lite-On BDR

Enermax Fulmo GT Case

Corsair AX1200 Power Supply

Windows 7 64 Bit

NVIDIA 320.18 Drivers

Catalyst 13.6 Beta 2



I try to have a good balance of synthetic testing combined with real world results.  I believe this is a good balance of what is theoretically possible with these chips vs. what we see in actual games.  Let us start off with the synthetics first.

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