To test the performance of video cards at eTeknix we run a variety of tests at four different resolutions, where supported and appropriate, across a suite of games and benchmarks. We run each of these benchmarks three times to take an average and use the latest WHQL-certified video card drivers from AMD and Nvidia to test with.
To attain noise levels we hold a decibel meter approximately 3 inches away from the card after running Furmark for five minutes. To achieve idle noise we allow the system to stay idle at the desktop for 5 minutes before taking a noise reading.
To achieve temperatures we take the maximum temperature of the GPU core during Furmark load as recorded by CPUID HW Monitor. To achieve idle temperatures we take the minimum recorded GPU core temperature in CPUID HW Monitor after desktop-idling for 5 minutes. We then convert these temperatures into Delta temperatures – that is = actual recorded temperature minus the ambient temperature of the room. Note we do not alter the default fan profile in any way, all graphics cards are left to run at their stock settings. In the near future we will also be adding a second thermal measurement utilising Unigine Heaven 4.0 to ensure “realistic” temperature figures to compliment the Furmark ones.
To measure power consumption we take the maximum power consumption at idle on the desktop over a 5 minute period, and for load we take the maximum stable power consumption during Furmark load. Like with acoustic measurements we do not read off the maximum stable power consumption value until after 5 minutes to give the system enough time to stabilise at its power envelope. To address recent developments in thermal throttling (and Furmark throttling more specifically) we take our measurements within the first 30 seconds to a minute on cards that dramatically clock down when hot (e.g. the R9 290X) as this causes there power consumption to appear much lower. In the near future we will also be adding a second load power consumption measurement utilising Unigine Heaven 4.0 to ensure “realistic” power consumption figures to compliment the Furmark ones.
- Motherboard – Asus Rampage IV Extreme X79 LGA 2011 (chipset fan disabled)
- Processor – Intel Core i7 3960X at stock clock speeds of 3.3GHz with Turbo Mode disabled.
- RAM – 16GB (2 X 8GB) Corsair Vengeance Pro Series 1866MHz at 9-10-9-27
- CPU Cooler – Corsair H100i with Quiet Fan Profile
- Power Supply – Corsair HX1050W
- Main Storage Drive – Kingston HyperX 240GB SSD over SATA III interface
- Chassis – Lian Li T60 Test Bench
- Displays – Dell U2711 Ultra Sharp for 2560 by 1440 and we use the LG IPS 234 & LG IPS 224 with the Dell U2711 Ultra Sharp to run 5760 by 1080.
- Operating System – Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit
We would like to thank Asus, Corsair, Kingston, Lian Li and all our other partners who supplied us with test equipment and hardware. Their generosity makes our testing possible and without them we wouldn’t be able to produce the reviews we do, so thank you!
- Aliens Vs Predator
- Dirt Showdown
- Hitman: Absolution
- Metro Last Light
- Sleeping Dogs
- Bioshock Infinite
- Tomb Raider
Resolutions Used (where possible)
- 1680 x 1050
- 1920 x 1080
- 2560 x 1440
- 5760 x 1080
- Plug “killawatt” style electricity usage meter
- Benetech GM1351 decibel meter
- 3DMark 11
- 3DMark 2013
- CPUID HWMonitor
- Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0
- Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
- Furmark 1.10.5