|Radeon HD5830 DirectX-11 Gaming Performance|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Bruce Normann|
|Friday, 12 March 2010|
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Video Card Testing Methodology
A word about Benchmarks Review's testing philosophy is in order, here. In almost all of our test protocols, we select the most advanced and challenging settings that are available for each benchmark. We realize that this may not represent the best setting for a user's experience with the game, e.g. no one would choose to run Crysis at 10 FPS if they didn't have to. It's hard enough to watch some of the benchmarks run at that frame rate; actual game play would be just about pointless. Nevertheless, the history of computing, and particularly that of CPUs and GPUs, has shown that hardware always catches up, and then passes the software. So, it makes sense to set the bar high from the beginning, when setting up benchmarks that will have to span multiple generations of hardware.
Our site polls and statistics indicate that the over 90% of our visitors use their PC for playing video games. Since all of the benchmarks we use for testing represent different game engine technology and graphic rendering processes, this battery of tests will provide a diverse range of results for you to gauge performance on your own computer system. The benchmark applications are capable of utilizing lower versions of DirectX, but all testing in this article was completed using DirectX-11, since that was the primary purpose for this follow-up test.
At the start of all tests, the previous display adapter driver is uninstalled and trace components are removed using Driver Cleaner Pro. We were able to use the same driver for all testing in this case, Catalyst 8.703.0.0, which was a point release that occurred to support the release of the HD5830. We then restart the computer system to establish our display settings and define the monitor. Once the hardware is prepared, we begin our testing. According to the Steam Hardware Survey published at the time of Windows 7 launch, the most popular gaming resolution is 1280x1024 (17-19" standard LCD monitors) closely followed by 1024x768 (15-17" standard LCD). However, because these resolutions are considered 'low' by gaming standards, our benchmark performance tests in this follow-up article relied strictly on the native monitor resolution of 1920x1200.
Each benchmark test program begins after a system restart, and the very first result for every test will be ignored since it often only caches the test. This process proved extremely important in the DiRT 2 benchmarks, as the first run served to cache maps allowing subsequent tests to perform much better than the first. This was most evident on the Minimum FPS results, but it had a measureable effect on the average as well. Each test is completed five times, the high and low results are discarded, and the average of the three remaining results is displayed in our article.
Video Card Test Products