|VisionTek 900338 Radeon HD 6870 Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Saturday, 30 October 2010|
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VGA Testing Methodology
The Microsoft DirectX-11 graphics API is native to the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, and will be the primary O/S for our test platform. DX11 is also available as a Microsoft Update for the Windows Vista O/S, so our test results apply to both versions of the Operating System. The majority of benchmark tests used in this article are comparative to DX11 performance, however some high-demand DX10 tests have also been included.
According to the Steam Hardware Survey published for the month ending September 2010, the most popular gaming resolution is 1280x1024 (17-19" standard LCD monitors). However, because this 1.31MP resolution is considered 'low' by most standards, our benchmark performance tests concentrate on higher-demand resolutions: 1.76MP 1680x1050 (22-24" widescreen LCD) and 2.30MP 1920x1200 (24-28" widescreen LCD monitors). These resolutions are more likely to be used by high-end graphics solutions, such as those tested in this article.
In each benchmark test there is one 'cache run' that is conducted, followed by five recorded test runs. Results are collected at each setting with the highest and lowest results discarded. The remaining three results are averaged, and displayed in the performance charts on the following pages.
A combination of synthetic and video game benchmark tests have been used in this article to illustrate relative performance among graphics solutions. Our benchmark frame rate results are not intended to represent real-world graphics performance, as this experience would change based on supporting hardware and the perception of individuals playing the video game.
Cost to Performance Ratio
For this article Benchmark Reviews has included cost per FPS for graphics performance results. An average of the five least expensive product prices are calculated, which do not consider tax, freight, promotional offers, or rebates into the cost. All prices reflect product series components, and do not represent any specific manufacturer, model, or brand. The median retail prices for each product were obtained from NewEgg.com and current as of 25-October-2010:
Intel X58-Express Test System
DirectX-10 Benchmark Applications
DirectX-11 Benchmark Applications
Video Card Test Products