|PowerColor PCS+ HD6950 Vortex II|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Sunday, 22 May 2011|
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Video Card Testing Methodology
There are still a disturbing number of people out there using Windows XP, but here at Benchmark Reviews we switched our tests to Windows 7 a while back. It's as fast as XP in most tests and offers substantially improved security and features, but its best feature is its robust 64 bit architecture (there is a 32-bit version of Windows 7, of course, but you'd be well advised to use the 64-bit version). It's taken Microsoft a few years to get 64 bit support working well, but it's finally here. If you're running Windows XP on a computer with 4GB of memory, you probably have already noticed that you don't have all 4GB available. Plug in a PowerColor Radeon HD6950 Vortex II Edition video card and you'll see another 2GB of working memory vanish, since the 2GB of memory on the video card has to slot into the 4GB address space of your old 32 bit operating system.
Needless to say, you couldn't run a CrossFireX setup with this card on Windows XP at all, since your entire address space would be taken up by the video card memory.
According to the most recent Steam gaming survey, the two most popular resolutions are 1920x1080 and 1680x1050. My personal monitor's native resolution is 1920x1200, which was a very popular resolution until manufacturers decided for some reason that a computer monitor should have the same resolution as 1080p HD televisions. Consequently I run my benchmarks at 1920x1200, which will produce very slightly lower frame rates than 1920x1080.
I choose a combination of synthetic and game benchmarks for this test. The test platform was an ASUS P8Z68-V Pro motherboard and an Intel Core i7-2600K processor at stock clock speeds; the iGPU in the Sandy Bridge processor was completely disabled. As always, remember that these test results are specific to the system and software used in this review, and that different hardware, drivers, and benchmark versions will affect the results.
Intel Z68 Test System
Video Card Test Products