|XFX Radeon R7950 Black Edition Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 30 January 2012|
Page 6 of 18
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. All of the tests in this review were run with DX11 graphics.
According to the Steam hardware survey, as of December 2011 the most popular desktop resolution (for Steam users) is 1680x1050 pixels, with a 17.59% share, with 1920x1080 pixels coming in second with only 7.7%. However, when testing video cards at this level, the higher the resolution you can test with, the better. I ran most tests at both 1680x1050 and 1920x1200 (I continue to prefer the 16:10 ratio of 1920x1200 to the mysteriously more popular 1920x1080 resolution). Frankly the top-end video cards these days are so powerful that even 1920x1200 isn't much of a challenge...
I used a combination of synthetic and video game benchmark tests 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.
Note: Since Benchmark Reviews tested the XFX R7970 Black Edition Double Dissipation video card, AMD has released a new driver that promises increased performance across a broad range of applications. For this test I re-ran the benchmarks for the R7970 with the new driver, so the scores for that card in this review will be different from the scores in the original review. AMD has not rolled the Tahiti drivers into their standard Catalyst release yet, so we're stuck with mysterious numbers: we originally tested the R7970 with driver "8.921-111202a-129903E-ATI", while in this test we're using the newer "8.921.2-120119a-132101E-ATI".
DX11 Cost to Performance Ratio
For this article Benchmark Reviews has included cost per FPS for graphics performance results. Only the least expensive product price is calculated, and does 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. These retail prices for each product were obtained from NewEgg.com on 8-January-2012:
Intel X79-Express Test System
DirectX-11 Benchmark Applications
Video Card Test Products