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Old March 26, 2009, 11:01 AM
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Default HWC New GPU Test System + Games

Well guys, it was about time to make a change to the current QX9770 review system. In effect, what we have done is split the GPUs up so they fit into one of two categories: Performance and Mainstream. They will then be paired up accordingly with a test system befitting their price points.

Examples of Performance GPUs: GTX 295, HD 4850, GTS 250, HD 4870

Examples of Mainstream GPUs: HD 4830, 9800 GT, HD 4670, 9500 GT

Naturally, the line between these two segments will be a bit blurred as new cards are released which is why the HD 4850 and GTS 250 may also be included with the Mainstream charts from time to time.

Here are the two test systems:

Performance:

Processor: Intel Core i7 920(ES) @ 4.0Ghz
Memory: Corsair 3x2GB Dominator DDR3 1600Mhz
Motherboard: Gigabyte EX58-UD5
Cooling: CoolIT Boreas mTEC + Scythe Fan Controller
Disk Drive: Pioneer DVD Writer
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB
Power Supply: Corsair HX1000W
Monitor: Samsung 305T 30 widescreen LCD
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1


Mainstream:

Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q 9550 @ stock
Memory: G.Skill 2x 2GB DDR2-1000 @ 800Mhz DDR
Motherboard: ASUS P5E Deluxe X48
Cooling: Scythe Ninja Copper
Disk Drive: Pioneer DVD Writer
Hard Drive: Hitachi Deskstar 320GB SATAII
Power Supply: Corsair HX520W
Monitor: Samsung 2233RZ 22 Widescreen
OS: Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1


In addition, the list of games tested will be undergoing some minor revisions. As it stands, here is what you will see:

3DMark Vantage
Call of Duty: World At War
Far Cry 2
Crysis Warhead
Fallout 3
Left 4 Dead
Battle Forge
Grand Theft Auto IV
Tom Clancy's HawX


All in all, I find this is a well-rounded approach to the GPU reviews with a list of games that are all pretty much current.

Please feel free to discuss. Looking forward to your comments.

PS!!!!!!!!!!

I also wanted to start a discussion about what you guys think about the addition of DX10.1 testing for ATI cards. I have done some runs on both HawX and Battle Forge and it seems that while there are some minor graphical improvements, framerates tend to go up when using DX10.1 and ATI cards.

Should we include DX10.1 results in the DX10 charts?
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Old March 26, 2009, 11:25 AM
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Seems ot me if it offeres more performance iwthout visual degredation, including DX10.1 INSTEAD of the DX10 results for the cards that offer it might be the way to go. That also brings up how Phys-X affects the nv side, but as Phys-X can change visuals, it's a bit different...
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Old March 26, 2009, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Seems ot me if it offeres more performance iwthout visual degredation, including DX10.1 INSTEAD of the DX10 results for the cards that offer it might be the way to go. That also brings up how Phys-X affects the nv side, but as Phys-X can change visuals, it's a bit different...
I agree. However, I think it is still necessary to include actual DX10 vs DX10 results while at the same time showing what kind of benefit DX10.1 can have. Remember, using PhysX on a GPU will in many cases DECREASE its performance on a frames per second basis.
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Old March 26, 2009, 12:39 PM
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Should be interesting to see what kind of gameplay HAWX is like at higher resolutions, I know at 1280*1024 with an 8800GT I've had zero noticable issues with max details
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Old March 26, 2009, 12:54 PM
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Is that with DX10 or DX9? Supposedly the DX10 setting can tank the framerates when AA is enabled.
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Old March 26, 2009, 02:39 PM
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SKY you are ultimate at providing well rounded reviews. I think the game offering looks good. We'll see what sales are like for Battleforge, but for now it is a good choice for strategy game with lots of units on screen.

Looking at Steam hardware surveys I think your mainstream system might be a bit overkill imo, as far as the term "mainstream" goes. I know Steam is not the be all of gamer hardware stats, but it is probably the best cross section readily available and most likely in the ballpark. How about dumbing down the mainstream system to a dual core/2GB to cover the majority of the gamer market out there? Just a suggestion. Even I am on a dual core/2GB machine still. Just my 2cents. Thanks for all your hard work!

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Old March 26, 2009, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Should we include DX10.1 results in the DX10 charts?
As long as its pointed out, I think you could include both results in the same graph. Bench both and graph both on the same graph(I'm sounding like a broken record ).

HD4850 (DX10) ----------------- 110.4FPS
HD4850 (DX10.1) ------------------- 115.3FPS
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Old March 26, 2009, 02:53 PM
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I just started playing the latest PC torture test, it's called Empire: Total War...
My rig gets about 30fps with everything cranked up...sometimes less.

I really think that should be added into the mix of benchmark games
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Old March 26, 2009, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toronto122 View Post
I just started playing the latest PC torture test, it's called Empire: Total War...
My rig gets about 30fps with everything cranked up...sometimes less.

I really think that should be added into the mix of benchmark games
Ya that one was on my mind too but I don't want to torture SKY with crazy load times and a buggy game so I didn't mention it. ;)
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Old March 26, 2009, 02:58 PM
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Empire is on my list for the future but right now I feel they need to release about 20 more patches...10 of which should address performance issues.
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