Test System and Methodology
Zotac GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB
Samsung SyncMaster XL30
BFG EX-1200W PSU
Sony BDU-X10S Blu-Ray drive
D-Link Wireless N Dual Band USB stick
1x 128GB Corsair P128 SSD OS
2x WD Raptor Hard Drives (Games on RAID 0 Drives)
Arctic Cooling MX-3 Paste
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Good Benchmarking Practice
HardwareHeaven does not use benchmark scripts. We play the games for long periods of time on various levels and report any unusual findings we see. Then we record with FRAPS across several in game levels recording the averages. This is real world testing and is just how you guys will experience the game. These results give the reader balanced and directly comparable set of figures for comparing cards.
One of the most important aspects of enjoying a game is minimum frame rates which can have the greatest impact on the gaming experience. Due to this we also include a separate graph which details the framerates every second during a level for each of the tested games. This framerate graph allows us to show you how stable the framerates are in on a product and how often they rise towards the maximum or fall to the minimum level. We have also incorporated a ‘red line’ at the 25 frame per second mark to show the ‘cut off’ point that most people find acceptable – if you see the current frame rate line drop below this then you can expect the game to become choppy.
Essentially it gives a good representation of the experience you will have when playing. For these tests we focus on a worst case scenario, the most demanding section of game that we can find.
NOTE: As the expanded framerate graph is based on a single run of real world gameplay before we take into account multiple results there can be some variation between identical cards. We make every effort to keep the test as repeatable as possible however with advancements in game technology identical single results are often impossible.