To test these cards we need the fastest system possible, and that is what we are using, based on an Intel Core i7 970 6 core CPU overclocked to 4.33ghz. It is worth pointing out that we needed to remove the drive bays from our Lian Li 8FIB to fit the cards into the chassis.
XFX Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition Limited 4GB x 2
Processor: Intel Core i7 970 clocked to 4.33ghz – Verification here
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tracer 6GB @1800mhz
Thermal Paste: Noctua HT H1
Cooler: Coolit Vantage (Extreme Setting)
Motherboard: MSI X58A-GD65
Chassis: Lian Li 8GIB
Hard Drive: OCZ Agility 2 120GB
Monitors: ilyama x 3 / LaCie 730 30 inch screen / Panasonic NeoPDP 600hz Viera
Keithley Integra unit
Raytek Laser Temp Gun 3i LSRC/MT4 Mini Temp
SkyTronic DSL 2 Digital Sound Level Meter (6-130dBa)
Windows 7 64 bit Ultimate Edition
Forceware Driver 260.52
Catalyst 10.9 beta
Unigine Heaven Benchmark 2.1
Resident Evil 5
Tom Clancy H.A.W.X.
HQV Benchmark 2.1
All the latest BIOS updates and drivers are used during testing. We perform under real world conditions, meaning KitGuru tests all games across five closely matched runs and averages out the results to get an accurate median figure. This is not an exact science, but we perform multiple runs to try and eliminate any abnormalities.
Our minimum frame rate game graphs have three main zones. These are sampled over a specific 30 interval period of time and then mapped into a chart. These are handy reference guides to detail worst case performance of the product being reviewed. When we test video cards we try to find the best combination of resolution and image quality settings while still maintaining playable frame rates.
Over 30fps is the zone most people want at all times, this means perfectly smooth frame rates with no hitching.
Between 30fps and 25fps is the KitGuru ‘Playable’ zone, although some people might notice occasional stuttering in specific scenes.
Under 25fps is classed as the KitGuru ‘Danger Zone’ which means that the game experience will be less than impressive. Settings and/or resolution would need lowered to help smooth out the frame rate.