ASUS ARES II review

Graphics cards 1048 Page 11 of 29 Published by

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Test Environment & equipment

Test Environment & Equipment

Here is where we begin the benchmark portion of this article, but first let me show you our test system plus the software we used.

Mainboard

MSI Big Bang XPower

Processor

Core i7 965 Extreme @ 3.8 GHz on all four cores

Graphics Card

ASUS ARES II ROG (x2)

Memory

6144 MB (3x 2048 MB) DDR3 Corsair @ 1500 MHz

Power Supply Unit

1200 Watt (Platinum Certified Corsair AX1200i)

Monitor

Dell 3007WFP - up to 2560x1600

OS related software

Windows 7 64-bit SP1
DirectX 9/10/11 End User Runtime (latest available)
AMD Catalyst 13.1 WHQL
NVIDIA GeForce series latest WHQL 310.90 WHQL

Software benchmark suite

  • Battlefield 3
  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • Far Cry 2
  • Far Cry 3
  • Medal of Honor Warfighter
  • Crysis 2
  • Anno 2070
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • 3DMark 11
  • Metro 2033
  • Alien vs Predator
  • Lost Planet 2
  • Sniper Elite
  • Hitman Absolution
  • Sleeping Dogs

A word about "FPS"

What are we looking for in gaming, performance wise? First off, obviously Guru3D tends to think that all games should be played at the best image quality (IQ) possible. There's a dilemma though, IQ often interferes with the performance of a graphics card. We measure this in FPS, the number of frames a graphics card can render per second, the higher it is the more fluently your game will display itself.

A game's frames per second (FPS) is a measured average of a series of tests. That test is often a time demo, a recorded part of the game which is a 1:1 representation of the actual game and its gameplay experience. After forcing the same image quality settings; this time-demo is then used for all graphics cards so that the actual measuring is as objective as can be.

 

Frames per second Gameplay
<30 FPS very limited gameplay
30-40 FPS average yet very playable
40-60 FPS good gameplay
>60 FPS best possible gameplay

  • So if a graphics card barely manages less than 30 FPS, then the game is not very playable, we want to avoid that at all cost.
  • With 30 FPS up-to roughly 40 FPS you'll be very able to play the game with perhaps a tiny stutter at certain graphically intensive parts. Overall a very enjoyable experience. Match the best possible resolution to this result and you'll have the best possible rendering quality versus resolution, hey you want both of them to be as high as possible.
  • When a graphics card is doing 60 FPS on average or higher then you can rest assured that the game will likely play extremely smoothly at every point in the game, turn on every possible in-game IQ setting.
  • Over 100 FPS? You either have a MONSTER graphics card or a very old game.

Monitor Setup

Before playing games, setting up your monitor's contrast & brightness levels is a very important thing to do. I realized recently that a lot of you guys have set up your monitor improperly. How do we know this? Because we receive a couple of emails every now and then telling us that a reader can't distinguish between the benchmark charts (colors) in our reviews. We realized, if that happens, your monitor is not properly set up.

monitor-setup.png

This simple test pattern is evenly spaced from 0 to 255 brightness levels, with no profile embedded. If your monitor is correctly set up, you should be able to distinguish each step, and each step should be visually distinct from its neighbors by the same amount. Also, the dark-end step differences should be about the same as the light-end step differences. Finally, the first step should be completely black. 

Img_7719

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