Radeon HD 6790 review

Graphics cards 1021 Page 9 of 20 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 X58

Processor

Core i7 965 @ 3750 MHz

Graphics Cards

Radeon HD 6790 1024MB

Memory

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

Power Supply Unit

1200 Watt

Monitor

Dell 3007WFP - up to 2560x1600

OS related software

Windows 7 RTM 64-bit
DirectX 9/10/11 End User Runtime (latest available)
ATI Catalyst 11.4 Beta
Latest NVIDIA GeForce series 260 driver

Software benchmark suite

  • Battlefield Bad Company 2
  • Colin McRae Dirt 2
  • Far Cry 2
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
  • Crysis WARHEAD
  • Anno 1404
  • 3DMark Vantage
  • 3DMark 11
  • Metro

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.

Setup your monitor first

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.

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