Sparkle GeForce 9600 GT Passive review

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7 - Hardware and Software Used

Hardware and Software Used

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

Mainboard

nForce 680i SLI eVGA

Processor

Core 2 Duo E8400 Processor @ 3.0 GHz (FSB 1333)

Graphics Cards

Various Radeon HD 4800 series
Various GeForce 9 series

Memory

2048 MB (2x1024MB) DDR2 1066 MHz Corsair

Power Supply Unit

BFG ES 800 Watt

Monitor

Dell 3007WFP - up-to 2560x1600

OS related Software

Windows Vista 32-bit
DirectX 9/10 End User Runtime
AT Catalyst Press 8.7
NVIDIA ForceWare 175.19 WHQL driver

Software benchmark suite

Call of Duty 4
Mass Effect
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.
3DMark Vantage
FEAR
Frontlines: Fuel of War
GRAW 2
Crysis

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 often is 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 have either a MONSTER of graphics card or a very old game.

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