GPU Testing Procedure 2024 – It’s all about that Ray Tracing and DLSS/FSR

With new video cards set to release by the end of the calendar year (2024), we’ve updated our testing suite to new games and benchmarks to bring you performance metrics from various titles using the latest technologies from AMD, Intel, and Nvidia.

This article will serve as a reference for those who would like to compare results with our reviews, whether you are writing an article for the site or just testing the performance of your new GPU. The plan is to update the article as changes in our testing procedures occur. On to the gritty details…

Test Platform

(Updated: 3/2024)

Our test systems consist of mainstream parts since most people will use them. This allows our results to be relevant to a wider audience and allows that audience to repeat our tests to compare with their systems. The required parts and clocks are as follows:

Test System Components
MotherboardGigabyte Z690 Tachyon (F28 BIOS – 12/23)
CPUIntel i9-14900K @ stock
CPU CoolerCoolerMaster Master Liquid PL360 Flux
MemoryKingston 2x16GB DDR5-6000 (36-38-38-80)
SSD2x 1TB PCIe 4.0 x4 NVMe (OS + Applications)
Power SupplyEVGA 850W P6
Driver VersionNvidia – 551.61 (2/2024), AMD – 24.2.1 (2/2024)


GPU Test Rig - 2024
GPU Test Rig – 2024


Synthetic Benchmarks

(Updated: 3/2024)

Synthetic benchmarks are very consistent and easily repeatable, making them some of the best tests for direct card-to-card comparisons. We have dropped support for Unigine Heaven and Valley and will continue with 3Dmark Fire Strike Extreme and Time Spy, along with Port Royal, where applicable.

UL 3DMark Benchmark Link

3DMark – Fire Strike Extreme (DX11 benchmark)
3DMark – Time Spy (DX12 benchmark)
3DMark – Speedway (DX12 Ultimate benchmark)
3DMark – Port Royal (Real-time ray tracing benchmark)

  • Run at default settings (you do not need to run the demo)


Unigine Superposition

For 2024, we’ve increased the difficulty in this benchmark, moving up a more stressful “4K Optimized “setting from the 1080p High we used since it was introduced in 2020.

Unigine Superposition – 4K OPtimized

Game Benchmarks

(Updated: 3/2024)

We have updated our gaming suite to remove some of the older titles. Now, all of the benchmarks are “canned” tests, making them as consistent as possible and more synthetic-like than typical gameplay. While this may not be the most accurate reflection of in-game performance, most are in the ballpark. The idea here is to show the relative performance and relative performance difference between the tested cards.

We test with the still most common (according to Steam statistics) resolution of 1920 x 1080, 2560 x 1440, and 3840 x 2160 using the canned/default Ultra settings and any manufacturer-specific features disabled/minimized where possible. Ray tracing and DLSS/FSR are tested at 2560 x 1440 and 3840 x 2160 with DLSS/FSR set to balanced and ray tracing to high or ultra.

Below, we’ve provided several screenshots of the video and graphics settings.

Assassin’s Creed: Mirage

AC:M should be set up as follows using the integrated benchmark:

  • Ultra High Preset
  • Resolution scale to 100%
  • Adaptive Quality = OFF
  • Upsample Type = TAA

…with DLSS/FSR

  • DLSS, or FSR
  • Upsample Quality to Balanced

F1 2023

We use the integrated benchmark using the Las Vegas track with Clear/Dry (default) settings:

…without RT:

  • Ultra High Detail preset
  • RT Shadows/Reflections/AOccl/Trans Reflections/DDGI = Off (for non-RT runs)
  • Anti Alaising – TAA Only (for non RT runs)

…with ray tracing:

  • Ray tracing – RT Shadows/Reflections/AOccl/Trans Reflections/DDGI = On


  • Anti Aliasing – Nvidia DLSS/AMD FSR2 , Anti Aliasing Mode = Balanced


Integrated benchmark

…without RT:

  • Ultra settings to start
  • Scaling Mode = Off
  • Sun Contact Shadows = Off
  • Specular Reflections = Very Low (no off)
  • Diffuse Reflections = Low (no off)

…with ray tracing:

  • Scaling Mode = Off
  • Sun Contact Shadows = High
  • Specular Reflections = Very High
  • Diffuse Reflections = High


Temporal Upscaler = Nvidia DLSS or AMD FSR 3

  • Scaling Mode = On
  • Scaling quality = Balanced

Cyberpunk 2077

Integrated benchmark

…without ray tracing/DLSS:

  • Quick Preset = Ultra (turns to custom)
  • Resolution Scaling = Off
  • Ray Tracing Reflections/Sunshadows/Local Shadows = Off
  • Path Tracing/Tracing in photo mode = Off

…with ray tracing:

  • Quick Preset = RT Ultra (turns to custom with DLSS/FSR)
  • RT Lighting = Ultra
  • Ray Tracing Reflections/Sunshadows/Local Shadows = On
  • Path Tracing/Tracing in photo mode = Off


  • Resolution Scaling = DLSS or FSR
  • DLSS/FSR Quality = Balanced

Far Cry 6

Integrated benchmark settings are as follows:

…without ray tracing:

  • Graphics Quality = Ultra
  • HD Textures = On
  • Anti Alaising = TAA
  • DXR Reflections/Shadows = Off

…with ray tracing:

  • DXR Reflections/Shadows = On

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Run the integrated benchmark using the following settings:

…without ray tracing:

  • DX 12
  • Graphics Preset = Highest (turns to custom)
  • Ray Traced Shadow Quality = Off

…with ray tracing:

  • Ray Traced Shadow Quality = Ultra
  • Nvidia RTX DLSS = Off

… RT + DLSS:

  • Ray Traced Shadow Quality = Ultra
  • Nvidia RTX DLSS = Balanced

Additional Testing

(Updated: 3/2024)

The following are a few things that will provide additional value and detail to the testing.


We are measuring typical temperatures to expect and testing cooler performance.

  • Record ambient temperature in degrees Celsius (preferably close to the intake fan of the GPU)
  • GPU-Z will be used for monitoring temperatures during the test
  • Record the GPU’s idle core (not hot spot) temperature in degrees Celsius after the card has been on and in the idle state for a few minutes
  • Run F1 2023 (5 laps) benchmark using 4K UHD 3840×2160 resolution (w/RT + DLSS/FSR) and record the peak temperature in degrees Celsius with the default fan profile (other manual fan speeds can be tested as well).
  • Run Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark using 4K UHD 3840×2160 resolution (w/RT + DLSS/FSR) and record the peak temperature in degrees Celsius with the default fan profile (other manual fan speeds can be tested as well).
  • When comparing temperature results, they must be normalized to the same ambient temperature (23C).

System Power Consumption

Have GPUz running while testing. Use the Total Board Power value (max) to find the peak power for the graphics card only.

  • Record the system power consumption at idle
  • Record peak power consumption during the following two benchmarks: F1 2023 and Cyberpunk 2077 benchmarks (same settings as recording temperature) at 3840×2160 resolution (w/RT and DLSS/FSR).

Folding @ Home

For all of the folders out there, we test this running for a full 24 hours to get the PPD across that time. We run at stock settings and record average power (the GPU) and list clockspeeds.


Nope, this definitely isn’t the “conclusion” of this article; it will be slowly evolving, just like our GPU testing procedures. We’ll post comments with changes as they happen, so please keep an eye on this, the comments, and the forum thread for updates. We are always open to feedback and suggestions as well. So, if you think something worth testing is not included, feel free to speak up in the comments below.

– Joe Shields (Earthdog)

Please leave any comments or suggestions in the thread!

About Joe Shields 326 Articles
Joe started writing around 2010 for covering the latest news and reviews that include video cards, motherboards, storage and processors. In 2018, he went ‘pro’ writing for covering news and motherboards. Eventually, he landed at Tom’s Hardware where he wrote news, covered graphic card reviews, and currently writes motherboard reviews. If you can’t find him benchmarking and gathering data, Joe can be found working on his website (, supporting his two kids in athletics, hanging out with his wife catching up on Game of Thrones, watching sports (Go Browns/Guardians/Cavs/Buckeyes!), or playing PUBG on PC.

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Avatar of JLK03F150

What have I done! Member

3,992 messages 1,225 likes

Will a F@H test still be part of the test suite? It would be nice to see power usage & thermals for the F@H client as well as during the gaming tests. Doesn't need to be too in-depth, but would be appreciated.

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Avatar of EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner

76,658 messages 3,365 likes

Yes. It still will be. It is optional, but it's a part of it.

I'll add that to the article as well.

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Avatar of Flamethrower1972
571 messages 271 likes

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After looking at the PC IMO its ready for 2024 - 2025 Testing the newest GPUS that will come out in 2025 on the RED TEAM & GREEN TEAM as well as CPUS. Good benchmark programs as well as other tests I think that testing platform is top notch. Also is INTEL releasing a new socket?

Post magically merged:

Will a F@H test still be part of the test suite? It would be nice to see power usage & thermals for the F@H client as well as during the gaming tests. Doesn't need to be too in-depth, but would be appreciated.

I agree. It seems it would give great information.

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