With new video cards on the cusp of release, we’ve again updated our testing suite to new games and benchmarks in an effort to bring you performance metrics from a wide variety of titles.
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…
Our test systems consist of mainstream parts since that is what the majority of people will be using. This allows our results to be relevant to a wider audience, and also allows for that audience to repeat our tests to compare with their own systems. The required parts and clocks are as follows:
|Test System Components|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG Maximus XII Extreme, ASRock Z490 PG Velocita|
|CPU||Intel i9-10900K @ stock|
|CPU Cooler||EVGA CLC 240|
|Memory||2×8 GB G.Skill Royal 3600 MHz CL16-16-16-36|
|SSD||Gigabyte Aorus 2 TB NVMe Gen4 (OS + Applications)|
|Power Supply||EVGA 750W G3|
|Video Card||@ Stock (452.06 driver as of 9/2020)|
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.
3DMark – Fire Strike Extreme
- Fire Strike – Extreme setting (you do not have to run the demo)
3DMark – Time Spy
- Default setting (you do not have to run the demo)
3DMark – Port Royal
- Default settings (you do not have to run the demo)
- Run only on video cards that are Ray Tracing capable.
For 2020, we’ve added the Unigine Superposition benchmark to our stable of tests. This synthetic test is run at 1080p using the 1080p High setting.
We have updated our gaming suite to get rid of 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. In general, we do our testing with the commonplace resolution of 1920 x 1080, all of the graphics settings maxed, and any manufacturer-specific features disabled.
Assasin’s Creed – Odyssey
AC:O should be set up as follows. Vsync should be set to off with Graphics Quality set to the Ultra High default. Run the integrated benchmark.
Run the game with the DX12 option and set up the video configuration as follows using “Very High” defaults with TAA, AF X16, run the Australia track with default settings – do not show the FPS counter. The video configuration should look like the screenshots below, then run the built-in benchmark located in the options.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Run DX12 with “Highest” preset and RTX when available. The video configuration should look like the screenshots below, then run the built-in benchmark located in the options.
Far Cry – New Dawn
Setup the video configuration as follows using the “Ultra” preset. The video configuration should look like the screenshots below, then run the built-in benchmark located in the options.
Tom Clancy’s – The Division 2
Run DX12 with “Ultra” preset, V-Sync changed to off – the rest default. The video configuration should look like the screenshots below, then run the built-in benchmark located in the options for all three tested resolutions.
The Metro: Exodus benchmark, like SOTR, has its own display for settings. We run DX12 and the default Ultra settings. Ray Tracing and DLSS are off by default for basic tests. During RT and DLSS testing, they are set to the highest values.
The following are a few things that will provide additional value and detail to the testing but are not required.
Measuring typical temperatures to expect and/or testing cooler performance.
- Record ambient temperature in degrees Celsius (preferably close to the intake fan of the GPU)
- GPU-Z, PrecisionX, Afterburner, etc. will be used for monitoring temperatures during the test
- Record the GPU’s idle core temperature in degrees Celsius after the card has been on and in the idle state for a few minutes
- Run Shadow of the Tomb Raider and F1 2020 (5 laps) at the settings above using 2560×1440 resolution 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 all need to be normalized to the same ambient temperature (Currently 23C).
System Power Consumption
Kill-a-Watt meters (or similar) are used for measuring at-the-wall system power consumption.
- Record the system power consumption at idle
- Record peak power consumption during the following two benchmarks: Shadow of the Tomb Raider and F1 2020 (1 lap) at 2560×1440 resolution.
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 take place, so be sure to 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 there is something worth testing that’s not included, then feel free to speak up in the comments below.
Please leave any comments or suggestions in the comments below.