TECHNOLOGY X TESTING PROTOCOL
At Technology X, we test our graphics cards slightly different depending on the purpose of the product, whether it’s for an entry-level user or if it’s for an extreme gamer. Throughout all of our testing, we ensure that our system has been optimized with our SSD Optimization Guide. Benchmarks of the products we test are that of brand new products. This means that the product has not been used previously, except possibly for some initial testing performed by the manufacturer. The purpose of this is so that we can verify that the manufacturer’s specifications match the product. Additionally, we also try to include links to the benchmarks used in our report so that you, as the reader, can replicate our tests to confirm that your graphics cards is as awesome as it should be!
TECHNOLOGY X TEST BENCH
All of the components we use for testing are standard off-the-shelf PC components from major manufacturers, which can be purchased at a variety local retailers and online. We’ll also provide links to our components for those of you that find an interest in our equipment.
|Cooler Master CM Strom Stryker Chassis
|ASUS P8Z77-V Premium Motherboard
|Intel i7 3770K CPU
|Corsair H100 CPU Cooler
|be quiet! Dark power Pro 850W
|be quiet! Silent Wings 2 Chassis Fan
|Crucial Ballistix Dual Channel DDR3 Memory
When we test various PC hardware, we like to use benchmarks that are available for you to download and test for yourself. In our analysis today we will be using 3DMark, and FurMark, while also measuring the performance of the card while running a variety of games. During the game we run FRAPS, which is a useful tool for measuring and logging the FPS (frames per second). We’ll also do some overclocking using MSI’s Afterburner software, and will validate our settings using FurMark for stability and thermal testing. The games will be running include Crysis 3, Tomb Raider (2013), Grand Theft Auto V, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, and Witcher 3.
What about the new drivers? Well you could let Windows go online and find the driver for you and leave it at that. However, it is a better idea to install the driver from the manufactures website.
OVERCLOCKING AND COOLING PERFORMANCE
The overclocking process is quite easy, using MSI Afterburner we slowly increased the Core Clock Rate by 10 MHz. Once we have a stable Core Clock Rate, we adjusted the Memory Clock Rate the same way, until the card runs stable without seeing artifacts and crashing. In out time tweaking, we were able to get fairly solid results, with a Clock increase from the stock 995MHz to 1150MHz, and a Memory Clock increase from 5600MHz to 6100MHz.
Disclaimer: Essentially Tech Media Corp. takes no responsibility for any damage caused to your graphics card by overclocking. This is, by no means, a guide to overclocking a graphics card.
To test our GPU’s cooling and validate our overclock we use FurMark’s ‘Burn-In Test’ at 1080p. This is an incredibly strenuous benchmark and will top out our GPU’s thermal limits, allowing us to test its cooler’s capacity. While all tests were done, our Ambient Temperature was approximately 28C, with our Intake Air Temperature floating just above that at around 26C. We let the Burn-In Test run fully for 30 minutes before recording our final temperature results.
In our cooling test we can see the card’s dual-fan cooling solution is able to cool the GPU quite effectively, even while overclocked. Our maximum recorded temperature was only 78C or just about ~52C over our intake air temperature. We also saw only an 8C increase in temperature between our stock and overclock runs. With our fan speed at 100%, we found this to be quite loud, and a larger increase than we would like to see.
FUTUREMARK 3D MARK – FIRE STRIKE
Next is Fire Strike, a graphics-intensive test that pushes your graphics card to the limit. It is highly not recommended to use this test on anything other than a dedicated graphics card. Fire Strike is incredibly graphics-intensive, and exhibits many advanced DirectX 11 features such as Tessellation and Ambient Occlusion, and features very high-resolution textures, as well as advanced particle and physics effects such as smoke and lava.
As you can see above, our overclock made a fairly significant performance improvement with an increase of nearly 7%.