Testing – Full Games
Here we are, then! Real-world, real performance, reliable information on how the inno3d Black Series GTX 680 is going to perform. Whenever I read hardware reviews, this is my favorite section, simply because it conveys just how good (or perhaps not so) the card really is.
Remaining one of the most popular games of 2012, Battlefield 3 is both pretty and extremely fun. Online play is stellar with a multitude of game modes, DLC packs, and weapons, keeping the gameplay fresh and exhilarating at every turn.
We set the graphics preset to Ultra and benchmarked the first two minutes from the first “real” mission of the game, Operation Swordbreaker. We chose this sequence because it is constant. Battle sequences are flashy, but they’re dynamic; ever-changing battle attributes make for ever-changing benchmark results. By choosing a small constant sequence (real gameplay, though, no cutscenes!), we’re able to accurately compare graphics card performance between models.
Here is the benchmarking sequence:
Here’s the results:
Also, a second-by-second FPS graph representation, showing at what point in time the card is pushed harder:
Ahh, Metro. Metro 2033 is a first person shooter/survival horror game, based on the book of the same name by Dmitry Glukhovsky. Set in a post-nuclear Moscow, there are tons of elements to the game that can absolutely annihilate your hardware.. which is why we chose it. It is one of if not the most hardware intensive game available.. and we’re going to run everything at max.
Set to DirectX 11 settings at a 1920×1080 resolution, “Very High” quality preset, MSAA 4x, AF 16x with DOF (Depth of Field) On. We make sure PhysX is disabled in order to provide a fair playing field for AMD GPU’s.
We use Metro 2033’s built-in Benchmarking tool to do this for us, it keeps everything constant for fair and accurate benchmarking and graphics card comparison.
Next up is Crysis II, the successor to the hugely popular Crysis (obviously.) Crysis was an extremely hardware intensive game when it was released, demanding even for the most high-end gaming machines at the time. But then came Crysis II. Although the game itself was not as popular as its predecessor, by utilizing CryEngine 3, it pushed your hardware just as hard – if not harder – than the original game.
We used the Adrenaline Crysis 2 Benchmark Tool, which is a tool that effectively plays the game for you throughout a scene three times, keeping the run constant time and time again.
We set the quality to Ultra, at a 1920×1080 resolution, with 4x Anti-Aliasing, DX11, Edge AA, and the Hi-res texture pack enabled, and then ran the tool.
Max Payne 3
One of the newer games on our benchmarking list, Max Payne 3 is an awesome game with many top-notch assets like the innovative Bullet Time. Rockstar Games knows how to tell a story, that’s for sure, and Max Payne 3 is engaging from the offset.
We set it to use the DX11 API, with a resolution of 1920×1080, with VSync off, Textures/Water/Reflections/Shadows: Very High, Shaders: High, Tessellation: Very High, FXAA: Very High, MSAA: 8x, and Anisotropic Filtering at 16x.
Due to a lack of benchmarking feature or tool available, much like with Battlefield 3, we used FRAPS. We chose a scene in which you’re on a speedboat chasing down “the bad guys” who have someone held hostage that you’re trying to rescue. This scene is a lot of fun, but, our goals are also for consistency; as you’re unable to move except but to aim at the boats pursuing you (which always come from the same places) the scene stays consistent across multiple tests on multiple cards.
Here’s the sequence we used:
Then the results!
Finally a second-by-second FPS graph detailing where and when your hardware is pushed the most:
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
The depth of Bethesda’s latest offering is staggering. A true open world, with the ability to pursue whatever quest line you wish, in whatever order you wish.. or maybe you just want to run off and kill things; you can do that too. Everything you see in Skyrim you can explore, and if you set the draw distance to maximum you can see quite a bit. So that’s what we did.. with everything else to maximum, too!
Set at the ultra preset, at a 1920×1080 resolution with Depth of Field enabled, we chose to benchmark the opening sequence. We chose this for the same reasons we chose the other scenes – consistency. As the cart always moves throughout the same terrain, with the same weather, characters and forestry, the scene is always the same. We used FRAPS for 180 seconds (3 minutes.)
Here is the scene: