System Overview & Testing Procedures
We will be installing the Sparkle GTS 450 into our new test system. This test system is comprised of an Intel Core i7 965 Extreme, Gigabyte X58A-UD5 motherboard, 6GB of memory, 750GB SATA drive, Blu-ray drive, and Zalman ZM1000-HP 1000W power supply, all inside the BitFenix Colossus case.
We will be comparing the Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 to some of the latest video cards we have tested, they include: Zotac GeForce GTX 580, Sparkle Calibre X480 GeForce GTX 480, Sapphire Radeon HD 6850, HIS Radeon HD 5850, Gigabyte GTS 450 video card and the Sparkle GeForce GTS 450 video card. Keep in mind these other cards range from low-end to high end. They are just here for reference.
Opening up GPU-Z we can see all the information on the Radeon HD 6950. This is a reference card so there is not that much to talk about here, but there are some noticeable differences between this card and the 6850 we recently reviewed. There are 1408 shader units compared to 960, the core clock is at 800Mhz compared to 775MHz, and the 2GB of GDDR5 is at 1250MHz (5000MHz) compared to 900MHz (3600Mhz) on the 6850.
Before we get into the real testing let’s see what the temperatures look like on this card. Temperatures were recorded with GPU-Z. Idle and load states were taken an hour apart from each other.
We will be running 2 different types of tests on the card. The first are benchmarking programs, most of which you should be familiar with. The second part of the testing is actual game testing. The programs and games we are using are listed below as well as links where you can download or purchase them.