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Test System And Benchmarks

Nvidia GeForce GTS 450: Hello GF106, Farewell G92
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Before you fly off to the comments section to vent about the number of mainstream users with $1000 CPUs, remember that the effect of our test system's powerful CPU is just as easily achieved (if not surpassed) by a mainstream Core i7-750 overclocked to 4 GHz+. The goal, of course, is to alleviate any potential processor-based bottleneck in single- and dual-card modes. Had we in fact used an entry-level processor to purposely create a more cost-effective platform, the following results would have fallen closer together, but they would have been less informative.

Bear in mind that we're also not testing overclocking here. Unless our samples are retail (a la System Builder Marathon, where we buy all of our parts through Newegg), I find it disingenuous to publish overclocking results from a hand-picked batch of boards. I'll relay that Nvidia claims to be hitting 900 MHz+ on GF106 in the lab, but that is no guarantee of what you'll see at home.

Test Hardware
Processor
Intel Core i7-980X (Gulftown) 3.33 GHz, 6.4 GT/s, 12 MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings enabled. Turbo Boost enabled
Motherboard
Gigabyte X58A-UD5 (LGA 1366) X58/ICH10, BIOS F5
Memory
Kingston HyperX DDR3 (3 x 2 GB) KHX2000C8D3T1K3/6GX @ DDR3-1333 7-7-7-24
Hard Drive
Intel SSDSA2MH160G2C1 160 GB SATA 3Gb/s
Graphics CardsNvidia GeForce GTS 450 1 GB

Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 1 GB / 768 MB

Nvidia GeForce GTS 250 1 GB

AMD Radeon HD 5770 1 GB

AMD Radeon HD 5750 1 GB

AMD Radeon HD 4850 512 MB
Power Supply
Cooler Master UCP 1100 W
CPU Cooler
Intel DBX-B Thermal Solution
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectX
DirectX 11
Platform Driver
Intel INF Chipset Update Utility 9.1.1.1019
Graphics Driver
Nvidia GeForce 260.52

AMD Catalyst 10.8
Games
Crysis
Very High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, vsync off, 1280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1900x1200, DirectX 10, Patch 1.2.1, 64-bit executable
Just Cause 2
Highest Quality Settings, No AA / 16xAF, 4xAA / 16xAF, vsync off, 1280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1920x1200, Bokeh filter and GPU water disabled (for Nvidia cards), Desert Sunrise Benchmark
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Ultra High Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, 1280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1920x1200, Second Sun, 45 second sequence, FRAPS
DiRT 2
High / Ultra High Settings, No AA / No AF, 8xAA / No AF, 1280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1920x1200, Steam version, Custom benchmark script, DX11 Rendering
Aliens Vs. Predator Benchmark
Highest Quality Settings, SSAO, 1xMSAA / 16xAF, 4xMSAA / 16xAF, vsync off, 280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1920x1200
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
Custom (Highest) Quality Settings, 1xAA / 16xAF, 4x MSAA / 16xAF, vsync off, 1280x1024 / 1680x1050 / 1920x1200, opening cinematic, 145 second sequence, FRAPS
3DMark Vantage
Performance Default, PPU Disabled
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