Test System & Methodology
We introduced our new test system and methodology in How We Test Graphics Cards. If you'd like more detail about our general approach, check that piece out.
Specifically, for this review, we split testing between our U.S. (performance) and German (power, acoustics, thermal) labs. As mentioned, we set aside our reference-class boards in favor of factory-overclocked models that better represent today's selection of available products. After experimenting with the Windows 10 Creators Update, we were forced to uninstall it after discovering compatibility issues between several games and our measurement software. We're working to address this. However, all results are generated using the latest drivers, including AMD's Crimson ReLive Edition 17.4.2 package, the 500-series press driver, and Nvidia's 381.65 Game-Ready driver.
Special thanks goes to AMD for ensuring our two labs received the same hardware for evaluation, Gigabyte for replacing our Founders Edition card with its GeForce GTX 1060 G1 Gaming 6G, and MSI for replacing our AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB with its own Radeon RX 480 Armor 8G OC. The full list of contenders includes:
The hardware used between our two labs includes:
|Test Equipment and Environment|
|System||U.S.:- Core i7-7700K- MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon- G.Skill F4-3200C14Q-32GTZ @ 2400 MT/sGermany:- Core i7-7700K- MSI Z270 Gaming Pro Carbon- G.Skill F4-3200C14Q-32GTZ @ 2400 MT/s- 1x 1TB Toshiba OCZ RD400 (M.2, System SSD)- 2x 960GB Toshiba OCZ TR150 (Storage, Images)- be quiet Dark Power Pro 11, 850W PSU- Windows 10 Pro (All Updates)|
|Cooling||- Alphacool Eispumpe VPP755- Alphacool NexXxoS UT60 Full Copper 360mm- Alphacool Cape Corp Coolplex Pro 10 LT- 5x Be Quiet! Silent Wings 3 PWM- Thermal Grizzly Kryonaut (Used when Switching Coolers)|
|PC Case||- Lian Li PC-T70 with Extension Kit and Mods- Configurations: Open Benchtable, Closed Case|
|Power Consumption Measurement||- Contact-free DC Measurement at PCIe Slot (Using a Riser Card) - Contact-free DC Measurement at External Auxiliary Power Supply Cable - Direct Voltage Measurement at Power Supply- 2 x Rohde & Schwarz HMO 3054, 500MHz Digital Multi-Channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function - 4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZO50 Current Probe (1mA - 30A, 100kHz, DC) - 4 x Rohde & Schwarz HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500MHz) - 1 x Rohde & Schwarz HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function|
|Thermal Measurement||- 1 x Optris PI640 80Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect- Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording|
|Noise Measurement||- NTI Audio M2211 (with Calibration File, Low Cut at 50Hz)- Steinberg UR12 (with Phantom Power for Microphones)- Creative X7, Smaart v.7- Custom-Made Proprietary Measurement Chamber, 3.5 x 1.8 x 2.2m (L x D x H)- Perpendicular to Center of Noise Source(s), Measurement Distance of 50cm- Noise Level in dB(A) (Slow), Real-time Frequency Analyzer (RTA) - Graphical Frequency Spectrum of Noise|
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