Test Hardware: Graphics Cards And Platform
As always, we strive to represent game performance across a wide range of graphics hardware. We include cards ranging from the low-end Radeon HD 6450 and GeForce GT 210 to the powerful Radeon R9 290X, HD 7990, GeForce GTX Titan, and 690.
We had a couple of openings in our hardware line-up, but graphics card manufacturer XFX came to the rescue and supplied a few samples for this review:
XFX Radeon R9 290X Core Edition
Currently, all Radeon R9 290X cards bear AMD's reference thermal solution, but this is the board XFX is branding. Armed with 4 GB of 1250 MHz GDDR5 memory on a 512-bit bus, it also features 2560 shaders, 160 texture units, 64 ROPs, and greatly improved geometry processing capabilities compared to its predecessor.
XFX Radeon R9 280X Double Edition
This Radeon R9 280X is equipped with XFX's Double Dissipation cooling solution, known for quiet and efficient operation thanks to dual 100 mm fans. It sports 3 GB of GDDR5 on a 384-bit bus and AMD's Tahiti GPU. While it's not as fast as the R9 290 family, it's still as capable as the Radeon HD 7970 we know so well.
XFX Radeon HD 7990 Core Edition
It might be considered a previous-generation card but, the Radeon HD 7990 remains AMD's fastest dual-slot graphics card. Essentially two Radeon HD 7970s on a single PCB, this beast's dual Tahiti GPU setup adds up to 4096 shaders, 256 texture units, and 64 ROPs.
We all know that graphics cards like the Radeon HD 7990 require a substantial amount of power, so XFX sent along its PRO850W 80 PLUS Bronze-certified power supply. This modular PSU employs a single +12 V rail rated for 70 A. XFX claims that this unit provides 850 W of continuous power (not peak) at 50 degrees Celsius (notably higher than the inside of most enclosures).
We've almost exclusively eliminated mechanical disks in the lab, preferring solid-state storage for eliminating I/O-related bottlenecks. Samsung sent all of our labs 256 GB 840 Pros, so we standardize on these exceptional SSDs.
|CPU||Intel Core i5-2550K (Sandy Bridge), Overclocked to 4.2 GHz @ 1.3 V|
|Motherboard||Asus P8Z77-V LX, LGA 1155, Chipset: Intel Z77M|
|Networking||On-Board Gigabit LAN controller|
|Memory||AMD Gamer Series Memory, 2 x 4 GB, 1866 MT/s, CL 9-9-9-24-1T|
|Graphics||GeForce 210 1 GB DDR3GeForce GT 630 512 MB GDDR5GeForce GTX 650 Ti 1 GB GDDR5GeForce GTX 660 2 GB GDDR5GeForce GTX 670 2 GB GDDR5GeForce GTX 770 2 GB GDDR5GeForce GTX Titan 6 GB GDDR5GeForce GTX 690 4 GB GDDR5Radeon HD 6450 512 MB GDDR5Radeon HD 6670 512 MB DDR3Radeon HD 7770 1 GB GDDR5Radeon R7 260X 1 GB GDDR5Radeon R9 270 2 GB GDDR5Radeon HD 7950 Boost 3 GB GDDR5Radeon R9 280X 3 GB GDDR5Radeon R9 290X 4 GB GDDR5Radeon HD 7990 6 GB GDDR5|
|Hard Drive||Samsung 840 Pro, 256 GB SSD, SATA 6Gb/s|
|Power||XFX PRO850W, ATX12V, EPS12V|
|Software and Drivers|
|Operating System||Microsoft Windows 8 Pro x64|
|Graphics Drivers||AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 9.2, Nvidia GeForce 331.65 WHQL|
|Call Of Duty: Ghosts||Custom THG Benchmark, 60-second Fraps runCampaign: Homecoming|