We first benchmarked all the graphics cards in our VGA 2012 benchmark system. After that, we took a look at installation and operation in a closed case.
|CPU||Intel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 4C/8T, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading Enabled, Overclocked to 4.5 GHz|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte Z68X-UD7-B3, Intel Z68 Express, BIOS F10|
|Memory||4 x 4 GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600|
|CPU Cooler||Cooler Master TPC 800 with Noiseblocker eLoop B12-PS (PWM)|
|SSD||Kingston V200+ 480 GB|
|Power Supply||Corsair AX1200i Digital ATX Power Supply, 1200 W, 80 PLUS Platinum|
|Operating System||Windows 7 x64 Ultimate|
|Driver||Catalyst 12.11 (Beta) and Catalyst 12.9 GeForce 306.97 WHQL|
|Temperature||22 °C (held constant)|
|Closed Benchmark Case||NZXT Phantom 820|
We're particularly interested to compare the performance of AMD's Catalyst 12.9 driver package to the more recently-released 12.11 beta driver, which the company claims should be much faster in a number of games.
Unlike many of the graphics card reviews you read, we're conducting our testing today in a closed chassis. After all, it can't be that easy to dissipate more than 500 W worth of heat, and we want to know what effect that has on real-world thermals and acoustics.