How We Test
Tom’s Hardware standardized the benchmarking test system across all of our various locations and reviewers for 2015. The idea being that we can compare the tests that everyone does and rule out any discrepancies from using different components. The PC we all use has an Intel Core i7-5930K, 16GB of DDR4, two 500GB SSDs from Crucial and an MSI X99S XPower motherboard. We also use an 850W Platinum-rated power supply from be quiet!, which gives us the headroom to test even the most power-hungry graphics cards.
Software & Drivers
We’ll be making use of the results recently garnered from our GTX 980 Ti and R9 Fury X evaluations. Some of the tests use different drivers. For instance, Nvidia's 352.90 build was used for all tests on the GTX 980 Ti. It was also used for all Nvidia GPUs while testing Grand Theft Auto V. All other games were tested with GeForce driver 347.84 for the Titan X, 980 and 780 Ti.
AMD’s Radeon R9 Fury X and Fury were both tested using Catalyst 15.15 Beta, since it was the only driver with support for Fiji when testing was conducted. Catalyst 15.5 Beta was used to test the 290X, as 15.15 does not support it.
As we noted earlier, though, two days before the Fury release, AMD published Catalyst 15.7. Igor managed to test GTA V, Shadow of Mordor, Battlefield 4, Metro Last Light and Thief. In all of his spot checks, there were no appreciable performance differences. The new driver primarily focuses on features like DX12 and Windows 10 support.
In addition to running all of the tests using Sapphire's stock settings, the Fury Tri-X was tested at AMD’s reference specifications, which gives us a nice baseline for comparing other reference-class Fury cards (like the other model Sapphire intends to launch). Sapphire pointed out that initial stock for these cards will be limited, while its lower-clocked model will be more obtainable.
|Direct X||DirectX 11|
|Graphics Drivers||GeForce GTX 980 Ti: Nvidia 352.90 Beta Driver|
All GeForce Cards in Grand Theft Auto V and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt: Nvidia 352.90 Beta Driver
GeForce GTX Titan X, 980, and 780 Ti in all other games: Nvidia 347.25 Beta Driver
Radeon R9 290 X: AMD Catalyst 15.5 Beta
Radeon R9 Fury X and Fury: AMD Catalyst 15.15
|Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor||Built-in benchmark, 40-sec Fraps, Ultra preset|
|Battlefield 4||Custom THG Benchmark, 100-sec Fraps, Ultra preset|
|Metro Last Light||Built-in benchmark, 145-sec Fraps, Very High preset, 16x AF, Normal motion blur|
|Tomb Raider||Version 1.01.748.0, Custom THG Benchmark, 40-sec Fraps, Ultimate preset|
|Far Cry 4||Version 1.9.0, Custom THG benchmark, 60-sec Fraps, Ultra preset|
|Grand Theft Auto V||Build 350, Online 1.26, In-game benchmark sequence #5, 110-sec Fraps, FXAA: On, MSAA: 2x, Texture Quality: Very High, Shader Quality: Very High, Shadow Quality: High, Reflection Quality: Very High, Water Quality: High, Particles Quality: Very High, Grass Quality: High, Soft Shadows: Softer, Post FX: Very High, Anisotropic Filtering: 16x|
As usual, we’re using a high-quality measurement microphone that is positioned perpendicular to the center of the graphics card in question at a distance of 50cm for our noise measurements. Smaart v.7 is used for the analysis. The ambient noise at night during our measurements never exceeded 26dB(A) and was recorded and accounted for during each individual noise measurement.
Power Test System
|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
Real-Time Infrared Monitoring and Recording
|2 x HAMEG HMO 3054, 500MHz Digital Multi-channel Oscilloscope with Storage Function|
4 x HAMEG HZO50 Current Probe (1mA-30A, 100kHz, DC)
4 x HAMEG HZ355 (10:1 Probes, 500MHz)
1 x HAMEG HMC 8012 Digital Multimeter with Storage Function
1 x Optris PI450 80Hz Infrared Camera + PI Connect
|Intel Core i7-5930K 4.2 GHz + Raijintek Triton All-In-One Water Cooler|
Crucial Ballistix Sport, 4x 4GB DDR4-2400
MSI X99S XPower AC
2x Crucial MX200 500GB SSD (System, Applications + Data, Storage)
be quiet! Dark Power Pro 850W
Microcool Banchetto 101
Windows 8.1 (Completely Updated)
|Drivers||AMD: Catalyst 15.5 Beta / 15.15 Beta|
Nvidia: GeForce 353.06 WHQL