How we tested
As always, we did our best to deliver a clean set of benchmarks, with each test repeated three times and an average of those results is what we’re reporting here. In the rare case where performance was inconsistent, we continued repeating the test until we got three results that were consistent.
The tests performed are a mixture of custom in-game timedemos and manually played sections with FRAPS to record the average and minimum frame rates. We strive to not only record real-world performance you will actually see, but also present the results in a manner that is easy to digest.
Rather than testing these mid-range cards on our ultra-high end Intel Core i7 test systems, we decided to instead test them in a much more mainstream system. This is because cards like these will, in all likelihood, never end up in a high end system, and using one would have likley skewed the results unrealistically. So here's our mid-range graphics system, which while a little less impressive than out usual graphics test benches, should still produce reliable results without giving too many aspirations of grandeur for those not running ultra high end kit.
Mid-Range Graphics Test System
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 (operating at 3.00GHz – 9x333MHz)
- Gigabyte GA-X38-DS5 motherboard (Intel X38 Express)
- 2x 2GB Corsair XMS2 PC-6400 C5DHX memory (operating in dual-channel at DDR2-800 with 5-5-5-15-2T timings)
- Ultra X3 600W PSU
- Windows Vista Home Premium x64
- Intel inf 8.3.0 WHQL
Nvidia graphics cards
- Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT 512MB – operating at 600/1,500/1,800MHz using Forceware 181.22 WHQL
- Nvidia GeForce 9600 GT 512MB – operating at 650/1,625/1,800MHz using Forceware 181.22 WHQL
- Nvidia GeForce 9600 GSO 384MB – operating at 550/1,375/1,600MHz using Forceware 181.22 WHQL
Click to enlarge
ATI graphics cards
- HIS ATI Radeon HD 4670 IceQ – operating at 750/2,000MHz using Catalyst 8.12 WHQL
- AMD ATI Radeon HD 4850 512MB – operating at 625/1,986MHz using Catalyst 8.12 WHQL
- AMD ATI Radeon HD 4830 512MB – operating at 575/1,800MHz using Catalyst 8.12 WHQL
- AMD ATI Radeon HD 4670 512MB – operating at 750/1,800MHz using Catalyst 8.12 WHQL
- Far Cry 2, version 1.02 with DirectX 10/10.1 and DirectX 9.0
- Fallout 3, version 18.104.22.168 with DirectX 9.0
- Call of Duty: World at War, version 1.1 with DirectX 9.0