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How we tested

How we tested

We included a couple of new tests in our usual suit of benchmarks. In addition to Left 4 Dead 2 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, we added Unigene's Heaven 4.0 Benchmark and various versions of the free Handbrake video encoding software - the pre-eminent GPU accelerated app. These included the standard version and the OpenCL and Quick Sync Video (QSV) Betas. QSV refers to the hardware video encoder/decoder built into all Intel chips since Sandy Bridge. Although it has been around for a while, it hasn't seen as wide a take-up as general GPU acceleration, but Handbrake does now support it.

We encoded a 1GB 48000kbps .MOV file taken on a DSLR using Handbrake's high profile ultrafast x264 settings at a 15,000kbps average bitrate. We recorded the average frames per second as stated in the encoding details.

For the QSV preset in our Intel CPU testing, we set the average bitrate to 15,000kbps again, and matched the rest of the settings as best we could to output a similar file, but due to the fact that enabling this preset limited the available settings, we couldn't use exactly the same ones. We still feel the results are demonstrative and thus comparable, though.

For our AMD Dual Graphics tests, we used the fastest graphics card that AMD recommends to work with the A10-6800K APU - the Radeon HD 6670 1GB. We ran tests with just the APU installed, then with the Radeon HD 6670 1GB installed both with and without dual graphics enabled in Catalyst Control Centre. We used Catalyst 13.6 Beta for the AMD side of things and Intel's 9.18.10.3071 HD graphics driver. All tests were carried out with the memory running at 1,600MHz and CPUs at stock speed.

Intel Haswell vs AMD Richland - the GPU test How we tested
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Test setups
AMD:
  • MSI FM2-A75MA-E35

Intel:
  • MSI's Z87-G45 (LGA1150)
  • Asus Maximus V Formula (LGA1155)

Common components: