How We Tested
Testing GTX Titan, not to mention three of them in SLI, required us to update our graphics testing rig to accommodate some advances in technology. It's now equipped with the multi-GPU powerhouse that is the Asus Maximus V Extreme
, allowing us to run up to 4-card SLI and CrossFire with 8x PCI-E 3.0 lanes per card.
We've also updated the CPU to an Intel Core i5 3570K
running at 4.2GHz to raise the CPU headroom, and paired it with 8GB of 2,400MHz Corsair Dominator DDR3.
The chassis has also been uprated to NZXT's Switch 810
, a case big enough to house even a pair of Asus' Ares 2 graphics cards. Powering that many graphics cards has also required a replacement power supply with the Lepa G1600 1600W PSU offering more wattage and 8-pin PCI-E power connectors that we'd ever need.
Our benchmarks remain the same mix of custom in-game time demos and manually-played sections, using 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. We test at 1,920 x 1,080 (1080p), 2,560 x 1,600 and 5,760 x 1,080.
We'll be adding a number of new titles to our benchmark suite shortly, namely Crysis 3 and Far Cry 3, but for now our array of BF3, Skyrim, The Witcher 2 and Crysis 2 are enough to push most set-ups to their limits.
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AMD graphics cards
- Intel Core i5 3570K (operating at 4.2GHz – 42 x 100MHz)
- Asus Maximus V Extreme motherboard
- 2 x 4GB Corsair 2,400MHz DDR3 memory
- Lepa G1600 1600W PSU
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
- Samsung SSD 830 256GB SSD
Nvidia graphics cards
- AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB GHz Edition (1,000-1,050MHz, 6GHz memory) (Catalyst 13.1)
- AMD Radeon HD 7950 3GB with Boost (875MHz-925MHz GPU, 5GHz memory) (Catalyst 13.1)
- AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB (1,000MHz GPU, 4.8GHz memory) (Catalyst 13.1)
- AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB (860MHz GPU, 4.8GHz memory) (Catalyst 13.1)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan 6GB (836Mhz, boosting to 876MHz, 6GHz memory) (Launch Driver)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 690 4GB (915MHz, boosting to 1,084MHz, 6GHz memory) (GeForce 314.07)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 2GB (915MHz, boosting to 1,084MHz, 6GHz memory) (GeForce 314.07)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 2GB (1,006MHz, boosting to 1,110MHz, 6GHz memory) (GeForce 314.07)
- Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB (915Mhz, boosting to 980MHz, 6GHz memory) (GeForce 314.07)
- Crysis 2 (DX11)
- Battlefield 3 (DX11)
- The Witcher 2 (DX9)
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (DX9)