We continue to update our testing methods around once per year. As such, we re-test older hardware to reflect changes over time. These can be driver updates, Windows updates, game patches, and more; all of which have an impact on performance figures. Furthermore, we update our test benches to newer and more relevant hardware. This means that our new reviews aren’t always comparable to those of older reviews, so please compare the testing methodology on older reviews should you be trying to compare them with newer ones.
When it comes to our benchmarks in our reviews, the benchmarks are pretty self-explanatory and are kept as simple as possible, although there are a few exceptions. Remember that your choice of a graphics card, CPU, the silicon lottery, and other factors can yield different numbers, and there’s always a margin for error when using any software.
Links are provided below, as well as the settings we use. We encourage you to not just look at how one product compares to any other, but how it compares to your own. If you’re looking to build a new system, you should benchmark your current PC using the benchmarks available to you. You should then look at the percentage improvement from your current hardware to the hardware tested here to give you a ballpark figure of how much of an upgrade this will provide you with.
|Test System (GPU)|
|Motherboard||ASUS ROG Z690 Maximus Hero
BIOS Version 1720
|Processor||Intel Core i9 12900K||Review||Buy Now|
|GPU||Changes Per Review|
|RAM||Patriot Viper Venom 32GB (2x16GB) 6200MHz||Review||Buy Now|
|CPU Cooler||NZXT Kraken Z73 RGB||Buy Now|
|Power Supply||NZXT C1000 Gold||Review||Buy Now|
|Storage||Seagate FIRECUDA 530 1TB||Review||Buy Now|
|Chassis||NZXT H7 Flow||Review||Buy Now|
|OS||Windows 11 Pro Version 21H2|
AMD Graphics: 22.10.1
We use a variety of software from different developers to assist in our testing and to give us the most consistent results possible. Some applications are specifically used for testing, while others are simply used for monitoring and to aid us in making sure that our results are as accurate as possible.
To gauge performance levels which are easily reproduced time after time, by both ourselves and our readers, we now stick strictly to games’ default profiles. Given how powerful most modern cards are getting, we’ve begun using more demanding profiles for most games, but will otherwise state on a per-game basis if we use other profiles beyond High, Ultra, Maximum or their respective equivalent at all resolutions. V-Sync is always disabled in our testing, and all FPS caps that can be removed are. We also enable XMP and Resizable bar technology across all platforms to keep things as fair as possible.
While we test a lot of games, it’s not possible to display all of the data on the website or in our videos. Instead, we include access to all of our testing data for our Patreon members (link), where members get a ton of other benefits as well.
What we do, however, is display charts for averages across all game titles to give a better picture of performance across all titles tested.
Some tests will also include features such as NVIDIA DLSS and Ray Tracing. However, these will be clearly labelled and may only appear in reviews for graphics cards that support those features.
Not being content on simply reading total system power draw at both idle, we now have the ability thanks to the ElmorLabs PMD-USB device that allows us to measure power draw directly through the EPS power connectors. We test at idle, during gaming load, of which we measure drawing a run of Cyberpunk 2077 and during Cinebench R23 at load too.
We take temperature readings after 10 minutes of desktop idle with no background programs running, then take the recorded maximum delivered during the same runs as when we measure power consumption, being during our Cyberpunk 2033 run, and during Cinebench R23 at load too.
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