Benchmark testing where we use a scripted or specific benchmark utility that has no user interaction other than setting the graphics properties and hitting 'start'. The utility then gives us a report of the relevant statistics.
We also only graph the average frame rates as minimum and maximum frame rates can be misleading.
The following tests were all reproducible or scripted or in-game benchmarks that are consistently executed without human intervention.
We've moved on from the older 3DMark11 benchmarks that still hold relevance for some but the latest benchmarking tests from Futuremark give modern day GPUs a serious belting at the extreme, high end and mid-low end levels.
In these synthetic benchmarks, we see the GTX 1080 dominate with the Firestrike series.
Firestrike Ultra is first up and gives a good indication of how '4K-ready' a GPU is.
Next up Firestrike Extreme is geared to test 2560x1440 gaming capability
Firestrike gives an indication of performance at 1080p
We tested SkyDiver in the interests of completeness but the result is aimed at low end graphics platforms.
Unigine Heaven Benchmark 4.0 Basic is one of the programs that we run to temperature test the cards and we also do a benchmark run during the process.
Futuremark TimeSpy (DX12)
This benchmark taxes graphics cards to see how well they handle the load of DX12.
In most of the tests, the RX 480 beats the GTX 970 but the most telling statistic is how much better the RX 480 is when compared to the previous generation R9 380 GPU. The RX 480 is a great step forward in the mid-range for AMD.