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Testbed and Methods

We are going to test the graphics cards performance in Might & Magic Heroes VI using the following universal testbed:

  • Intel Core i7-975 Extreme Edition processor (3.33 GHz, 6.4 GT/s QPI);  
  • Scythe SCKTN-3000 Katana 3 CPU cooler;
  • Gigabyte GA-EX58-Extreme mainboard (Intel X58 Express chipset);
  • Corsair XMS3-12800C9 (3 x 2 GB, 1333 MHz, 9-9-9-24, 2T);
  • Samsung Spinpoint F3 HDD (1 TB, 32 MB buffer, SATA II);
  • Ultra X4 850 W modular power supply;
  • Dell 3007WFP monitor (30", 2560x1600 @ 60 Hz max display resolution);
  • Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit.

We used the following ATI Catalyst and Nvidia GeForce drivers:

  • Nvidia GeForce 285.38 BETA for Nvidia GeForce;
  • ATI Catalyst 11.10 preview for ATI Radeon HD.

The ATI Catalyst and Nvidia GeForce graphics card drivers were configured in the following way:

ATI Catalyst:

  • Anti-Aliasing: Use application settings/4x/Standard Filter
  • Morphological filtering: Off
  • Tessellation: Use application settings
  • Texture Filtering Quality: High Quality
  • Enable Surface Format Optimization: Off
  • Wait for vertical refresh: Always Off
  • Anti-Aliasing Mode: Adaptive Multi-sample AA
  • Other settings: default

Nvidia GeForce:

  • Texture filtering – Quality: High quality
  • Vertical sync: Force off
  • Antialiasing - Transparency: Multisampling
  • CUDA – GPUs: All
  • Set PhysX configuration: Auto-select
  • Ambient Occlusion: Off
  • Other settings: default

The image quality in the game was set to the maximum.

The games configuration files weren’t modified in any way, because the ordinary user doesn’t have to know how to do it. We ran our tests in the following multimedia resolutions: 1600x900, 1920x1080 and 2560x1600.

Here are the cards that participated in our today’s test session.

Premium Category

  • ATI Radeon HD 6990
  • ATI Radeon HD 6970
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 590
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 580

Performance Category

  • ATI Radeon HD 6950
  • ATI Radeon HD 6870
  • ATI Radeon HD 6850
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 570
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 560 Titanium

Mainstream Category

  • ATI Radeon HD 6770
  • ATI Radeon HD 6750
  • ATI Radeon HD 6670
  • Nvidia GeForce GTX 550 Titanium
  • Nvidia GeForce GT 545 DDR3
  • Nvidia GeForce GT 530

We measured the average and minimum performance using Fraps utility version 3.4.6. Each test scenario was repeated three times and the average value of the three runs was taken for the analysis, as always.

The test run included all major components of the Might & Magic Heroes VI gaming process: small scripted scene using the gaming engine, panoramic view of a partially built castle, main character’s run across the scene and traditional combat scene in battle mode.

 
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