Why do you use a Z68 platform with x8 / x8 instead of an X58 one with x16 / x16? Z68 vs X58 - Which is The Better Gaming Platform?
The testbed side of things is identical to that of the standalone MARS II review and the comparison line up is identical with the MSI GTX 580 SLI setup included, the Sapphire HD 6990 and the MARS II at its default clocks.
Using the new ASUS GPU Tweak software to overclock our MARS II card, we ended up with our cores coming in at 862MHz. This is 80MHz up on the out of the box speed and 90MHz up on the default GTX 580 speed. This means that of course our Shader clock has been bumped and that now comes in at 1724MHz.
As for the memory side of things, we pushed our 3GB of GDDR5 up to 4208MHz QDR which is 200MHz QDR up on the default out of the box overclock.
This isn't a bad overclock at all and you have to remember that we're dealing with an 80MHz core increase on two cores along with two sets of Shaders. It helps make the overall overclock a bit more powerful and it's something that's worth remembering.
So with that done, let's find out just what kind of performance increase we get from the MARS II when it's been overclocked.
Let's get started!
The FPS Numbers Explained
When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.
30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.
60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.
120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.
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- Page 1 [Introduction and Overclocking]
- Page 2 [Test System Setup and Overclock]
- Page 3 [3DMark 11]
- Page 4 [Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Mafia II]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - Just Cause 2]
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