Reviewed: Gigabyte GTX 970 & 960 G1 Gaming Graphics Cards

Test Methods

There are two distinct types of testing that we traditionally conduct for graphics cards:

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.

Subjective testing where we try to execute the same passage of game play from a save game or checkpoint with FRAPS running to a log file. This is less reproducible and more prone to variation so we declare this differently. The comparison between cards in the subjective section means less than the true benchmarks but it does provide a good indication of what you would see when gaming with each card.

With 2560 x 1440 now becoming more popular, we’ve also added benchmarks for that resolution and tested the gameplay on the awesome BenQ XL2730Z 144Hz 2560×1440 gaming monitor via Display Port.

We also only graph the average frame rates but include the minimum and maximum in the tables for reference. Minimum and maximum frame rates can be misleading, especially on subjective type test runs.

The following tests were all reproducible or scripted benchmarks as opposed to free form gameplay that can be more subjective.

If you are intetested in seeing how your system compares to our test bench in the synthetic tests, head over to Futuremark for the free Basic edition of 3DMark.

3DMark 11



3DMARK Firestrike

A more demanding benchmark than the ageing 3DMARK 11 and relevant to 1080p gaming




3DMARK Firestrike Extreme

Firestrike Extreme is aimed at systems with 4GB of video memory and for resolutions of 2560 x 1440. Tests like this should show a clear gap between lower or mid-range cards and the high end GPUs



3DMARK Firestrike Ultra

The Firestrike Ultra test is designed to stress 4K capable systems. 



3DMARK Skydiver

The Skydiver test isn’t overly taxing for modern mid-range to high-end graphics cards but is does complete the test set pretty well and gives an idea of the performance of older, less demanding games.



Unigine Heaven 

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. 





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