How To Perform A Graphics Card Test
Learning how to perform a graphics card test can come in handy if you want to know how well your current graphics card can hold up to the latest games and other graphics-intensive programs. By learning how to perform these tests, not only can you learn how to evaluate your next video card purchase, but you can also help your friends see where their own video cards stand performance-wise.
What you’ll need:
- A suitable desktop computer for benchmarking tests. Generally a mid-level to top-line desktop is preferred, with as many current components as possible.
- The video card that you wish to test.
- A collection of current popular and graphics-intensive games. Games like Crysis and Half-Life 2 are suitable.
- 3-D rendering and graphics manipulating programs such as 3D Studio Max or Adobe Photoshop
- A dedicated benchmarking and stability program such as Futuremark’s 3DMark benchmark program.
What you need to look for during a graphics test:
- Different settings. The quality settings for video cards can vary greatly between manufacturer and even within the card model line itself. Keep this in mind when setting up your test.
- Frame rate. For games, the higher the frame rate, the smoother the game’s graphics perform. Most games can be played comfortably at about 30 frames per second. Any lower and you’ll begin to see jerky motion and significant slowdown.
- Performance at high settings. When playing a game, you should be able to play it comfortably on moderate settings. If the game runs significantly slow or jittery on these settings, then your video card might not be able to handle the settings.
- Rendering speed. The higher the performance of the card, the faster textures and objects can be rendered
A dedicated 3-D benchmarking program can perform these tests automatically using its own generated graphics. The results are usually processed in the form of a numerical figure that can then be compared to other cards and even submitted to an online database for further comparison. This is easier than playing several games or 3-D manipulation programs, but if you want to see how your card can perform during a specific program, it is best to use individual programs.