Wednesday, August 19, 2015

GPU reviews Explained

I will not test gaming performance because there are a million and 1 other sites that do that. It's also very time consuming and if I don't test with enough different games people will complain that I'm Nvidia or AMD biased so instead I will only look at the hardware side of the GPU and how good it is for overclocking.


Here's how my scoring works:

Cooling
I test cooling by testing the difference in temeperature between the GPU and the ambient temperature at different fan RPMs. However I only score based on the maximum cooling capacity of the heatsink for now because I can't properly test GPU noise levels yet. Here's a break down of the scoring:

Delta T Score
less than 15C° 10
less than 20C° 9
less than 25C° 8
less than 35C° 7
less than 45C° 6
less than 50C° 5
less than 55C° 4
less than 60C° 3
less than 65C° 2
less than 70C° 1
more than 70C° 0


VRM
My VRM scores are based on 2 things, real phase count and current capacity over required.

Core VRM Phases Maximum Score
8 10
6 or more9
58
47
36
24
12

Other VRM Phases Maximum Score
3 10
2 9
18

VRM Current over stock Maximum Score
100% or more10
85%-99% 9
65%-84%8
50%-64%7
40%-49%6
30%-39%4
15%-29%2
5%-14%0

So if you have a GPU that has a 4 phase core VRM the highest score it can get is a 7/10 even if those 4 phases can push 100% more current than it needs at stock clocks. If you don't understand why I score in this way this article should clear up any questions.

Extras
The extras section of my GPU reviews gives GPU bonus points for features that are useful but not necessary on the card. Theses would be things like 0RPM modes, dual BIOS switches, RGB lighting or other extras that make the GPU just that much better than the others.

Conclusion
The conclusion score is out of 20. This does not mean a GPU can't get more than a 20. A GPU can get more than 20 because I do not believe in perfect. Nothing is ever perfect. So no GPU could ever score a 20. So instead 20 is a target. If a GPU gets close to a 20 or a 20 it's a good GPU. If it gets more than a 20 then it means that it offers much more than what I would require. To get a 20 you just need a good cooler and good VRM because that does in fact make for a very good GPU. To get over a 20 you either need a whole slew of extra features like BIOS switches, backplates, RGB lighting, voltage read points.... or to get 10s on cooling and VRM and then have only 1 extra feature. Personally I love extra features however I do not know what kinds of extra features I want until I get them so the maximum score is opened to accommodate that.

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