Testing Notes & Methodology

Our performance review is comprised of 17 budget to mid-range graphics configurations from AMD, Nvidia and even Intel, across all price ranges. Given that Duke Nukem Forever is not very demanding, we decided to focus on more affordable graphics cards for this article.

The latest official drivers were used for all configurations and we overclocked the Intel Core i7 920 processor to 3.70GHz in an attempt to remove any CPU bottlenecks. We used Fraps to measure frame rates during a minute of gameplay from the campaign mode. The level is titled "The Lady Killer: Part 3."

Duke Nukem Forever was tested at three resolutions: 1440x900, 1680x1050 and 1920x1200. Other quality settings include Motion Blur, Film Grain and Post Special Effects, while Texture and Shadow detail were both set to Ultra.

There are two anti-aliasing options available: FSAA and FXAA. Ideally, we would have preferred to test with FSAA, since FXAA has been developed by Nvidia and will likely work best with their graphics cards. However we found the image was still very pixelated with loads of jagged edges when using FSAA (even at 2560x1600), while FXAA provided a much smoother picture. Therefore, we believe most gamers will want to use the FXAA setting, so that's what we used during testing.

As usual, we've also included CPU scaling performance to see what kind of difference you can expect at various clock speeds and to compare a range of AMD and Intel processors.

Test System Specs
- Intel Core i7-920 (Overclocked @ 3.70GHz)
- x3 2GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-12800 (CAS 8-8-8-20)
- Asus P6T Deluxe (Intel X58)
- OCZ ZX Series 1250w
- Crucial RealSSD C300 256GB (SATA 6Gb/s)
- Radeon HD 6770 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 6750 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 6670 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 6450 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 5670 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 4850 (1024MB)
- Radeon HD 4770 (1024MB)
- Radeon 2600 XT (256MB)
- GeForce GTX 550 TI (1024MB)
- GeForce GTS 450 (1024MB)
- GeForce GTS 430 (1024MB)
- GeForce 9800 GT (1024MB)
- GeForce 9600 GT (1024MB)
- GeForce 8800 GS (384MB)
- GeForce 8600 GTS (256MB)
- Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
- Nvidia Forceware 275.33
- ATI Catalyst 11.5b