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What Is a Graphics Card Test?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 March 2014
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A graphics card test is a test run on a computer system, usually through a particular software program, that analyzes how well the graphics card on that system is working. There is a great deal of information that can be displayed from this type of test, though common results may indicate the temperature the card is running at, the frames per second (fps) being displayed by the card, and the memory and clock speed of the card. A graphics card test is usually performed to assess how effective a graphics card is for running games and other graphics-intensive programs.

Also referred to as benchmarking, a graphics card test typically uses software specially designed to test graphics cards. Some businesses also use actual computer games for testing graphics, though this is often done in addition to testing using specific testing software. This provides not only a general sense of the performance capabilities of a particular graphics card, but also information regarding how it runs various games available in the market. The results of a graphics card test are often referred to as the “benchmarks” for a particular card, and they can be displayed and compared in many different ways.

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Software that is run during a graphics card test will typically use a scene or area, usually using three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics, and then evaluate how well the card is able to render that scene. The fps for a card is one of the most important indicators of how well a card can handle different graphical needs. Many computer gamers prefer a card that can render about 45 to 60 fps while playing a game, and anything less than 30 fps can create noticeable slowdown for a player. A graphics card test can also evaluate the card for any problems, such as overheating and the clock speed of the card. This can be especially important for a card that has been overclocked, or made to run faster than intended.

There are a number of software programs that can be used for a graphics card test, and it is typically best to use a single program to test and compare different cards. Numerous websites have been established for testing and comparing graphics cards, usually accompanied by benchmark numbers that indicate fps for a card for certain games, and provide numerical comparisons between card qualities. Many companies that perform a graphics card test on a card will use the most sophisticated computer games on the market, as this will typically ensure that the card can also handle older games.

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