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The graphics rendering on my development machine "feels" slow so I've just bought a graphics card to replace the on board graphics card.

Before I install it I want to run some software that will measure the performance of my current card so that I can compare the before and after.

Can you recommend something that will give me an objective measure of performance change?

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5 Answers

The latest 3DMark will stress your video card to its absolute limits. Run all the tests and save the statistics. When you put your new video card in, run it again and compare.

Don't be sad if neither card can do very well, though. It is an intense benchmark.

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'Tisn't free, though; you can only run the test once before you have to pay for it. –  TraumaPony Oct 22 '08 at 5:48
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The Video Card Stability Test is a nice and free little benchmark and load test for the GPU. Another very nice free benchmark is Lightsmark 2008.

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3dmark is excellent.

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The problem with 3dmark is that it's not related to actual shipping games. If you want to know performance for a specific game or gaming engine, you have to run it. 3dmark is notorious for being way out ahead of typical gaming engines. –  Brad Wilson Oct 21 '08 at 15:28
You'll be able to tell, however, the performance increase numerically. –  TraumaPony Oct 21 '08 at 15:29
I agree with brad, my solution, run 3dmark 2006! I find it more of an actual test –  Mitchel Sellers Oct 21 '08 at 15:29
"3DMark Vantage requires Windows Vista and DirectX10 Compliant graphics card, and does not work in any other operating systems or with sub-DX10 graphics cards." - Seems to be a bit of a limitation? –  Guy Oct 21 '08 at 19:56
Get 3DMark 06; it doesn't have that limitation. –  TraumaPony Oct 22 '08 at 1:54
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Looking at hardware review sites like Tom's Hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Components,1/Graphics-Cards,4/) and AnandTech (http://www.anandtech.com/video/) should give you a good idea of which applications and games stress graphic cards the most.

Right now 3DMark, Assassin's Creed, Call of Duty 4, Crysis, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, World in Conflict and Oblivion seem to be good candidates.

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For DirectX performance, the 3DMark versions work the best. For OpenGL performance, I like Unigine Heaven. You can download them all at Test My Geek Stuff.

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