A couple of weeks ago NVIDIA sent members of the press a couple of tools to help in focusing in on some key details that are either too hard or too expensive to provide testing for in making reviews. You might remember FCAT from 2013, a frametime testing tool used to benchmark games and graphics card performance by looking at frames directly pumped out by the graphics card. It was an extremely involved testing method but provided a better view of gaming performance outside of just looking at FRAPS results during that time.=
Fast-forward a couple of years later and frametime benchmarking has now been accepted as the more indicative way of showing how smooth a game is despite harsh criticism back then that it was just an expensive toy which is biased to NVIDIA. Time has proven that statement to be very false. Today marks another chapter in what may be another standard in the coming years… although to be honest, these tests exists in one form or another today.
Today, NVIDIA is announcing LDAT and PCAT as well as an update to FrameView which now reaches version 1.1 after a year in existence. We have in-depth articles for LDAT, PCAT as well as a short update detail update about FrameView 1.1.
EDIT: As the announcement was made a little bit earlier, we’re presenting these links below as reference on our upcoming articles and they will be linked soonafter:
- NVIDIA LDAT: System Latency and Screen Response Testing Made Easy
- Powenetics vs. NVIDIA PCAT: A More Accurate Approach in Graphics Card Power Measurement
- NVIDIA FrameView 1.1: PCAT Power Measurement Integration and Vulkan Overlay Support
Please read how PCAT works first before jumping to FrameView ss PCAT and the new FrameView update are somehow integrated. Each article discusses how each testing tool works and how we plan to integrate it to out testing.
My initial test of tools was quite positive. LDAT for example, has been something I’ve been looking for and with Leo Bodnar’s latency tester always out of stock, it was a god send that NVIDIA invited me to check out LDAT.
On the side power testing, I haven’t formalized a method with my Powenetics kit as of now. NVIDIA’s PCAT works via the same concept of capturing power draw straight from the source so external factors like API reporting errors, PSU efficiency, board vs. chip draw, etc. are now reduced to the actual power the entire graphics card uses. The advantage of PCAT is a get-up-and-go solution wherein Powenetics is an expensive, DIY project that requires cutting power supply cables.
FrameView as a benchmarking tool offers expanded usage thanks to Vulkan support and while a lot of people who just want to showcase their FPS performance, FrameVieew will do that but it allows so much deeper information when using the log data. I have used FrameView 1.0 last year extensively, expanded on NVIDIA’s analyzer template but the extent which they have enriched the tool today is quite a marvel and again, may not be for everyone, but ultimately is good for comparing upgrades to other people specially with a unified benchmarking tool like FrameView.
Again, a company like NVIDIA developing benchmark will always be faced with a little bit of doubt from end-users but for us in the PC hardware business, these things usually take time to grow into mass adoption, first through the media and then through advanced users and eventually and hopefully become the norm.
That said, as FrameView and PCAT are already integrated in our testing and LDAT already planned for years ago, we will eventually integrate them fully in our reviews and I hope you enjoy and appreciate the test data shown in our dedicated articles and we look forward to sharing more dimensions into measuring performance with these tools to our readers and the world.