Let’s be honest, most of the ways we test out our computer rigs are boring. You have the fury donut thing, or, like the benchmarks in most games, a camera zooming through a detailed environment with nothing happening. They work fine enough, but if the internet has taught me anything, it’s that cats make almost everything better—a fact the benchmarking software Catzilla has taken to heart.
Final Fantasy XIV has had a rough ride. After launching to poor critical reception and dismal sales, Square Enix ended up erasing the world from existence with a meteor shower and spent the next three years building A Realm Reborn from the ground up. It was a bold endeavor, and now the developers want to make everyone’s rebirth as smooth as possible by offering a benchmark and character creation tool almost a month before the game comes out.
Recently I’ve been spending my days (and some fevered night’s dreams) benchmarking pretty much every GPU from this latest generation of graphics cards. One card has stood out as the absolute best. We’ve been recommending the standard 2GB HD 7850 as the go-to graphics card of today, as its combination of impressive price-point and brilliant 1080p performance is tough to argue against. But I’ve been playing around with the slightly-hobbled 1GB version recently and I’ve got to say I barely notice the difference from the halved frame buffer.
You’d think that in the high-resolution stakes, where the 2GB HD 7850 performed surprisingly well itself, this 1GB version would struggle. But the GPU itself taps out before the lack of graphics memory actually has an impact on performance.
For £120 then the HD 7850 1GB is an absolute bargain. So, what if you get a pair of them in your rig?