In the logicalincrements guide, if you were to hover over the name of any tier, you will get a small description, along with a sample performance in some popular games.
Example: Mousing over the “Entry” tier.
Above is a picture of the old ratings. Below is the same tier, using the new rating system:
The way we calculated the performance was based on the following table:
We looked at the FPS across various common resolutions, and graded tier performance accordingly.
The old grading was quite lenient: A setup that could produce just 20 FPS at 1680x1050 would get a star. And the resolution only went up to 2560x1440, so the priciest tiers could easily get a full 5 stars for all games.
We are updating to a new system for our star rating, and it is going to be much, much harsher. For a start, we are replacing CoD:BO2, BF3 and Crysis 1 for CoD:Ghosts, BF4 and Crysis 3 respectively. While Ghosts does not have significantly higher graphics than BO2, BF4 and Crysis 3 are both much more demanding than their predecessors. We are also dropping the 1366x768 resolution, and adding 4K instead.
The new star chart looks like so:
The gradient for the new system is smoother, which means that you will rarely get a case where going up by one tier would change the star rating by more than one star.
The combination of higher resolution, and newer games, means that even the $3k builds no longer max out all games, since that would mean getting 60+ FPS on Crysis 3 at 4K resolution, which requires 3 or 4 Titans. 3 or 4 Titans is beyond the realm of most mortals at the moment, so we expect that our current system will last for a while before we need to make it even harsher.
The effect of the changes per game is as follows:
LoL: Because it is an easy game to run on most hardware, LoL only lost about half a star on average.
Dota 2, WoW, CoD:Ghosts: Lost an average of one star each.
BF4: Lost about 1.5 stars. Even the priciest tiers only get 4 stars nows.
Crysis 3: The hardest hit game, lost an average of 2 stars.
For a simplified meaning of the new star rating:
0 stars: This setup cannot play this game well.
0.5 stars: This setup can play this game tolerably, on low settings and resolution
1-2 stars: This setup can play the game at 1600x900 resolution.
2-3 stars: This setup can play the game at 1920x1080 resolution.
3-4 stars: This setup can play the game at 2560x1440 resolution.
4-5 stars: This setup can play the game at 3840x2160 (4K) resolution.
Please note that the guide has 16 tiers. With 6 games at 4 different resolutions, that meant that we need nearly 400 different benchmarks. While we were able to find the majority of benchmarks stats needed, some were not available (example: Ghosts does not yet support 4K). If a specific benchmark was not available, we extrapolated from benchmarks of similar cards/settings.
Please feel free to give feedback on our choice of new games and new resolutions.