One of the leading hardware enthusiast websites in the UK is dropping their real world gameplay comparisons noting resource issues and reader disinterest. I can tell you this, Bit-Tech did a very good job of laying out why they were changing their video card testing approach back in 2005, but I guess they are having a change of heart as stated by Bit-Tech staffer Richard Swinburne.
Q: Where's the apples and oranges stuff you guys used to do? It was the best indication of how performance scales at quality and the only thing I personally feels how a GPU really performs in the real world. Benchmarks and FPS graphs just don't do it for me.
A: Very few people liked Oranges to Apples so we went back to apples to apples. The best playable settings just physically takes far far too long to test, Tim would be writing the article for three weeks if that was the case.
It is sad to see them move away from what I think is an obviously superior form of evaluation. You can read my thoughts on the Benchmarking Future from 2003. I think that our latest video card evaluation of the Radeon HD 2900 XT was a true testament to what we have been doing for 4 years now. The fact of the matter is that you donâ€™t buy $400 video cards to play games at 12x10 resolution, and if you do, I would highly suggest you invest in a new display before you upgrade your video card. The fact is that you donâ€™t buy $400 video cards to play games without AA, AF, incredible HDR lighting, or detailed shadows. Real world gameplay testing shows you exactly what video cards give you the best gaming experience. The video card market is not about frames per second any more; it is about smooth gameplay and immersive digital environments. If someone is suggesting that you spend your money on a video card because it got a better framerate, it could very likely be a misguided opinion. Did our recent evaluation of the 2900 XT give you a different conclusion than many other sites? You are damn right it did. When it comes to immersing the gamer in a 3D environment, the 2900 XT simply does not do the job as well as the less expensive 8800 GTS. Did the 2900 XT give faster framerates at â€œmiddleâ€ resolutions or with no AA as proven by many canned benchmarks? Yes it did. What I canâ€™t figure out is why anyone cares that it did.
I am sad to see Bit-Tech pulling back from their testing stance, but I will say this, â€œWelcome to all those Bit-Tech readers that value real world gaming evaluations. You have found a new home, and we are damn glad to have you here.â€ Gaming experience provided by the hardware we evaluate will continue to be our focus.