Graphics Cards Guide
As usual, the following are the specs of our trusty graphics card test bed system:
- Intel Core i7-975 (3.33GHz)
- Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD4P motherboard
- 3 x 1GB DDR3-1333 G.Skill memory in triple channel mode
- Seagate 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive
- Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
Since we don’t have a reference GeForce GTX 650 on hand, we will be downclocking the MSI GTX 650 Power Edition to simulate its results. The GeForce GTX 650 will be pitted squarely against the AMD Radeon HD 7750. In June, AMD announced that the Radeon HD 7750 will have its clock speeds bumped up to 900MHz, however, availability of such cards are low. The majority of Radeon HD 7750 cards in the market are still running with a core clock speed of 800MHz so that will be the version of the Radeon HD 7750 which will serve as our point of comparison.
We have also added results from the recently tested GeForce GTX 660 and the Radeon HD 7770 and Radeon HD 7870. And to see how the GeForce GTX 650 fares in comparison with older NVIDIA cards, we’ve also included results of the GeForce GTX 560 Ti and GeForce GTX 460 Ti. That said, we are also interested to see how the MSI GTX 650 Power Edition will fare - how much more performance it’ll give over a reference card and how effective its unique custom cooler is.
Since the target group of users for these cards aren't likely to game at very high resolutions, we've also tested the GTX 650 and the Radeon HD 7700 series cards at the resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels to give an idea how they would fare. We didn't have time to test the speedier cards at this mainstream resolution, but it's sufficient to say that they are much more powerful and won't face issues addressing game play at this resolution.
The list of cards tested and driver versions used:
- MSI GTX 650 Power Edition (ForceWare 306.23)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 (ForceWare 306.23)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 2GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 306.23)
- AMD Radeon HD 7750 (Catalyst 12.8)
- AMD Radeon HD 7770 (Catalyst 12.8)
- AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB GDDR5 (AMD Catalyst 12.8)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 305.37)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 Ti 1GB GDDR5 (ForceWare 305.37)
The list of benchmarks used:
- Futuremark 3DMark 11
- Unigine v2.1 "Heaven"
- Far Cry 2
- Crysis Warhead
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2
- Crysis 2
- Batman: Arkham City
- Dirt 3
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat