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
NVIDIA has announced that the GeForce GTX 650 Ti will be pitted squarely against AMD's Radeon HD 7770, which currently retails for US$119, $30 less than the GTX 650 Ti's launch price.
Aside from comparisons against the competition, we'll be very interested to see where the GTX 650 Ti falls in relation to the GTX 650 and GTX 660, the two cards immediately below and above its SKU. Its GK106 core suggests it might be close to the GTX 660, but its weaker memory interface bus and subsequently lower memory bandwidth might hold it back.
We'll also be very interested in seeing if ASUS' custom cooler is worth the extra money and chassis space, or if designs more similar to NVIDIA's compact reference design will be sufficient.
Since the target group of users for these cards aren't likely to game at very high resolutions or with multiple monitors, we've also tested the GTX 650 Ti, GTX 650 and Radeon HD 7770 cards at the resolution of 1680 x 1050 pixels to give an idea of 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.
NVIDIA has actually highlighted 1920 x 1200 pixels as the resolution of choice for the GTX 650 Ti and as such, we'll be looking very closely at how the GTX 650 Ti performs there.
The list of cards tested and driver versions used:
- ASUS GeForce GTX 650 Ti DirectCU II TOP (ForceWare 306.38)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti (ForceWare 306.38)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 (ForceWare 306.23)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 (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