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The Best of the Best - High-end Graphics Card Special

By Kenny Yeo - 24 Dec 2008

Test Setup

Test Setup

For our benchmarks this time round, we'll be doing things a little differently. First of all, all testing will be done only on our Vista system and we've introduced some new benchmarks as well. But first, these are the specifications of our Vista system:

Windows Vista SP1 Test System

  • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 (3.00GHz)
  • Gigabyte X38T-DQ6 motherboard
  • 2 x 1GB DDR3-1333 Aeneon memory in dual channel mode
  • Seagate 7200.10 200GB SATA hard drive
  • Windows Vista Ultimate with SP1

For the NVIDIA cards, we'll be using the latest ForceWare 180 drivers; whereas to ensure a level playing field, we'll be using the latest Catalyst 8.12 drivers for the cards from ATI. Both ATI and NVIDIA claim that their latest drivers will offer drastic performance increase, especially on the latest games.

The complete list of cards and driver versions tested are as follows:

  • Palit Revolution 700 Deluxe (Catalyst 8.12)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 8.12)
  • HIS Radeon HD 4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo 1GB GDDR5 (Catalyst 8.12)
  • ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB GDDR5 (Catalyst 8.12)
  • Zotac GeForce GTX 280 AMP! Edition 1GB GDDR3 (ForceWare 180.48)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 1GB GDDR3 (ForceWare 180.48)
  • Leadtek WinFast GTX 260 Extreme+ (ForceWare 180.48)
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896MB GDDR3 (ForceWare 180.48)

To fully maximize and tax these high-end cards, we'll also be including some new benchmarks in the form of the latest games, such as Far Cry 2 and Crysis Warhead. The list of what we tested is as follows:

  • Futuremark 3DMark 06
  • Futuremark 3DMark Vantage (ver 101)
  • Crysis Warhead
  • Far Cry 2
  • Left 4 Dead
  • Unreal Tournament 3