16-card GPU bangs-per-buck mega shoot out
We name the best GPUs for performance and price
We've looked at a host of graphics chips, and while each new GPU generation has its fans who'll dash out and buy it no matter what, plenty of punters prefer to wait and see whether they're worth the money.
In short, they ask, what level of bang will we get per buck? Or would be be better off spending a lot less on an older GPU that delivers nearly as much performance - particularly now that doubling up cards in CrossFire or SLI mode can deliver potentially better acceleration than a newer, single-GPU product can?
Well, we're an obliging lot at Register Hardware, so we've worked it all out for you. We've taken a stack of cards and put them through their paces on our Intel Skulltrail test platform.
We’re going to look at value for money based on each card's performance in 3DMark06. We choose that test for good reason. For one thing, you can run the same benchmark yourself and for another it's heavily dependent on the graphics card. Games such as Crysis or Elder Scrolls: Oblivion load the whole system quite heavily and make it tricky to judge the effect of the graphics card in isolation.
It would have been nice to use the more recent 3DMark Vantage test but it requires DirectX 10 support and that’s not supported by some of the older graphics cards that we lined up as cannon fodder.
3Dmark, isolated graphics - not quite
"Games such as Crysis or Elder Scrolls: Oblivion load the whole system quite heavily and make it tricky to judge the effect of the graphics card in isolation."
I find it annoying that you missed out the fact that 3DMark 06 is a lot more CPU bound than many games.
I like 3d mark
The dragon and the air ship particularly. :)
The review however is okay, it doesn't compare for example twin of every card and singles of them all... Or those that a re from different manufacturers but claim to be the same card. So you have to take what is in it as read and work with it.
Not bad, but
What I'd like to see are:
* Bang/Watt figures
* Bang/dB figures
The best graphics card in the world is next to useless if it sounds like you're stuck inside a Vulcan's engine whenever you use it, similarly if you need a small nuclear reactor just to feed it there might be better options for the average user ;)
Overall a nice review though; not sure about the 45° part, but the rest of it is useful for a quick summary.
Dual GTX280's for me thanks
Dual GTX280s for me. Best $600 I spent. Blows everything and anything in your little graphs away. Contemplating a 3x280 config once the prices start to drop.
What I really want to know is
Will it blend?
Mine's the one with an AGP card... PCIe? What's that!?