System setup and notesCutting right to the numbers' chase.
|Graphics cards||Gigabyte Radeon HD 4870 1,024MB||BFG GeForce GTX 260 896MB|
|Typical pricing, including VAT||£185||£165|
|GPU clock speed (MHz)||750||576|
|Shader clock speed (MHz)||750||1,242|
|Memory clock speed (MHz)||3,600||1,998|
|Memory bus width (bits)||256||448|
|CPU||Intel Core i7 965 Extreme Edition (3.20GHz, 8MB L3 cache, quad-core, LGA1,366)|
|Motherboard||Foxconn Bloodrage X58|
|Mainboard software||Intel Inf 126.96.36.1992|
|Memory||6GB Corsair DOMINATOR PC12,800|
|Memory timings and speed||9-9-9-24 1T @ DDR3-1,333|
|PSU||Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1,000W|
|Monitor||Dell 30in 3007WFP - 2,560x1,600px|
|Disk drive(s)||Seagate 500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 (3Gb/s mode)|
9.3 (Windows Vista)
Catalyst 9.3 (Windows 7)
182.06 (Windows Vista)
ForceWare 181.71 beta (Windows 7)
Vista Business SP1, 64-bit
Windows 7 Ultimate Beta, 32-bit
|3D Benchmarks||Call of Duty 4: Modern
Warfare v1.7, HEXUS custom-recorded
DX9 - very high quality
Company Of Heroes: Opposing Fronts v2.103: DX10 - very high quality
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars v1.5, HEXUS custom-recorded benchmark. OpenGL - very high quality
Far Cry 2 v1.01 - very high quality
Race Driver: GRID v1.2, HEXUS custom-recorded benchmark - ultra quality
NotesWhat we're attempting to quantify is the relative performance of NVIDIA and ATI's cards in the sub-£200 space, both based on high-end GPUs, and see how they stack up against current Vista results. One faux-pas on our part is the use of 32-bit Ultimate rather than 64-bit Windows 7; unavoidable time pressures made this so.
Both cards ran well under Windows 7, with no obvious stability problems. Recent price maneouvering means that a Radeon HD 4870 1GB card etails for around £185, whilst an 896MB-equipped GeForce GTX 260 is now available for £165.
Let's see how things pan out under Windows 7 and Vista.