An NVIDIA AIB partner contacted us just before the launch of GeForce GTX 480 and asked us one pointed question after the usual round of pleasantries.
You might expect them to enquire as to how the GTX 480 fared against the Radeon HD 5870, or perhaps want to know if we thought NVIDIA's finest card was really good, right? Rather, they only wanted to know how it compared when pitted against two Radeon HD 5850s in multi-card CrossFireX.
The question has greater import the more we think about it, because a two-card HD 5850 setup costs (roughly) the same as the GTX 480, can be installed into the vast majority of premium motherboards, and gives one an inkling into the probable performance of a single-board £450 Radeon HD 5950 2,048MB, should such a product come to market.
Donning our benchmarking trousers one more time and firing up the test systems, we attempt to answer this intriguing question as we look at gaming performance.