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Review: GeForce GTX 680 vs. Radeon HD 7970 at same clocks

by Tarinder Sandhu on 30 March 2012, 09:21

Tags: NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), AMD (NYSE:AMD)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qabekz

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Testing methodology

GPU comparisons

Graphics card GPU clock
(MHz)
Stream
processors
Shader clock
(MHz)
Memory clock
(MHz)
Memory bus
(bits)
Graphics driver
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (2,048MB) 1,058* 1,536 1,058* 6,008 256 ForceWare 300.99
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 590 (3,072MB) 607 1,024 1,215 3,414 384 x 2 ForceWare 296.10
  NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580 (1,536MB) 772 512 1,544 4,008 384 ForceWare 296.10
  AMD Radeon HD 7970 @ GTX 680 speeds 1,058 2,048 1,058 6,008 384 Catalyst 12.2
  AMD Radeon HD 7970 (3,072MB) 925 2,048 925 5,500 384 Catalyst 12.2
  AMD Radeon HD 7950 (3,072MB) 800 1,792 800 5,000 384 Catalyst 12.2
  AMD Radeon HD 6990 (4,096MB) 830 3,072 830 5,000 256 x 2 Catalyst 12.2

HEXUS high-end test bench

Processor Intel Core i5-2500K (3.33GHz, 6MB smart cache, quad-core, LGA1155)
Motherboard Intel Desktop Board DP67BG
Memory 8GB Corsair Vengeance (9-9-9-24 @ 1,600MHz)
Power Supply Corsair AX750W
Monitor Dell 30in 3007WFP
Disk drive(s) Crucial RealSSD C300 (256GB)
Chassis Corsair Graphite Series 600T
Operating system Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit, SP1)

HEXUS high-end benchmark suite

3DMark 11 Performance and Extreme presets
Aliens vs. Predator DX11, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 4xAA, 16xAF, very high quality
Battlefield 3 DX11, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 4xMSAA, 16xAF, ultra quality
Batman: Arkham City DX11, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 8xMSAA, extreme quality
Crysis 2 DX11, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 4xAA, ultra quality
Just Cause 2 DX10, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 4xAA, 16xAF, very high quality
Total War: Shogun 2 DX11, 1,920x1,080 and 2,560x1,600 resolutions, 4xMSAA, 16xAF, high quality
Power Consumption To emulate real-world usage scenarios, we record mains power draw both when idle and whilst playing Batman: Arkham City
Temperature To emulate real-world usage scenarios, we record GPU core temperature both when idle and whilst playing Batman: AC
Noise A PCE-318 meter is used to record noise levels when idle and whilst playing Batman: AC
Overclocking Pushing the graphics card as far as it will go, we increase speeds and re-run the Crysis 2 benchmark
HEXUS bang4buck A custom metric used to evaluate comparative performance with price factored in

Notes

* Average GPU Boost speeds.

Not a fair test, we know

We've said it before but we'll say it again: this is not an apples-to-apples GPU-to-GPU test. This is an examination of the two best architectures with frequency set at roughly the same speeds, because no-one knows for sure the exact frequency of every GTX 680 in various games.