HEXUS.bang4buck, and overclocking
In a rough-and-ready assessment of the cards' bang per buck, we've aggregated the 1,920x1,200 frame-rates for five games, normalised them* and taken account of the cards' prices.
But there are more provisos than we'd care to shake a stick at. We could have chosen five different games, the cards' prices could have been derived from other sources and pricing tends to fluctuate daily.
Consequently, the table, below, highlights a metric that should only be used as a yardstick for evaluating comparative performance with price factored in. Other architectural benefits are not covered, obviously.
|Graphics cards||Inno3D GeForce GTX 275 OC 896MB||BFG GeForce GTX 275 OC 896MB||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275 896MB||BFG
GeForce GTX 260
|Sapphire Radeon HD 4890 OC 1,024MB||XFX Radeon HD 4890 XXX 1,024MB||Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 1,024MB||Sapphire Radeon HD 4850 X2 2,048MB|
|Actual aggregate marks at 1,920x1,200||385.48||375.56||364.28||326.75||371.73||371.84||318.63||441.69|
|Aggregate marks, normalised*, at 1,920x1,200||341.46
|Current pricing, including VAT||£220||£210||£199||£160||£212||£210
|HEXUS.bang4buck score at 1,920x1,200||1.552
* the normalisation refers to taking playable frame rate into account. Should a card benchmark at over 60 frames per second in any one game, the extra fps count as half. Similarly, should a card benchmark lower, say at 40fps, we deduct half the difference from its average frame rate and the desired 60fps, giving it a HEXUS.bang4buck score of 30 marks. The minimum allowable frame rate is 20fps but that scores zero.The HEXUS.bang4buck score only takes the performance and price into account, of course.
The overall HEXUS.bang4buck scores are surprisingly similar. On the (rather large) assumption that the Inno3D comes in at £220 it provides a performance-to-value metric equivalent to the other GeForce GTX 275s and HD 4890s. Recent price-cutting means that the next architectures down - GeForce GTX 260 and HD 4870 - are both viewed even better, if not performing quite as well.
The BFG GeForce GTX 275 OC hit 720MHz core, 1,600MHz shaders, and 2,462MHz RAM - a genuine increase over default. The Inno3D version, which ships with faster frequencies, scaled to 707MHz/1,591MHz/2,660MHz. So not so good on the core and shaders but excellent for GDDR3 memory.
Rerunning Enemy Territory: Quake Wars at 1,920x1,200 4xAA 16xAF, which returned an average 93.15fps at the shipping clocks, overclocked performance rose to 100.63fps, representing a figure higher than a stock-clocked GeForce GTX 285 1,024MB.