HEXUS bang4buck and HEXUS bang4watt
Putting all the numbers into perspective, let's take a closer look at overall performance.
In a rough-and-ready assessment of the cards' bang for buck, we've aggregated the 1,920x1,080 frame-rates for seven games, normalised them* and taken account of the single-cards' prices.
But there are more provisos than we'd care to shake a stick at. We could have chosen seven different games, the cards' prices could have been derived from other sources and pricing tends to fluctuate daily, especially for new-release GPUs.
Consequently, the table below highlight 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||NVIDIA GTX 580||NVIDIA GTX 570||ASUS GTX 480||ASUS GTX 470||Gigabyte GTX 560 SO||NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti||KFA2 GTX 460 1,024MB||EVGA GTX 460 768MB||HIS HD 5970||HIS HD 6970||Sapp HD 6950||XFX HD 5870||Sapp HD 6850||HIS HD 6870|
|GPU power consumption**||252||196||244||204
* 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 GPU power consumption is derived from subtracting a flat rate of 100W - indicating system power-draw without a card - from the Call of Duty: Black Ops load figure. While this figure isn't solely indicative of power pulled by the GPU, as the CPU also throttles up, it's a better metric than using peak system-draw alone.
*** the HEXUS.bang4watt score is a crude measurement of how much normalised performance the GPU provides when evaluated against GPU power-draw that's shown in the table: the former is divided by the latter. We're using the peak power-draw numbers obtained by running real-world Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Tot them up and the Gigabyte GTX 560 Ti SO's aggregate numbers are just a touch higher than a GeForce GTX 570's - mainly down to a slightly better score in Call of Duty: Black Ops. What's more, it's faster than any single GPU from AMD's stable.
We've already discussed that the extra performance comes at a cost. That cost is higher-than-expected power-draw when playing games, though any HEXUS bang4watt score over two is considered good.