DirectX 10 Shootout: Nvidia vs. ATI

Cumulative Frame Rate, Pricing And Performance For The Money

While the Geforce 8800 Ultra offers twice the performance of the Radeon HD 2900 XT, it also costs twice as much. Looking at the results, we agree with ATI's appraisal of the performance difference between the Radeon HD 2900 XT and the Geforce 8800 GTS. At any rate, ATI's chip is not the faster of the two in our benchmarks - indeed, it is slightly slower and costs more.

The Radeon 2400 XT through 2600 XT loose important points in the overall frame rate score due to their crashes in Bioshock. If these cards ran Bioshock correctly, we estimate that they would reach the following cumulative frame rates: 2400 Pro 128 fps, 2400 XT 192 fps, 2600 Pro 338 fps, 2600 XT (256 MB) 437 fps, and 2600 XT (512) 446 fps.

[US Editor's Note: We left prices in Euros, because the main thrust of this section is to provide the relative price performance data in the two tables following this one.]

Price Comparison
Model Price*
8800 Ultra (768 MB) OC 615 €
8800 Ultra (768 MB) 545 €
8800 GTX (768 MB) 446 €
HD2900 XT (512 MB) 317 €
8800 GTS (640 MB) 313 €
8800 GTS (320 MB) OC 275 €
8800 GTS (320 MB) 240 €
8600 GTS (512 MB) 152 €
8600 GTS (256 MB) 133 €
HD2600 XT (512 MB) 108 €
8600 GT (256 MB) OC 93 €
HD2600 XT (256 MB) 87 €
HD2600 Pro (256 MB) 72 €
8500 GT TC (256/1022 MB) 64 €
HD2400 XT HM (128/1022 MB) 55 €
8400 GS TC (256/1022 MB) 42 €
HD2400 Pro HM (256/1022 MB) 40 €
*(Prices current at time of publication)

The Geforce 8600 GT and the Geforce 8800 GTS with 320 MB offer the most performance for your money. Per frame, the Radeon HD 2900 XT costs almost as much as the Geforce 8800 Ultra. The smaller Radeon chips become very expensive because their cumulative result is dragged down by their issues in Bioshock.

Price / Performance Comparison Euro per fps
HD2400 XT HM (128/1022 MB) 0.386
HD2600 XT (512 MB) 0.312
HD2400 Pro HM (256/1022 MB) 0.311
8800 Ultra (768 MB) OC 0.293
HD2900 XT (512 MB) 0.292
HD2600 Pro (256 MB) 0.279
8500 GT TC (256/1022 MB) 0.276
8800 Ultra (768 MB) 0.265
HD2600 XT (256 MB) 0.258
8800 GTX (768 MB) 0.244
8800 GTS (640 MB) 0.243
8400 GS TC (256/1022 MB) 0.234
8600 GTS (512 MB) 0.227
8600 GTS (256 MB) 0.225
8800 GTS (320 MB) OC 0.208
8800 GTS (320 MB) 0.198
8600 GT (256 MB) OC 0.184

In the second price / performance table, we used our estimates for the smaller Radeons' cumulative frame rate without Bioshock crashes. This should reduce the impact of the problematic driver somewhat. In this ranking, the Radeon HD 2600 XT jumps ahead, coming in third behind the 8600 GT and the 8800 GTS 320.

Price / Performance Comparison ATI Euro per Frame
8800 Ultra (768 MB) OC 0.293
HD2900 XT (512 MB) 0.292
HD2400 XT HM (128/1022 MB) 0.286
8500 GT TC (256/1022 MB) 0.276
HD2400 Pro HM (256/1022 MB) 0.269
8800 Ultra (768 MB) 0.265
8800 GTX (768 MB) 0.244
8800 GTS (640 MB) 0.243
HD2600 XT (512 MB) 0.242
8400 GS TC (256/1022 MB) 0.234
8600 GTS (512 MB) 0.227
8600 GTS (256 MB) 0.225
HD2600 Pro (256 MB) 0.213
8800 GTS (320 MB) OC 0.208
HD2600 XT (256 MB) 0.199
8800 GTS (320 MB) 0.198
8600 GT (256 MB) OC 0.184
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  • Anonymous
    i have and have been using an old ati x800 gt 256 mb ddr3 i can run bioshock at low res this being an old card i got no hope of a successful upgrade from ati
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