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Graphics Chips Compared And Test Setup

Radeon HD 5770, Radeon HD 4890, And GeForce GTX 275 Overclocked
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Each of our two MSI cards appears in this table three times. Both models are sold as OC editions, meaning that they run at overclocked speeds to begin with. Since the higher frequencies are coded into the BIOS, we consider them the cards’ stock frequencies, so they show up in the table under their normal model name. We also tested each of the cards at the reference speeds specified by Nvidia and ATI, respectively, labeling their scores as “No OC.”

In our third test, we tuned the factory overclocked MSI boards even further. This setting is labeled “Max OC” in the table. ATI’s Radeon HD 5770 is the only DirectX 11-capable card, and it uses ATI’s reference design. Its overclocked scores are marked as “OC” in the table, simultaneously representing the maximum overclock we achieved.

To put the score in context, we decided to add results from various cards that we have already tested running at stock speeds. To ensure that none of the cards was being held back by the CPU, we chose a Core i7-920 overclocked to 3.8 GHz as the heart of our testing platform.

A word of warning: these overclocking tests are by no means a recommendation for your hardware. Overclocking can damage your graphics card and may void your warranty. Make changes to your card’s clock speeds at your own risk.

Nvidia Graphics Cards

Manufacturer and Model Name
Code Name
Memory
GPU Frequency
Shader Model
Memory Frequency
SPs
GeForce GTX 295
2 x GT200b2 x 896MB GDDR3576 MHz4.0, 1,242 MHz2 x 999 MHz2 x 240
GeForce GTX 285
GT200b1,024MB GDDR3648 MHz4.0, 1,476 MHz2 x 1,242 MHz240
GeForce GTX 280
GT2001024MB GDDR3602 MHz4.0, 1,296 MHz2 x 1,107 MHz240
BFG GTX 275 (GTX 275)
GT200b896MB GDDR3648 MHz4.0, 1,440 MHz2 x 1,152 MHz240
Gainward GTX275 Golden Sample (GTX 275)
GT200b896MB GDDR3648 MHz4.0, 1,420 MHz2 x 1,185 MHz240
MSI N275GTX Lightning Max OC
GT200b1,792MB GDDR3720 MHz4.0, 1,600 MHz2 x 1,200 MHz240
MSI N275GTX Lightning
GT200b1,792MB GDDR3700 MHz4.0, 1,404 MHz2 x 1,150 MHz240
MSI N275GTX Lightning No OC
GT200b1,792MB GDDR3633 MHz4.0, 1,404 MHz2 x 1,134 MHz240
GeForce GTX 275
GT200b896MB GDDR3633 MHz4.0, 1,404 MHz2 x 1,134 MHz240
MSI N260GTX Lightning BE (GTX 260 216SPs)
GT200b1,792MB GDDR3680 MHz4.0, 1,458 MHz2 x 1,050 MHz216
Sparkle GeForce X265 (GTX 260 216SPs)
GT200b896MB GDDR3666 MHz4.0, 1,476 MHz2 x 1,134 MHz216
Zotac GeForce GTX 260 (GTX 260 216SPs)
GT200b896MB GDDR3576 MHz4.0, 1,242 MHz2 x 999 MHz216
GeForce GTX 260
GT200b896MB GDDR3576 MHz4.0, 1,242 MHz2 x 999 MHz216
GeForce GTX 260
GT200896MB GDDR3576 MHz4.0, 1,242 MHz2 x 999 MHz192
Geforce GTX 250
G92b1,024MB GDDR3740 MHz4.0, 1,836 MHz2 x 1,100 MHz128


ATI Graphics Cards

Manufacturer and Model Name
Code Name
Memory
GPU Frequency
Shader Model
Memory Frequency
SPs
ATI Radeon HD 5770 OC
Juniper1,024MB GDDR5895 MHz5.04 x 1,430 MHz800
ATI Radeon HD 5770
Juniper1,024MB GDDR5850 MHz5.04 x 1,200 MHz800
Sapphire Toxic HD4890 1G Vapor-X (HD4890)
RV7901,024MB GDDR5960 MHz4.14 x 1,050 MHz800
MSI R4890 Cyclone SOC max OC
RV7901,024MB GDDR51,030 MHz4.14 x 1,065 MHz800
MSI R4890 Cyclone SOC
RV7901,024MB GDDR51,000 MHz4.14 x 1,000 MHz800
MSI R4890 Cyclone SOC no OC
RV7901,024MB GDDR5850 MHz4.14 x 975 MHz800
Radeon HD 4890
RV7901,024MB GDDR5850 MHz4.14 x 975 MHz800
Radeon HD 4870X2
R700 (2 x RV770)2 x 1,024MB GDDR5750 MHz4.14 x 900 MHz800
Radeon HD 4870
RV7701,024 MB GDDR5750 MHz4.14 x 900 MHz800
HIS H487QT1GP ICEQ4+ (HD4870)
RV7701,024MB GDDR5770 MHz4.14 x 1,000 MHz2 x 800
Sapphire Vapor-X HD4870 2G (HD4870)
RV7702,048MB GDDR5750 MHz4.14 x 900 MHz800
Radeon HD 4870
RV770512MB GDDR5750 MHz4.12 x 900 MHz800
Radeon HD 4850
RV770512MB GDDR5625 MHz4.12 x 993 MHz800
Radeon HD 4830
RV770512MB GDDR5575 MHz4.12 x 900 MHz640
Radeon HD 4770
RV740512MB GDDR5750 MHz4.14 x 800 MHz640

SPs=Stream Processors, Shader 4.0 = DirectX 10, Shader 4.1 = DirectX 10.1, Shader 5.0 = DirectX 11

Test Setup
CPU
Intel Core i7-920 @ 3.8 GHz (20x190), BIOS 1.2625 Volt, 45 nm, Socket 1366 LGA
Motherboard
Asus P6T, PCIe 2.0, ICH10R, 3-Way SLI
Chipset
Intel X58
Memory
Corsair, 3 x 2GB DDR3, TR3X6G1600C8D, 2x570 MHz 8-8-8-20
Audio
Realtek ALC1200
LAN
Realtek RTL8111C
HDDs
SATA, Western Digital, Raptor WD300HLFS, WD5000AAKS
DVD
Gigabyte GO-D1600C
Power Supply
Cooler Master RS-850-EMBA 850 Watts
System Software and Drivers
Graphic Driver
ATI Catalyst 9.10, Nvidia GeForce 191.07
Operating System
Windows Vista Ultimate 32 Bit, SP1
DirectX
9, 10, and 10.1
Platform Driver
Intel 9.1.0.1007
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