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We don’t make any recommendations based on synthetic results; if you can’t play it, you wouldn’t buy a graphics card for it.
In theory, though, 3DMark should allow us to compare AMD’s technology to Nvidia’s without the influence of developer bias resulting from the help that both companies provide in certain titles. If Futuremark is doing its job, the variation you see from one game to another should be largely mitigated here.
Whether or not that’s actually the case, AMD’s Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition leapfrogs the GeForce GTX 670 and settles in just behind the GeForce GTX 680.
I don’t want to spoil the rest of the results, but you’re going to see that 3DMark doesn’t reflect the majority of our real-world benchmarks. In fact, there’s a trend that I’ll zero in on as we flip through three different resolutions—that is, the 7970 does increasingly well as you ask it to render more pixels and turn up quality settings. Considering that our 3DMark 11 benchmark employs the Extreme preset, I really would have expected it to place AMD’s latest ahead of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 680.