Here’s What We Tested
We start this round of graphics card charts with the latest cards from ATI and Nvidia. Going forward, we’ll add at least 12 additional products or configurations to this collection, which will automatically enable comparisons between older and newer models.
What’s new in these charts? We added retail products to our reference models and standard graphics cards, as available for purchase on the market today. Vendors who send us overclocked models or special editions of their products will see them included in these charts in the future, where our readers can locate, investigate, and compare them with other makes and models. We’ll continue to provide measurements and results for reference cards at normal clock rates; the retail cards are included to help us extend and expand on the basis for comparison that these charts provide.
Here’s what you’ll find represented in these charts:
Nvidia: GeForce 8800 Ultra, 8800 GT, 8800 GTS 512, GeForce 9600, 9800, and GeForce GTS 250 through GTX 295.
ATI: Radeon HD 3850, 3870, Radeon HD 4770, 4850, 4870, and Radeon HD 4890.
You can find the Gaming Graphics Charts for 2009 right here.
And for those of you who've expressed a desire to see these charts laid out in a different organizational manner, we've heard your requests and are in the process of planning a much-needed redesign. Bear with us as we make this resource more functional than ever before.
At this point, we’d like to express our heartfelt thanks to those vendors who provided us with special editions, reference models, and evaluation units of their graphics cards. We got a reference model of the brand new Radeon HD 4770 directly from ATI, which seeks to serve the mainstream performance range, and which promises to develop into an interesting entry-level graphics card. Especially noteworthy is the 40 nm fabrication process used for its circuitry, which helps reduce power consumption and maximum chip temperatures alike. This makes it directly comparable to a minimal Radeon HD 3850, even though the newer Radeon HD 4770 graphics chipsets enable it to deliver doubled frame rates.
We’ll also provide a follow-up test with all measurements and results in our next mainstream product special. The upper bound there is defined by the Radeon HD 4890, which replaces the Radeon 4870.