The Fastest 3D Cards Go Head-To-Head

Frames-Per-Watt For The GTX 200-Series And HD 4800-Series

This table shows the relationship between the 3D performance and the power consumption (in watts) of the entire system under full load. The more frames-per-watt that are achieved, the better the result (2D mode is not evaluated). The greater efficiency in 3D mode is held by AMD, while the Nvidia cards are only slightly behind. The GTX 280 does slightly better than the GTX 260, which is down to the higher 3D performance. A more powerful CPU may improve the relationship in CrossFire and SLI modes.

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RatingRelationship between performance and 3D wattfps per watt
1Radeon HD 4850 (512 MB)12.51
2Radeon HD 4870 (512 MB)11.65
3GeForce GTX 280 (1024 MB)10.70
4GeForce GTX 260 (896 MB)10.31
5Radeon HD 4850 CF (512 MB)8.83
6Radeon HD 4870 CF (512 MB)7.57
7GeForce GTX 280 SLI (1024 MB)6.52
8GeForce GTX 260 SLI (896 MB)5.71
  • San Pedro
    Looks like the results for SLI and Crossfire were switched with the single card results. . .
  • Duncan NZ
    Not a bad article, really comprehensive.
    My one complaint? Why use that CPU when you know that the test cards are going to max it out? Why not a quad core OC'ed to 4GHz? It'd give far more meaning to the SLI results. We don't want results that we can duplicate at home, we want results that show what these cards can do. Its a GPU card comparason, not a complain about not having a powerful enough CPU story.

    Oh? And please get a native english speaker to give it the once over for spelling and grammar errors, although this one had far less then many articles posted lately.
  • elbert
    No 4870x2 in CF so its the worlds top end Nvidia vs ATI mid to low end.
  • Lightnix
    It'd be a good article if you'd used a powerful enough CPU and up to date Radeon drivers (considering we're now up to 8.8 now), I mean are those even the 'hotfix' 8.6's or just the vanilla drivers?
  • elbert
    Version AMD Catalyst 8.6? Why not just say i'm using ATI drivers with little to no optimizations for the 4800's. This is why the CF benchmarks tanked.
  • at 1280, all of the highend cards were CPU limited. at that resolution, you need a 3.2-3.4 c2d to feed a 3870... this article had so much potential, and yet... so much work, so much testing, fast for nothing, because most of the results are very cpu limited (except 1920@AA).
  • wahdangun
    WTF, hd4850 SHOULD be a lot faster than 9600 GT and 8800 GT even tough they have 1Gig of ram
  • mjam
    No 4870X2 and 1920 X 1200 max resolution tested. How about finishing the good start of an article with the rest of it...
  • I agree, the 4870 X2 should have been in there and should have used the updated drivers. Good article but I think you fell short on finishing it.
  • @pulasky - Rage much? It's called driver issues you dumbass. Some games are more optimised for multicard setups than others, and even then some favour SLi to Crossfire. And if you actually READ the article rather than let your shrinken libido get the better of you, you'll find that Crossfire does indeed work in CoD4.

    Remember, the more you know.