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AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 680: frametimes review

Which of these high-end cards is truly the fastest?

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Introduction

A few days ago we introduced you to the concept of of frametime tests, a more accurate way of gauging graphics card performance in video games. Today we are applying the new test for the first time, and with the new data we will compare the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680.

If you want the best of the best in the area of PC graphics capabilities, there aren't that many options out there and you will quickly narrow down your shortlist to include these two cards. The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is available for an average of $441, and the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 costs an average of  $452.

When we originally tested the 7970 GHz Edition, we concluded that the AMD card is faster in most benchmarks compared to the GeForce GTX 680. And when you take the lower price into consideration, it's clear that AMD gives you the best value for your money.

So, will this conclusion hold up in the light of new frametime data? We tested the two cards in five recent video games to find out.

Benchmarks

Our graphics card test platform that consists of an Intel Core i7 3960X, an ASUS P7X79 Pro motherboard, 16 GB DDR3-1600 memory, a Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB hard disk, a Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1200W power supply, and Windows 7 x64.

For the frametime test we focused on the most popular resolution, and that's still Full HD for most people. The five games we tested are: Assassin's Creed III, Battlefield 3, Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution and Max Payne 3. We tested each one with Normal/Medium settings and also with the highest settings. With the highest settings we also enable 4X AA when possible.

On the following pages we first display the chart with the average frames per second, and then the chart with the 99th percentile of the frametimes. The third chart has the render times of the first 1,500 frames of each of the benchmarks. We don't chart the entire benchmark, because there would be too much clutter.

The AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition was tested with Catalyst driver version 13.2 beta, and the Nvidia card was tested with GeForce driver version 310.90.

Compare

two products discussed in this review

  Product Lowest price
AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition
REVIEW

Tahiti, PCI Express x16, 3072 MB, 1000 MHz, 384 bit, DirectX 11.1, 2048 shading units

Specifications Test results Reviews

Nvidia GeForce GTX 680
REVIEW

GK104, PCI-Express 3.0 x16, 2048 MB, 1006 MHz, 256 bit, DirectX 11.0, 1536 shading units

Specifications Test results Reviews Prices

$138.99

Avg. $138.99
1 shop, 1x stock


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