Talking about the tested graphics cards, we can note the following:
* Modern high-end graphics cards may have good performance in today’s games, but they do not look future-proof considering the results of available DirectX 10 tests.
* Modern mainstream cards are not a good choice for a devoted gamer and are not future-proof at all.
* Modern entry-level products from AMD and Nvidia are hopelessly slow in DirectX 10 applications and can only be recommended for viewing demos from the GPU developers.
* Thus, if support for DirectX 10 is implemented properly in the game, modern desktop graphics cards of a high enough class can ensure a comfortable or near-comfortable level of performance. It doesn’t mean they are future-proof, though. We’ll only see that in next-generation games such as Crysis.
* It should be noted that even high-end solutions often cannot cope with full-screen antialiasing in DirectX 10 games
* The arrival of the ATI Radeon HD 2900 Pro into the mainstream sector has extended your choice among rather inexpensive graphics cards, but mainstream solutions are generally not a good choice for playing DirectX 10 games and offer no reserve for the future.
* Entry-level graphics cards are still hardly suitable for playing new games.
The nForce 790i Ultra SLI seems to be an ok update to the nForce 780i chipset, adding true PCI Express Generation 2 capability to NVIDIA motherboards for the first time, DDR3 support and native support for FSB 1600MHz Intel CPUs. From a performance perspective this board disappoints as it only edges the nForce 780i by a small percentage in most of the motherboard tests we tried with it with one or two tests being slower than the 780i motherboard. The tests were confirmed on two motherboards, one from EVGA, one from XFX, using two 320MB 8800GTS cards from EVGA, the same drivers, the same CPU. Perhaps a Yorkfield CPU and DDR3-2000 might nudge performance into the stratosphere but from this perspective, the nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard is a bit of a disappointment.
On the other hand, this board is an excellent overclocker. With an E8500 the CPU was able to overclock to a stable 4.5GHz, which is pretty darn good. One of the main reasons to buy a nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard is SLI compatibility, as that is only available on NVIDIA motherboards (unless you’re buying an Intel Skulltrail), but I would not suggest buying it for Tri-SLI. 8800 Ultras are expensive at $639 on Pricewatch and 8800GTXs are nearly so at $539. At those price points it might be better to buy two 9800GX2s and Quad-SLI them than buy three cards for nearly the same price.
If you want the fastest most powerful single card graphics platform at the moment it is the 9800GX2. NVIDIA has not approved Quad SLI tests as of yet and it’ll be an interesting comparison to see how it fares against the ATI 3870X2 Quadfire solutions. In any event, read the reviews on the web look at all the data before making a purchasing decision and spend your money wisely as I always say, don’t just take my word for it.
* Best in the business at packaging
* Sublime looks
* Overclocked (XXX) edition = great performance
* Included game (Assassins Creed)
* Heat output still higher than we'd like
* Missing power LED's
* Excessive price - not far from GTX280 territory
Ce-i asa interesant la niste power leds ca sa merite mentionat (cu durere in suflet) ca nu exista? Very useful feature for what?Of notable absence is the missing LED power indicators which I'm sad not to see as these were a very useful feature of the GX2 and 280 cards.
# Going from 0xAA to 4xAA
- Geforce GTX 280 under XP: -19.1%
- Radeon HD 4870 X2 under XP: -23.1%
- Geforce GTX 280 under Vista: -21%
- Radeon HD 4870 X2 under Vista: -10.6%
For both cards under XP the drop is pretty much on par; under Vista the HD 4870 X2 shows a remarkable difference, as performance only drops by ~10% on average!
# Going from 0xAA to 8xAA
- Geforce GTX 280 under XP: -26%
- Radeon HD 4870 X2 under XP: -25.8%
- Geforce GTX 280 under Vista: -28.7%
- Radeon HD 4870 X2 under Vista: -15.4%
When going from 0xAA to 8xAA the HD 4870 X2 is now better in both XP and Vista, under Vista the performance drop is still quite small, only ~15%! The GTX 280 drops by nearly double.
Performance Scaling XP to Vista
On average with the Geforce GTX 280 you lose -1.6% by switching to Vista 64-bit, so in short: same performance and no loss!
The Radeon HD 4870 X2 does even better, if we leave out the numbers of Stalker and Tomb Raider (as Crossfire failed to run properly under XP) we see a +5.8% boost in average FPS going from XP to Vista. If we add the two game titles and let them enjoy CF-scaling the number jumps up to +27.7%!
The chip itself is said to be big, really big [...] Larrabee packs 1.9 billion transistors.
Teoria ca teoria dar practica ne omoara.Intel has revealed that each Larrabee core will pack a supercharged ALU capable of 16 vector operations per cycle. With 64 cores that works out to no less than 1,024 vector ops per cycle. By comparison, AMD's top GPU, the Radeon HD 4870, can do 800 per cycle while NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 280 knocks out a relatively modest 240.
We like the HIS Radeon HD 4850 IceQ 4 TurboX, we like it a lot in fact. It combines one of, if not the best third party cooling solutions we've tested with a healthy factory overclock and a custom-designed PCB that builds upon the reference design's power circuitry in particular.
The HIS HD 4850 IceQ TurboX 512MB is everything the reference Radeon HD 4850 should have been and more, and as a total package is hard to fault.
With the latest drivers from ATI and Nvidia it is very clear that in the high end of the market the GeForce based cards offer significant benefits over the equivalent Radeons. This is true of single GPU systems but even more so of the multi-GPU setups.