Dual Nvidia Geforce GTX 650 TI's vs. AMD Radeon 7870 XT



"After running the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI through our test suite, I have to admit that I'm impressed. The duo delivered performance easily matching and often exceeding much more expensive single-card options such as the GeForce GTX 680 and Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition, and they don't cost as much. SLI multi-GPU scaling works well with all of our titles except for F1 2012. Scaling by going from one to two GTX 650 Ti Boost cards is around 70%, even with F1 2012 taken into account. Unlike AMD, NVIDIA does a good job of maintaining its SLI profiles, so you should be able to play new games without a long wait for multi-GPU support. However, the risk that a game will not be supported still exists, and you might, at worst, end up with single-card performance. This is in my opinion, given the massive performance-per-dollar advantage, an acceptable tradeoff. I would definitely recommend a GTX 650 Ti Boost SLI setup to a friend looking to spend as little money as possible on a high-end gaming rig.

With a combined price of $340, the graphics cards cost much less than the HD 7970 GHz Edition ($430) and the GTX 680 ($440) while still delivering comparable performance. Power draw and noise levels are slightly higher, but that's the price you'll have to pay to save over 100 bucks. This setup also makes upgrading your aging rig to play the latest and most demanding titles without breaking the bank an option. Core "Sandy Bridge" only supports PCI-Express 2.0, so the setup would run at reduced PCI-Express bandwidth, but the difference should be quite small, maybe 4% in actual games, which is very acceptable if you take into account the lower cost of this upgrade path. Have $340 and want high-end performance? Consider this!"