GeForce 9600 GT/GTS 250/GTX 260 Non-Reference Roundup

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Mottamort

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I was rather disappointed with this article. Not the article itself but with the slightly misleading Title/Intro. When clicking the article I thought I was going to find a massive battle between these vendors on different tiers, instead you show us different instances of 2 slightly different cards of the same type from one vendor....if that makes sense
I mean you have Gigabyte vs Gigabyte in the 9600gt section, Asus vs Asus in the 250 section and so on.

:-/
 

enterco

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It's not clear to me why are you comparing '3dmark score' when you should post 'GPU score'.... It's a graphics card comparision, not platform comparision.
 

randomizer

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[citation][nom]enterco[/nom]It's not clear to me why are you comparing '3dmark score' when you should post 'GPU score'.... It's a graphics card comparision, not platform comparision.[/citation]
Nothing but the cards is changed so you're not comparing platforms.
 

acasel

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We cannot see clearly the bang for the buck card there if we ain't seeing some ati cards like the 4770 and others..



The drop down menu sure is fast... :)
 

enterco

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[citation][nom]randomizer[/nom]Nothing but the cards is changed so you're not comparing platforms.[/citation]
Sure. A reason more to show GPU score. 3dmark score is too much influenced by CPU's power, and it's no longer relevant, the way it used to be once...
By using a Quad Core and a low-performing GPU you can achive same 3dmark score as using a dual core combined with a considerably stronger GPU, 3dmark Vantage gives too much credit to CPU. But the overall FPS in games it's often higher in the second case: dual core + better GPU.
 

marraco

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Recent review showed the 260 being neck to neck with the 4870; both in price and performance, those cards are in the same point.

Since my 8800GT should be between the 9600 and the 250, I guess that the best upgrade path is to buy a second 8800GT, reaching probably 260/4870 performance.

I searched the web for 8800GT SLI benckmark running in i7 920, but got no one single review...

I think that tomshardware should review non up-to-date cards as the 8800 and the ATI equivalents, in crossfilre/SLI, since for many users, it should make sense to buy a second card that to upgrade to a 260/4870.

older reviews on those cards does not accounted for the scalability on I7 x58 platform, and probably ATI and Nvidia dedicated more time tweaking drivers for newer cards, so maybe the 8800GT does not perform well today (the SLI on core 2/Quad did not worked very well in the past)
 

zuke

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I'll second Marraco's suggestion above. I got an aging 8800GTS, and so I'm wondering if I should SLI it or buy a new Nvidia 250/260... I'm not gonna get anything by trying to sell it used.
 

cleeve

Illustrious
[citation][nom]enterco[/nom]It's not clear to me why are you comparing '3dmark score' when you should post 'GPU score'.... It's a graphics card comparision, not platform comparision.[/citation]

Franly, I find the 3DMarks show a more realistic performance difference than the GPU score.
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]dragonsprayer[/nom]Great article wish it had more cards, i think you need 4 parts, try some back cards like the 4870x2 darkknight? good stuff as always!thx![/citation]

We had a lot of vendors submit non-reference GeForce cards so this is the article we had the parts for. I'm trying to make more graphics card reviews happen so I'm planning on a Radeon version in the future.
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]zuke[/nom]I'll second Marraco's suggestion above. I got an aging 8800GTS, and so I'm wondering if I should SLI it or buy a new Nvidia 250/260... I'm not gonna get anything by trying to sell it used.[/citation]

If your card has 512MB, your 8800 GTS is simply an underclocked GTS 250. If you overclock it you'll bring performance much closer to the new GTS 250, I wouldn't upgrade... just add another one if your board supports it.
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]acasel[/nom]We cannot see clearly the bang for the buck card there if we ain't seeing some ati cards like the 4770 and others.[/citation]

This isn't a budget card roundup, it's a GeForce non-reference roundup. Of course we'll have articles that focus on Radeon vs. GeForce, but this isn't one of 'em. :)
 

cleeve

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[citation][nom]marraco[/nom]Recent review showed the 260 being neck to neck with the 4870; both in price and performance, those cards are in the same point.Since my 8800GT should be between the 9600 and the 250, I guess that the best upgrade path is to buy a second 8800GT, reaching probably 260/4870 performance.I searched the web for 8800GT SLI benckmark running in i7 920, but got no one single review...[/citation]

Absolutely, a second 8800 GT is the way to go for you.

If you want to know what two 8800 GTs can do, remember that the 9800 GT is simply a re-badged 8800 GT. Just google something like "9800 GT SLI benchmark" and you'll have a good idea what your cards can accomplish.
 

nerrawg

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Great article guys.
One thing that I think is blatantly obvious, at least from the cards in this article, Is that there is a price premium for NVidia cards in the low-mid price ranges ($60-120). Lets compare non-reference ATI and NVIdia cards focused on gamers: (Not counting MIRs)

Low-Mid range gamer card: (512MB)
9600GT 512 MB gigabyte overclocked edition: $100
9600GT cheapest $77
9800GT cheapest - $115
4670 cheapest $65
4830 cheapest - $84
4770 cheapest - $100
4850 cheapest (Non-reference OC model) - $110

Comparing these prices to Cleeve's relative performance chart it looks like NVidia takes a bit of a premium for their lower end cards. So I ask, why?

Mid-high range: (512MB)
Cheapest 250 - $130
Cheapest 4870 - $165

Mid-high range: (1GB)
Cheapest GTS 250 - $145
Cheapest 4870 - $175

Things look better for Nvidia in the mid-high range, as the GTS 250 is priced in between 4850 and the 4870 - which is were everyone says it lies performance wise.

So why do we perceivably pay a premium for low range NVidia cards? Could it be that there is a general conception amongst the consumers purchasing GPUs in this price range that NVidia is better than ATI - regardless (or in ignorance) of the bench marks? Or is it that NVidia is arrogant in their pricing?

I ask you
 

nerrawg

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Great article guys.
One thing that I think is blatantly obvious, at least from the cards in this article, Is that there is a price premium for NVidia cards in the low-mid price ranges ($60-120). Lets compare non-reference ATI and NVIdia cards focused on gamers: (Not counting MIRs)

Low-Mid range gamer card: (512MB)
9600GT 512 MB gigabyte overclocked edition: $100
9600GT cheapest $77
9800GT cheapest - $115
4670 cheapest $65
4830 cheapest - $84
4770 cheapest - $100
4850 cheapest (Non-reference OC model) - $110

Comparing these prices to Cleeve's relative performance chart it looks like NVidia takes a bit of a premium for their lower end cards. So I ask, why?

Mid-high range: (512MB)
Cheapest 250 - $130
Cheapest 4870 - $165

Mid-high range: (1GB)
Cheapest GTS 250 - $145
Cheapest 4870 - $175

Things look better for Nvidia in the mid-high range, as the GTS 250 is priced in between 4850 and the 4870 - which is were everyone says it lies performance wise.

So why do we perceivably pay a premium for low range NVidia cards? Could it be that there is a general conception amongst the consumers purchasing GPUs in this price range that NVidia is better than ATI - regardless (or in ignorance) of the bench marks? Or is it that NVidia is arrogant in their pricing?

I ask you
 
G

Guest

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How could the FPS in Left 4 Dead be so low? I easily get 75-120 FPS using my 4850 and q6700 processor.
I run the game in windows XP, resolution 1680x1050, 16x AF and 2x AA.

I am seeing ~60 FPS for the gtx 260 card.

Does direct x 10 graphics suck up that much horsepower?
 

randomizer

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Left 4 Dead is DX9. It also depends where you are benchmarking. I find that my 9600GT can do 80+ FPS at 1680x1050 with 4xAA, but if somebody shoots The Car and I'm getting pounded by 30 zombies and dragged by a smoker then my card just fails.
 

cleeve

Illustrious
[citation][nom]nerrawg[/nom]Great article guys. One thing that I think is blatantly obvious, at least from the cards in this article, Is that there is a price premium for NVidia cards in the low-mid price ranges ($60-120). Lets compare non-reference ATI and NVIdia cards focused on gamers: [/citation]

Your comparison is a little flawed in that doesn't take performance into account.

Yes, the 4670 is cheaper than the 9600 GT, but the 9600 GT performs notably better.

The new 4770 is a game changer though, it does sort of throw both the 4830 and 9800 GT into obsolescence.

And the 4850's have dropped like rocks int he past week, which is really odd. When this article was released they were on par with the GTS 250s. Now they're about $10 cheaper on average, which isn't too far off considering the GTS 250's will beat them in some benches.
 
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