Sign up for a new account or log in here:
Like the original game, Far Cry 3 is set on a tropical island, this time found somewhere at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In typical TechSpot fashion, we'll be testing Far Cry 3's open world environment using 29 DirectX 11 graphics cards from AMD and Nvidia across all price ranges.
This new game is built using an advanced version of the Dunia engine called Dunia 2, which is said to feature new water rendering technology, a realistic weather system, advanced AI technology, a new animation system, realistic facial expressions, motion capture technology and global illumination -- many of which are made possible by the game's adoption of DirectX 11 and can only be experienced on the PC version.
After a busy year with numerous GPU releases by mid-September things had settled down for good. And then, AMD threw us a curve ball. Their Catalyst 12.11 beta drivers delivered major performance gains in many popular games such as Battlefield 3, Borderlands 2, Civilization V, Skyrim, Sleeping Dogs and StarCraft II. Around the same time, Nvidia released a new beta driver of its own which claimed gains in several titles, and this driver has since been replaced by the GeForce 310.61 update, which made further performance enhancements.
With updated pricing and performance across the board, we figured it would be worth revisiting both company's offerings to see where you should spend your hard-earned cash this holiday season and into early next year.
Nvidia shook up the enthusiast GPU market last month when it launched its most affordable Kepler offering yet. At $299, the GeForce GTX 660 Ti was $100 cheaper than the GTX 670, while being just 13% slower. Likewise, the GTX 660 Ti was faster and more power efficient than the competing Radeon HD 7870, despite matching it on price.
Ever eager to keep AMD on its toes, Nvidia continues its push into the mid-range market with a Kepler-based card that is expected to retail for about $230 -- right in-between AMD's Radeon HD 7850 and 7870. The GTX 660 is based on the new 28nm GK106 that nonetheless keeps all the key innovations introduced by the GTX 680.
Although nothing used to match the GeForce GTX 670's price-to-performance ratio, its $400 entry fee remained a steep one. Gamers who wanted to spend less were left with the $230 HD 7850, the $300 HD 7870 or a card from Nvidia's last-gen lineup. Naturally, it would only be a matter of time before Nvidia tried to fill this gap with tons of hearsay about a GeForce GTX 660 Ti in the pipeline for a mid to late summer launch.
Well, we're here and the rumors proved true: Nvidia's new GeForce GTX 660 Ti has its crosshairs set on the HD 7870. Assuming it's priced competitively, the GTX 660 Ti seems like it could put a real hurting on AMD's offering, as it features the same DNA as existing Kepler products and boasts the same number of CUDA cores and texture units as the GTX 670.
A powerful graphics card is likely the most expensive component in your PC if you're a gamer, but with all current and past-gen GPUs available in the range of $100 to $500, it can be tough to pick the right solution for your needs.
In an effort to narrow things down, we're about to compare today's most relevant gaming cards that sell for $200 or more, testing them in a slew of games to see how it breaks down as we look for the best graphics cards for gaming at resolutions of 1920x1200 and 2560x1600.
Indonesian PC wizard Hazzan has broken the world record for overclocking PC graphics cards. How do you even measure such a thing? The scene uses the scores handed out by benchmark tool 3DMark 11, and Hazzan's 4-way SLI GTX 680 setup registered a score of P33190, which beat the previous mark by 39 points.
Having successfully launched their first 28nm GPU last January, AMD went on to release an entire family of Radeon HD 7000 GPUs over the next few months. The last of the series were the Radeon HD 7870 and 7850 graphics cards, which were closely followed by the launch of Nvidia’s next generation flagship part, the GeForce GTX 680.
Fast forward to the present day and it'd appear that AMD is desperate to claim the bragging rights of offering the single fastest GPU money can buy. As the name suggests the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition features a core clock speed of 1GHz, along with overclocked GDDR5 memory running at 1500MHz. But is it worth it?
On paper, the GTX 680 has almost 200% more shader performance than the GTX 580, roughly 250% more texture performance, 90% more ROP performance and 100% more memory bandwidth. With the Radeon HD 7970 only being ~9% faster than the GTX 580, AMD appears to have priced itself into a corner this time around.
Because we didn't get a reference sample last month, our GTX 680 review will showcase one of the special edition products instead, meet the Gainward GTX 680 Phantom...
As you've undoubtedly heard, the third installment of BioWare's Mass Effect trilogy hit shelves last Tuesday. Being one of the year's most anticipated launches, it's no surprise to see it with an aggregate review score of over 90.
We've benchmarked Mass Effect 3 across three different resolutions with two dozen GPU configurations -- including AMD's new Radeon HD 7000 series. We'll also see how the performance scales when overclocking an eight-core FX-8150, along with benching a handful of other Intel and AMD processors.
AMD’s latest generation GPU series is really starting to take shape now. Having been blown away by the performance of the Radeon HD 7900 series and then let down by the steep pricing of the HD 7700 series, we are keen to see what AMD has to offer with the new HD 7800 series.
Today marks the release of the 'Pitcairn' GPUs which make up the the Radeon HD 7800 series. As you would expect the series consists of two GPUs: the Radeon HD 7870 and Radeon HD 7850, designed to occupy the ample $200 to $400 range.
TigerDirect offers the XFX Radeon HD 5570 1GB for $54.99. This $25 mail-in rebate cuts it to it $29.99. With free shipping, that's tied with a deal from earlier this month and the lowest total price we could find by $31. It features a max resolution of 2560x1600, 650MHz core clock...
AMD offers a valid alternative to its flagship GPU with the Radeon HD 7950, which is essentially a lower-specced and lower-priced version of the HD 7970. The HD 7950 is set at $419 for the 1536MB version, while the full 3072MB variant is $449. Although it's currently possible to find a 3GB model for $449, you can expect to pay closer to $500.
Gigabyte has redesigned the PCB and included an upgraded cooler on the WindForce 3 that is meant to lower temperatures and improve overclocking. Considering the HD 7970's respectable performance, we expect a solid showing from the HD 7950.
AMD is bringing its latest generation GPU to mainstream brackets today. The new Radeon HD 7770 and 7750 use the same 28nm design process and Graphics Core Next architecture as the 7000 series flagship, albeit in more affordable configurations.
The move to 28nm lets AMD squeeze 1500 million transistors into a 123mm2 die. In addition, the HD 7700 series die is 26% smaller than the HD 6770. As impressive as those figures are, gamers will be more excited to see AMD's prices: the HD 7770 is $159 -- in line with the GeForce GTX 560 -- and the HD 7750 is even cheaper at $109, combating the GTX 550 Ti.
You go out to buy a new graphics card, set a budget, and it'd seem that for another $30-60 you can always go with the next step up that performs a little better. Or, you could save those extra dollars, go for the budget model and overclock it and basically match the next step up's performance.
With that in mind, we have hand-picked three graphics cards that represent select price ranges to see just how much extra value can be obtained through overclocking. For the $100+ range we have the Radeon HD 6750, the GeForce GTX 560 Ti has been used to represent the $200+ market. Then at the top of the food chain we have the Radeon HD 6970 going for $300 and up.
The Radeon HD 7970 is the first of a series of upcoming graphics cards that are making the jump to the 28nm fabrication process. The new HD 7970 will effectively become AMD's new flagship single GPU graphics card come January, when the board is expected to ship.
In the meantime, it’s definitely nice to get a look now at how it performs. The Radeon HD 7000 is a big leap for AMD, representing its most significant architecture overhaul in the last decade. Let’s take a moment to check out the new card's capabilities and features in greater detail.
Get free exclusive content, learn about new features and breaking tech news.