In this article i will give a brief comparison of graphic cards now available in the market, and which one to choose, to optimize your budget. Still there are only two vendor out there, nVidia and ATi. Which one better is not really the matter, since both have their own benefit and weaknesses. Oh BTW, you won’t see any graphic card below my recommended card (don’t even think about onboard graphics) because any graphic card below just won’t give a fine result for todays game such ANNO 1404, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2.. even Crysis which has been released for two years until now. So i classified the graphic cards lineup into four class:
- Low End : Give a decent performance for $80 budget and without the need of PCIe external power. Standard Pure Power 400W PSU should be able to handle this card (~$40). The game will play fair in standard resolution, up to 1,3MP display (720p, 1280x1024, 1366x768) . It’s wise to buy the 1GB version.
- Mainstream: Give a good performance around 120$-$200 budget with requirements of one 6-pin PCIe external power. Needs about 500W Pure Power PSU (~$60). plays good at 1050p resolution.
- Gamer: Give a better performance for $250-$400 budget. require two 6-pin PCIe external power. Needs about 600W Pure Power PSU (~$100). plays fine in 1080p (1920x1080) and 1600p (2560x1600).
- High End: Give the best today’s performance and quality available on earth, load your pocket because it’s about $700 graphic card. require one 6-pin and one 8-pin PCIe external power. Best to buy at least 800W Pure Power for such beast (~$150). plays any games flawlessly in 1600p and able to handle multiple display (3 actually) setup.. even fine to play such 7680x1600 resolution!!
|Class||ATi Radeon||nVidia Geforce|
|Mainstream||HD4770, HD5750, HD5770||GTS250|
|Gamer||HD4890, HD5850, HD5870||GTX275, GTX285|
Here’s a brief description of above graphic cards:
- Low End: with the same price, ATi Radeon HD4670 performs better than GT220
- ATi Radeon HD4670: 512/1GB Memory, Config Core 320(40x8):32:8, Reference Core Clock 750 MHz, Memory Clock 900 MHz (GDDR3), 128-bit, DirectX 10.1, OpenGL 3.1
- nVidia Geforce GT220: 512/1GB Memory, Config Core 48:16:4, Reference Core Clock 625 MHz, Shader Clock 1360 MHz, Memory Clock 1580 MHz (DDR3), 64-bit, DirectX 10.1, OpenGL 3.2
- Mainstream: Best in this class is HD5770, while HD5750 performance and price par with GTS250 plus DirectX 11. Though i’m not reccomending to buy HD4770 since it’s only have 512MB version (but actually the cheapest one and performs fair enough..)
- ATi Radeon HD5770: 1GB Memory, Config Core 800(80x10):40:16, Reference Core Clock 850 MHz, Memory Clock 1200 MHz (GDDR5), 128-bit, DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.2, OpenCL 1.0
- ATi Radeon HD5750: 1GB Memory, Config Core 720(80x9):36:16, Reference Core Clock 700 MHz, Memory Clock 1150 MHz (GDDR5), 128-bit, DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.2, OpenCL 1.0
- nVidia Geforce GTS250: 512/1GB Memory, Config Core 128:64:16, Reference Core Clock 738 MHz, Shader Clock 1836 MHz, Memory Clock 2200 MHz (GDDR3), 256-bit, DirectX 10.0, OpenGL 3.2
- ATi Radeon HD4770: 512MB Memory, Config Core 640(80x8):32:16, Reference Core Clock 750 MHz, Memory Clock 800MHz (GDDR5), 128-bit, DirectX 10.1, OpenGL 3.1
- Gamer: Best in this class is HD5870 which is the most expensive (twice of HD5770) but even able to performs better in than GTX295 which supposed to be in the high end class (and that’s why i don’t recommend buying the card). HD5850 (twice of HD5750) performs about GTX285 which is about 20% more expensive. GTX275 on its own performance and price and performs slightly better than the HD4890.
- ATi Radeon HD5870: 1GB Memory, Config Core 1600(80x20):80:32, Reference Core Clock 850 MHz, Memory Clock 1200 MHz (GDDR5), 256-bit, DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.2, OpenCL 1.0
- ATi Radeon HD5850: 1GB Memory, Config Core 1440(80x18):72:32, Reference Core Clock 725 MHz, Memory Clock 1000 MHz (GDDR5), 256-bit, DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.2, OpenCL 1.0
- nVidia Geforce GTX285: 1GB Memory, Config Core 240:80:32, Reference Core Clock 633 MHz, Shader Clock 1404 MHz, Memory Clock 2268 MHz (GDDR3), 448-bit, DirectX 10.0, OpenGL 3.2
- nVidia Geforce GTX275: 896MB Memory, Config Core 240:80:28, Reference Core Clock 648 MHz, Shader Clock 1476 MHz, Memory Clock 2484 MHz (GDDR3), 512-bit, DirectX 10.0, OpenGL 3.2
- High End: The one and only best for this 2009 is ATi Radeon HD5970. It’s twice as HD5850 plus config core as HD5870.
- ATi Radeon HD5970: 2GB Memory, Config Core 2x(1600(80x20):80:32), Reference Core Clock 725 MHz, Memory Clock 1000 MHz (GDDR5), 256-bit, DirectX 11, OpenGL 3.2, OpenCL 1.0
Here’s a little information about the benefit between nVidia and ATi:
- nVidia PhysX: enable graphic hardware to process physx effects. (one of the most benefit for buying nVidia card Physx)
- nVidia SLI: 3-way for GTS250 and above, 4-way for GTX295
- nVidia Pure Video HD Technology: for video transcoding
- nVidia CUDA: enable parallel computing using GPU
- Geforce 3D Vision: enable nVidia stereoscopic 3D experience using nVidia 3D Vision Google (sold separately for $200 each)
- ATi Stream: enable parallel computing using GPU (such CUDA), available on HD5000 series
- ATi Eyefinity: enable three display setup, each at 2560x1600 using 2xDVI and 1xDP, available on HD5000 series
- ATi CrossfireX: dual, triple and quad GPU scaling
- ATi AVIVO: Unified Video Decoder (UVD) and output configuration for video transcoding (such Pure Video) and 3D stereoscopic feature (HD5000 series only)
- ATi Powerplay: power saving features
Hilbert Hagedoorn@ Guru3D