GeForce GTX 275 and Radeon HD 4890 Round-Up

Test Setup and 3DMark Vantage Results

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEMS: We tested all of the graphics cards used in this article on an Asus Rampage II Extreme motherboard powered by a Core i7 920 quad-core processor and 3GB of Qimonda DDR3.  The first thing we did when configuring these test system was enter the system BIOS and set all values to their "optimized" or "high performance" default settings.  We also used "CPU Level Up" in the BIOS to automatically overclock our system to the same level as the Core i7 965 Extreme in order to provide the most computational power we could afford to our suite of graphics cards. Finally, we manually configured the memory timings and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use.  The hard drive was formatted, and Windows Vista Ultimate was installed and updated to Service Pack 1. With the operating system installed, we installed the latest hotfixes, along with the necessary drivers and benchmark applications.

HotHardware's Test Systems
Intel Powered

Hardware Used:
Core i7 920 (overclocked to 3.2 GHz)

Asus Rampage II Extreme
(Intel X58 Express chipset)

ASUS ENGTX275 GeForce GTX 275
Diamond Radeon HD 4980 XOC
EVGA GeForce GTX 275 1792MB
Gigabyte GV-N275UD-896H GeForce GTX 275
HIS Radeon HD 4890 Turbo
MSI GeForce GTX 275 Twin Frozr OC
XFX Radeon HD 4890 Extreme
Radeon HD 4850
Radeon HD 4870
GeForce GTX 285
GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 OC
GeForce GTS 250

3GB Qimonda DDR3-1066 C7
(3 X 1GB, Triple Channel DDR3)

Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11
(7,200RPM - SATAII - 750GB)

Relevant Software:
Windows Vista Ultimate SP1
DirectX November 2008 Redist

NVIDIA Forceware v182.50
ATI Catalyst v9.4

Benchmarks Used:
3DMark Vantage v1.0.1
High Preset - 1680x1050, 2x AA/8x Aniso
Crysis v1.21*
Very High Quality Settings - No AA/No Aniso
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars v1.5*
High Quality Settings - 4x AA/16x Aniso
Far Cry 2 v1.02
Very High Quality Settings - 4x AA
Left 4 Dead*
High Quality Settings - 4x AA /16x Aniso
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. (DX10/DX10.1)
High Quality Settings - 4x AA

* - Custom Benchmark

Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Synthetic DirectX Gaming

3DMark Vantage

The latest version of Futuremark's synthetic 3D gaming benchmark, 3DMark Vantage, is specifically bound to Windows Vista-based systems because it uses some advanced visual technologies that are only available with DirectX 10, which y isn't available on previous versions of Windows.  3DMark Vantage isn't simply a port of 3DMark06 to DirectX 10 though.  With this latest version of the benchmark, Futuremark has incorporated two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, in addition to support for the latest PC hardware.  We tested the graphics cards here with 3DMark Vantage's High Quality preset option, which uses a resolution of 1680x1050, with 2x anti-aliasing and 8x anisotropic filtering.

Although the GeForce GTX 285 rules the roost in both the overall score and GPU Test, MSI's Twin Frozr OC version of the GTX 275 made the best attempt at running it down.  A little over 600 points separates the two in the overall score, and just over two and a half frames per second in the game tests.  Each of the other GTX 275s finds itself in a close battle with the other two with very similar scores across the board.  Interestingly, the double-sized buffer on the EVGA GTX 275 has little positive effect in 3DMark Vantage, with the card actually posting the lowest scores of the four GTX 275s being tested.

At their highest point, the HD 4890 troika barely makes a dent in the mostly NVIDIA controlled landscape.  Even Diamond's super-overclocked XOC card finds it a hard task to keep up with the GTX 260 Core 216, only "winning" one of the four battles.  Our other two HD 4890's are placed directly in relation to their core/memory speeds: HIS, with 900MHz core and 1000MHz memory speeds always in second place with XFX (875/975) bringing up the rear.

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