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i3DSpeed, December 2012

Summarized the year 2012.

January 9, 2013



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The i3DSpeed project is dedicated to testing performance of a large number of graphics cards under Windows.

Traditionally, we offer you performance diagrams of popular graphics cards and inform about the best price/performance deals in the market.

Issue #59 (148)

The year 2012 saw a decline in the market of PC hardware (at least in Russia), graphics cards included. These days, the demand for graphics cards depends on releases of new graphically rich PC games capable of loading the hardware. Having perhaps underestimated market saturation, vendors released too many graphics cards in 2012 (i.e., AMD Radeon HD 7xxx and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 6xx).

The rollout of new product series, along with the abundance of the yet unsold older stock, difference between those often being about $20, resulted in buyers getting tired of upgrades as well as the multitude of new product names, indices, etc. Take AMD Radeon HD 6870 and AMD Radeon HD 7850, for example. A high-end card of the previous generation versus a mid-end card of the current generation. What to choose? All the more so our ratings indicated that the Radeon HD 6xxx series offred better usability than the HD 7xxx one.

With vendors rolling out 2-3 models based on the same GPU, you can imagine the avalanche of graphics cards that flooded the market. And the PC hardware market had already been in decline by then due to the rollout of powerful mobile solutions like tablets, ultrabooks, and even smartphones which offloaded certain tasks from PCs. Obviously, the PCs kept tasks like programming, computations, and fully flegded games, which we mentioned in the beginning.

Still, given how fast the mobile device market is evolving, we believe that in 2-3 years, the share of PCs as gaming devices will be about 50% of what it is now. The rest will belong to mobile devices and consoles. If we factor in all-in-one desktops, it'll be more or less safe to assume that vendors will be releasing about half as many or even fewer graphics cards as they do now.

Speaking of our tests, in 2013, we shall consider testing gaming notebooks and probably even ultrabooks as well.

What's new:

  • Summarized the year 2012.

Testbed configuration

  • 2 x Intel Core i7-3960X CPU overclocked to 4 GHz,
  • Hydro Series H100i Extreme Performance CPU Cooler,
  • Intel Thermal Solution RTS2011LC,
  • ASUS Sabertooth X79 motherboard on the Intel X79 chipset,
  • MSI X79A-GD45(8D) motherboard on the Intel X79 chipset,
  • 16GB Corsair Vengeance CMZ16GX3M4A1600C9 1600 MHz DDR3,
  • 3TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 SATA2 HDD,
  • 1TB WD Caviar Blue WD10EZEX SATA2 HDD,
  • 2 x Corsair Neutron SSD CSSD-N120GB3-BK,
  • 2 x Corsair CMPSU-1200AXEU 1200W PSU,
  • Corsair Obsidian 800D full-tower case,
  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, DirectX 11,
  • 30" Dell UltraSharp U3011 monitor,
  • NVIDIA Drivers 310.54,
  • AMD CATALYST 12.11 beta.

Benchmarks

  • 3DMark 11 (FutureMark) — DirectX 11.0, Performance settings.
  • Aliens vs. Predator (Rebellion/SEGA) — DirectX 11.0, Shaders 5.0, Very High settings, run from in game.
  • Crysis 2 Maximum Edition (Crytek/EA) — DirectX 11.0, Very High settings, Central Park level, launched with the Adrenaline Crysis 2 Benchmark Tool.
  • DiRT: Showdown (Codemasters) — DirectX 11.0, Ultra High settings, launched as follows: dirt showdown.exe -benchmark example_benchmark.xml.
  • F1 2010 (Codemasters) — DirectX 11.0, Ultra High settings, run as follows: "formulaone.exe -benchmark example_benchmark.xml". Game provided by NVIDIA.
  • Hard Reset (Flying Wild Hog) — DirectX 10.0, built-in benchmark, maximum quality settings.
  • Heaven Benchmark 2.0 (Unigine) — DirectX 11.0, High settings.
  • Metro 2033 (4A Games/THQ) — DirectX 11.0, Super High settings, PhysX disabled, run from in game.
  • Nexuiz (Illfonic/THQ) — DirectX 11.0, built-in benchmark, maximum quality settings.
  • Sleeping Dogs (United Front Games/Square Enix) — DirectX 11.0, built-in benchmark, maximum quality settings.
  • Total War: Shogun 2 (Creavive Assembly/SEGA) — DirectX 11.0, maximum quality settings.

We'd like to thank Unigine for helping us set up their benchmarks, NVIDIA and AMD for providing us with some of the benchmarks.

Graphics cards

In the brackets are ROP/TMU clock rate, shader unit clock rate, effective memory clock rate.

  1. AMD Radeon HD 6570 1024MB 128-bit GDDR3 (650/650/2000 MHz)
  2. AMD Radeon HD 6670 1024MB 128-bit GDDR5 (800/800/4000 MHz)
  3. AMD Radeon HD 7750 1024MB 128-bit GDDR5 (800/800/4500 MHz)
  4. AMD Radeon HD 7750 1024MB 128-bit GDDR5 (o/c 950/950/5000 MHz)
  5. AMD Radeon HD 7770 1024MB 128-bit GDDR5 (1000/1000/4500 MHz)
  6. AMD Radeon HD 7770 1024MB 128-bit GDDR5 (o/c 1120/1120/5200 MHz)
  7. AMD Radeon HD 6850 1024MB 256-bit GDDR5 (775/775/4000 MHz)
  8. AMD Radeon HD 6870 1024MB 256-bit GDDR5 (900/900/4200 MHz)
  9. AMD Radeon HD 7850 2048MB 256-bit GDDR5 (860/860/4800 MHz)
  10. AMD Radeon HD 7850 2048MB 256-bit GDDR5 (o/c 1020/1020/5600 MHz)
  11. AMD Radeon HD 7870 2048MB 256-bit GDDR5 (1000/1000/4800 MHz)
  12. AMD Radeon HD 7870 2048MB 256-bit GDDR5 (o/c 1150/1150/5500 MHz)
  13. AMD Radeon HD 7950 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 (800/800/5000 MHz)
  14. AMD Radeon HD 7950 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 (o/c 925/925/5500 MHz)
  15. AMD Radeon HD 7970 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 (925/925/5500 MHz)
  16. AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 (1050/1050/6000 MHz)
  17. AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz 3072MB 384-bit GDDR5 (o/c 1180/1180/6000 MHz)
  18. AMD Radeon HD 7970 CF 2x3072MB 2x384-bit GDDR5 (925/925/5500 MHz)
  19. NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 2048MB 128-bit GDDR3 (800/1600/1334 MHz)
  20. NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 2048MB 128-bit GDDR3 (900/900/1782 MHz)
  21. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 1024MB 128-bit GDDR5 (1110/1110/5000 MHz)
  22. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1024MB 192-bit GDDR5 (920/1840/4100 MHz)
  23. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2048MB 128-bit GDDR5 (928/928/5400 MHz)
  24. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti 2048MB 128-bit GDDR5 (o/c 1033/1033/6200 MHz)
  25. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 1024MB 256-bit GDDR5 (810/1620/4000 MHz)
  26. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1024MB 256-bit GDDR5 (822/1644/4000 MHz)
  27. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 2048MB 192-bit GDDR5 (993–1053/6000 MHz)
  28. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 2048MB 192-bit GDDR5 (o/c 1088–1190/6300 MHz)
  29. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2048MB 192-bit GDDR5 (915–1015/6000 MHz)
  30. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2048MB 192-bit GDDR5 (o/c 1100–1200/6400 MHz)
  31. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2048MB 256-bit GDDR5 (915–1015/6000 MHz)
  32. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2048MB 256-bit GDDR5 (o/c 1160–1260/6000 MHz)
  33. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 2048MB 256-bit GDDR5 (1000–1100/6000 MHz)
  34. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 4096MB 256-bit GDDR5 (1071–1200/6000 MHz)
  35. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 2x2048MB 2x256-bit GDDR5 (915–1019/6000 MHz)
  36. NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 SLI 2x2048MB 2x256-bit GDDR5 (1000–1100/6000 MHz)

Archived graphics cards


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