by Stuart Davidson | 28th November 2013
Today we are going to take a look at how some budget cards based on AMD and NVIDIA technology handle LoL, DOTA 2 and StarCraft 2... if competitive gaming takes your fancy, this is the place to find out what GPU will get you started.
by Stuart Davidson | 13th November 2013
Today we see AMD fill another gap in their current product stack with the launch of the R9 270 which sits between the R7 260X and R9 270. We have (one of) Sapphires R9 270s on our test bench today and will be looking at it against the GTX 660, the direct competition, in games like Battlefield 4 and Batman Arkham Origins.
by Stuart Davidson | 7th November 2013
NVIDIAs answer to AMDs recent R9 290X launch is the GTX 780 Ti which pushes the Titan very much into the professional arena and takes its place at the top of the gaming stack. We will be putting it up against the R9 290X and GTX 780 (overclocked) in a selection of games including Battlefield 4 and Batman: Arkham Origins.
by Stuart Davidson | 5th November 2013
Today AMD fill the gap between R9 290X and R9 280X with the R9 290 and are pretty confident that, with the latest driver, it will have enough to match the GTX 780 so we will be taking a look at the two in games such as Battlefield 4, Batman: Arkham Origins and Total War: Rome 2 to establish whether AMD are correct in their claims.
by Stuart Davidson | 24th October 2013
A couple of weeks ago AMD launched their new R9 and R7 series cards which replace the 7000 series in the market. The models released up to this point have primarily been tweaked versions of existing GPUs however today we get to see something new from AMD, their R9 290X which is based on the Hawaii chip, priced at $549/£449 and takes on the Geforce GTX 780. Today we will be taking a look at the R9 290X in games such as Battlefield 3, F1 2013 and Total War: Rome 2 to establish whether it can take on the GTX 780 and win.
by Stuart Davidson | 17th October 2013
The R7 260X from Club3D and AMD takes on the GTX 650 Ti in terms of price. We will be putting both through a range of tests including F1 2014 and Total War: Rome 2 to determine which offers the best performance without breaking the bank.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th October 2013
Over the past few days AMD have released their latest range of GPUs, the R9 and R7 200 series. We took a look at some of the mainstream and enthusiast models earlier in the week and today we focus on one of the budget/entry level models, the R7 250 based on AMDs Oland GPU and retailing for around £69/$90.
by Stuart Davidson | 10th October 2013
Two days ago AMD allowed us to review, in a limited capacity, their new R9 280X. Today the review restrictions are released so we can now compare different versions of the card and that starts with Gigabytes R9 280X WindForce 3X model in its factory overclocked form. We will be comparing it to the two closest NVIDIA models (pricing wise) in the form of the GTX 760 and 770 (both OC models) as well as the part the 280X replaces, the 7970 GHZ. Added in is another 280X OC model and we are testing on the latest i7-4960X CPU, Windows 8.1 and games such as Battlefield 4, F1 2013 and Total War: Rome 2.
by Stuart Davidson | 10th October 2013
This is the R9-270X and our version is the ASUS DirectCU 2 TOP 2GB, an overclocked version of the card which we will be comparing to the closest NVIDIA model (pricing wise) in the form of the GTX 760. We'll also throw in the ASUS 280X as well to show what that extra £90 or so gets us.
by Stuart Davidson | 8th October 2013
Today we will cover the highest specification model available at the time of writing, the R9 280X and our version is the ASUS Radeon R9 280X DirectCU 2 TOP 3GB. That is an overclocked version of the card and one of the highest specification models around. We will be comparing it to the two closest NVIDIA models (pricing wise) in the form of the GTX 760 and 770 (both OC models) as well as the part the 280X replaces, the 7970 GHZ. We are testing on the latest i7-4960X CPU, Windows 8.1 and games such as Battlefield 4, F1 2013 and Total War: Rome 2.
by Stuart Davidson | 29th August 2013
As good as the GTX 780 is, it was getting a little boring. Gaming gets a bit stale in the summer but now we are starting to see new games on the horizon and three hit this week with the launch of Splinter Cell Blacklist, Saints Row IV and Final Fantasys new MMO, A Realm Reborn. So today we will take a look at Gigabytes GTX 780 Overclock and while we are at it compare to a standard 780 as well as the fastest single GPU card AMD have to offer; finding out how each performs in those new titles as well as the likes of Crysis 3 and Battlefield 3.
by Stuart Davidson | 13th August 2013
Today ZOTAC launch their take on a custom cooled 780 with a significant overclock applied at the factory; over 1000MHz base. We will compare it to an existing "super overclock" edition as well as taking a 7970 GHz Edition, water-cooling it and overclocking well past retail overclocked models to see how it compares in game such as Crysis 3 and Metro: Last Light.
by Stuart Davidson | 1st August 2013
For some time now review sites, including ours, have been looking at how well graphics cards deliver frames to our displays when gaming. Average framerates and minimum remain an important aspect of results but a card must deliver frames without delay to give us a truly smooth gaming experience. So over the last few months this aspect of performance has been receiving attention from both NVIDIA and AMD. Today AMD deliver what they hope is a beta driver which addresses frame pacing as they call it in certain scenarios.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd July 2013
When deciding on a high end GPU there are two obvious options in the market at the moment, the GTX 770 and Radeon 7970 GHz Edition. Both offer a level of performance which will suit a decent budget but there is always that bit of doubt around what that bit of extra cash might get us. Today we look to answer that as we take an overclocked GTX 770 and 7970 GHz for a spin and compare them to an overclocked GTX 780 "Super JetStream" from Palit.
by Stuart Davidson | 16th July 2013
Today we take a look at one of the newest GTX 770 models on the market, EVGA's Superclocked Edition. The GTX 770 SC features a new cooler from EVGA as well as a few other tweaks that help to differentiate this from competing models. We'll be putting it through a selection of real world tests against its direct competition from AMD to see how it does in titles like Crysis 3, DOTA2 and Metro: Last Light.
by Stuart Davidson | 25th June 2013
Even with the GK104 being over a year old and being re-used on GTX 770 NVIDIA are not done yet... today GK104 is re-invented again in the form of GTX 760. With a new core configuration and the addition of GPU Boost 2.0 to with adaptive temperature controllers this card is designed to replace the GTX 660 Ti... and take out the 7950. Today with a bunch of factory overclocked cards we find out if NVIDIA can succeed.
by Stuart Davidson | 30th May 2013
Based on the GK104 GPU used on cards such as GTX 680 we have three factory overclocked versions of the GTX 770 on our test bench and all have their own custom design. We'll be putting them through a selection of real world tests against overclocked 680 and 7970 cards (as well as GTX 780) to see how they do in titles like Crysis 3, Metro: Last Light and Grid 2.
by Vas Roberts | 27th May 2013
So with the new 'Level Up' addition to the Never Settle Reloaded free game bundle we thought it was worth taking a look at just what performance a consumer can expect from the likes of Crysis 3 on their new 7870 at very high detail or Tomb Raider on the 7970 on Ultimate? Can the 7950 play Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon at 5760x1080? All these questions and more will be answered today as we take 3 cards from XFX through each of the games.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd May 2013
NVIDIA have just launched the GeForce GTX 780, here today Stuart Davidson brings you a video overview to accompany our full text review.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd May 2013
Today NVIDIA launch the GTX 780 graphics card and we have the ZOTAC branded version on our test bench. We'll be putting it through a selection of real world tests against overclocked 680 and 7970 cards to see how it does in titles like Crysis 3, Metro:Last Light and GRID 2.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd May 2013
The GPU landscape will be changing soon which means that current generation parts have received a discount to make them more attractive so there may well never have been a better time to consider something like a GTX 680, so today we have one of the latest designs for review. ZOTAC's GTX 680 AMP! Edition.
by Kaeyi Dream | 7th May 2013
Last week ZOTAC launched their AMP! Edition overclocked GTX Titan, and this is the highest clocked Titan we have seen. Today Kaeyi Dream brings you a hands on video with a peek at some of the performance figures from our full coverage from last week.
by Stuart Davidson | 30th April 2013
Today sees the release of a new GTX Titan from ZOTAC, the AMP! Edition. This is the highest clocked air cooled Titan we have seen so far and we will be putting it up against the 7990 as well as the GTX 690 in a selection of the latest games which include Bioshock: Infinite, Crysis 3 and Tomb Raider. Of course as always we will look at GPU Computing, Media Playback, power, thermal, and acoustics as well as overclocking.
by Stuart Davidson | 24th April 2013
Today we take the 7990 through a selection of real world gaming tests which include Crysis 3, Bioshock Infinite, Far Cry 3, Assassins Creed 3, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, Battlefield 3, Tomb Raider, DOTA 2, SWTOR, F1 2012 and Borderlands 2. Mix that with the latest 3DMark, Heaven Benchmark, GPU computing, Media playback and all the usual power/thermal and overclocking tests... add frame latency and we have quite a lot to get through today.
by Kaeyi Dream | 28th March 2013
Earlier this week NVIDIA launched the GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost, at launch we reviewed the Palit GTX 650 Ti Boost Overclock Edition with our usual full coverage of the latest games including the FPS numbers, minimum framerate charts, and the new addition to our reviews latency charts. Now Kaeyi Dream gets hands on with this same card in her latest video review.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th March 2013
NVIDIA is looking to fill a bit of a gap in the middle of their product stack with a new model, the GeForce GTX 650Ti Boost and on our test bench we have an overclocked model. Well be putting it through a selection of the latest games, including Crysis 3, Tomb Raider and StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm
by Stuart Davidson | 22nd March 2013
Designed to replace the 7850 1GB in the AMD 7000 series, so between 7770 and 7850 2GB, this new product is AMDs attempt to offer a mainstream GPU with exceptional price to performance ratio.
by Stuart Davidson | 18th March 2013
Today we are going to look at GPU reviews specifically (and may venture back into other categories in the future as motherboard reviews for example are also a mess in the review industry), taking a look at what WE feel makes for a quality review and why.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th February 2013
Today we take the GTX Titan through a selection of real world gaming tests which include Crysis 3, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Far Cry 3, Assassins Creed 3, Hitman: Absolution, StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm, Battlefield 3, Skyrim: Dragonborn, DOTA 2, SWTOR, Mass Effect 3, F1 2012 and Borderlands 2. Mix that with the latest 3DMark, Heaven Benchmark, GPU computing, Media playback and all the usual power/thermal and overclocking tests...
by Lauren TastyPC | 28th January 2013
Lauren takes a look at the PowerColor PCS+ HD7870 Myst Edition, based on the Tahiti LE Chipset.
by Stuart Davidson | 17th January 2013
We will be taking EVGAs latest GTX 670, the FTW Signature 2 Edition and putting it head to head with the ASUS 7970 DirectCU2 to find out how each performs in games such as Far Cry 3, Assassins Creed and Hitman Absolution. Of course this will all be real world gaming and the usual GPU computing, media and power/thermal testing will be thrown in too.
by Stephanie Goody | 9th January 2013
Today we take our second look at Tahiti LE with the Sapphire 7870 XT (With Boost) and in this article will be maxing out its core and memory speed then checking how it performs in games like Far Cry 3, Assassins Creed 3 and Hitman Absolution against a max OC 660 Ti.
by Stuart Davidson | 20th December 2012
PowerColor are taking the Tahiti GPU, usually used in 7900 series cards, and pricing/configuring it at 7870 level. Call it Tahiti LE, 7950 Light... or 7870 Myst with PCS+ cooling. Today we take a look at how it performs in games like Far Cry 3, Assassin's Creed 3 and Hitman Absolution.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th October 2012
One company very much out to appeal to an enthusiast audience, whether they are on a mainstream or high end budget is Inno3D. With their iChill range of cards we get custom PCBs and proper enthusiast cooling; 3 fans on a 660 Ti and factory installed liquid cooling on a GTX 680... sounds great to us. Today we take a look at both models in a selection of real world gaming tests including Battlefield 3, F1 2012 and Borderlands 2.
by Stuart Davidson | 9th October 2012
The GTX 650 Ti is available in two models, 1GB or 2GB, and today we have a selection of overclocked 2GB models on our test bench. We will be testing the 2GB Overclocked GTX 650 Tis against the comparable Radeon in a selection of games including Borderlands 2, Dishonored and Battlefield 3.
by Stuart Davidson | 13th September 2012
It has only been a few weeks since the launch of the GTX 660 Ti but again NVIDIA are ready with a new card, two in fact, the GTX 650 and GTX 660. Today we will be focusing on the GTX 660 and looking at a couple of overclocked models using resolutions from 1920x1080 to 5760x1080. As always the latest games such as Max Payne 3 and Sleeping Dogs are covered and a little SLI is thrown in too.
by Stuart Davidson | 6th September 2012
In the mainstream arena one of the key products of the moment is the Radeon HD 7770, a card designed to offer an excellent price to performance ratio. For those who are on a limited budget keeping costs to a minimum can mean money spent elsewhere and with their FleX Edition Sapphire look to facilitate multi-screen gaming at minimal cost. Today we have their new Radeon 7770 FleX Edition (GHz Edition) on our test bench, but is 5760x1080 gaming achievable with it?
by Stuart Davidson | 30th August 2012
Recently AMDs partners were given the ability to design and release their own 7990 products (or 7970 X2 if you like). This would see two 7900 series GPUs on one PCB and every design would be different, PCB layouts, power spec, outputs, coolers... the works. One of the first to market with a 7990 is PowerColor with their Devil 13 card. This is as Extreme as Radeons currently get and today we put it head to head with the GTX 690 to find out which is best in the latest games.
by Stuart Davidson | 17th August 2012
First up today is the Z77 FTW, a high end board for socket 1155 CPUs. With plenty of enthusiast features. We will also be taking a look at EVGA's factory overclocked GTX 670, two in fact, in the latest games including Max Payne 3 and Counter Strike Global Operations.
by Stuart Davidson | 16th August 2012
NVIDIA are ready to launch their latest 600 series GPU, the GTX 660 Ti and we have three factory overclocked models on our test bench today. First up is the EVGA SuperClocked, then the Palit JetStream and finally the Zotac AMP! We will put each up against overclocked versions of the GTX 670, 7950, 7870 and 560 Ti (448) in a selection of real world gaming tests including Max Payne 3 and Battlefield 3 to see where the GTX 660 Ti fits in.
by Stuart Davidson | 2nd August 2012
One of the first manufacturers to get a 7970 GHz Edition to market is Sapphire and they haven't held back on their Toxic version. With 6GB of memory, custom cooler, redesigned PCB, improved build quality and a heavy overclock this is about as extreme as a 7970 gets.
by Stuart Davidson | 22nd June 2012
With a refined manufacturing process and a tweaked firmware/bios AMD are today launching a revised 7970 known as the GHz Edition, or XT2. We will be comparing that card to an overclocked, custom design GTX 680 and will dispense with the niceties, clocking our i7-3960X CPU at 5.0GHz and firing the resolution up as high as 5760x1080.
by Stuart Davidson | 18th May 2012
It seems each manufacturer is going to take its own unique approach to building a card around the GTX 670 GPU with some going for compact models and others heading for larger PCBs with significant cooling solutions and overclocks. Inno3D fall into the second category and it is their custom GTX 670 which we have on our test bench today.
by Stuart Davidson | 17th May 2012
Today we see the first Vapor-X 7000 series card in the shape of a Sapphire Radeon HD 7770 Vapor-X OC Edition. This enhanced version of the 7770 runs at significantly higher clock speeds than the reference model on both core and memory and combines this with a dual fan, vapour chamber cooler and we will be putting it head to head against the GTX 560 in a selection of real world gaming and multimedia tests.
by Stuart Davidson | 10th May 2012
The GTX 670 takes the features of the GTX 680 and tweaks the configuration to hit a lower price point while still being competitive. We have two custom, factory overclocked GTX 670 cards on our test bench and will be putting them up against overlocked versions of the GTX 680, GTX 570, 7970 and 7950 to find out how each enhanced model performs when paired with an i7 CPU at 5.0GHz.
by Stuart Davidson | 9th May 2012
Today we will be putting the MSI GTX 680 Twin Frozr through a selection of real world media, computing and gaming tests with titles such as Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim to see how it compares to an overclocked Radeon 7970.
by Stuart Davidson | 3rd May 2012
Today we get to look at the GTX 690, NVIDIAs dual GPU Kepler part, and will be putting it up against some of the best custom GTX 680 and Radeon 7970 cards along with CF and SLI configurations in the latest games such as Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim. GPU computing and HD playback will of course make an appearance and to top it off a card like this needs to run on a beefy CPU, so it's time to take the i7-3960X to 5.0GHz...
by Stuart Davidson | 2nd May 2012
Today we update the battle between the 680 and 7970 by taking two of the most impressive models, both custom factory overclocked, and put them head to head in real world gameplay which includes Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim as well as media playback and GPU computing... enter the PowerColor HD 7970 PCS+ (Vortex 2) and Gainward GTX 680 Phantom.
by Stuart Davidson | 29th March 2012
The Palit GTX 680 JetStream is a factory overclocked 3 slot, triple fan cooled card which aims to show the competition how a GTX 680 should be done. We will be putting it through a selection of real world gaming tests including Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim as well as overclocking it to the limit...
by Stuart Davidson | 27th March 2012
Based on a custom design the XFX Radeon R7850 Black Edition Double Dissipation is factory overclocked and has a familiar look to the more expensive 7900 series XFX cards. Today we will take a look at it in a selection of the latest games to find out what it offers over a standard design. Additionally we will be taking a look at the various anti-aliasing modes available on the XFX card and how they affect performance and image quality.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd March 2012
Take one ASUS GTX 680 2GB, overclock it to its limit... add one MSI R7970 Lightning, the highest spec AMD card around and overclock it to breaking point. Thrown in comparisons at 1920x1080 and 5760x1080 mixing with the latest games such as Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3 and SW: The Old Republic. Check cards are piping hot before completion and you have todays review.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd March 2012
We have already taken a look at single GPU performance and now it is time to update that article with a look at SLI, featuring ZOTAC's version of the GTX 680 in titles such as Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3 with single screen and surround gaming as well as Stereoscopic 3D testing.
by Stuart Davidson | 22nd March 2012
Today we take a detailed look at gaming performance of the GTX 680 in titles such as Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3 with single screen and surround gaming as well as Stereoscopic 3D testing. Added to that is GPU computing and media playback performance along with thermal, power, noise and overclocking results. Want to see how the GTX 680 does against the 7970 at its maximum overclock, or the GTX 580 OC 3GB we have that sorted too...
by Stuart Davidson | 20th March 2012
Today we will put two of the top models, Sapphires OC Edition and XFX's DD Black Edition head to head in order to find out what they offer mainstream gamers looking for top performance in the latest games... including Mass Effect 3, Battlefield 3 and Skyrim.
by Stuart Davidson | 16th March 2012
Today we have the most extreme 7970 we have received yet, the MSI Radeon 7970 Lightning. On paper MSI have taken this GPU to a whole new level with extra PCB's, voltage read points, power phases and top of the line components so we are going to do the same. Rather than bench the card at its impressive factory overclock we are taking it to the limit, its maximum stable overclock to see how it compares to the reference design as well as an overclocked, 3GB GTX 580.
by Stuart Davidson | 14th March 2012
Today we have a Sapphire 7970 OverClock Edition card on our test bench and will be putting it through a selection of real world gaming tests, including Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3 to find what Sapphire can do with their own design.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th March 2012
Sapphire are readying their 7870 cards and first out of the gate is their custom design OverClock Edition. We have one on our test bench today and here is a gallery which shows what Sapphire are offering.
by Stuart Davidson | 10th March 2012
We have one of the first retail 7800 cards available to us in the form of Sapphires 7850 OverClock Edition. Today we will be putting it head to head with the GTX 560 Ti Overclock in order to find out which comes out on top. Tests include Battlefield 3, Skyrim and The Old Republic along with the usual media, GPU computing and power/temperature results.
by Stuart Davidson | 5th March 2012
Today AMD launch the 7800 series and allow us to look at their reference cards with partner availability to come later (around March 19th). With the same features as the 7900 series yet a significantly lower price today we find how well they compete with the 7950 and 6870 while looking in detail at the comparison with NVIDIAs GTX 560 Ti and GTX 570.
by Stuart Davidson | 15th February 2012
Today we have the HIS Radeon HD 7750 on our test bench and will be putting it up against the GeForce GTX 550Ti in a selection of the latest games as well as media and GPU computing tasks. Is it the ideal solution for 1680x1080 gamers... or maybe even 1920x1080 users? Time to find out...
by Stuart Davidson | 15th February 2012
At the top of XFX's 7770 range is the "Jet Black" version of their usual Black Edition Overclocked model with this revision featuring heavily overclocked core and memory, well in excess of the AMD reference design. Today we have one on our test bench and will be putting it up against the GTX 560, also overclocked, in a selection of real world tests including Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic.
by Stuart Davidson | 15th February 2012
In this article we will look at Sapphire's 7770 Overclocked model which features a custom design and shall put it up against its direct competition from NVIDIA in the form of a GTX 560. As always we will be focusing on real world testing, including the latest games such as Battlefield 3 and some classics like World of Warcraft before moving on to media, power and thermal performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 10th February 2012
Recently NVIDIA made the biggest change to their 3D Vision ecosystem, probably since launch, with the release of 3D Vision 2. A combination of the latest range of 3D displays with updated hardware and advances made in the driver enhance the experience.
by Stuart Davidson | 31st January 2012
To complete the set of 7950 articles for today we have a HIS system set up and configured on an i7/X79 build and will be looking at CrossFire performance of AMD's new card in a selection of games which include Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic at resolutions up to 5760x1080 (Eyefinity).
by Stuart Davidson | 31st January 2012
XFX are back with the 7950 Black Edition, another 7900 series product which features a custom design and factory overclock. We will be putting it up against the GTX 580, 7970 and 6970 in a selection of real world tests, including Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic to find out whether it impresses.
by Stuart Davidson | 31st January 2012
Regardless of the reason for its "late" arrival the 7950 launches today and one of our launch day cards is Sapphires 7950 Overclock. With a custom PCB and cooler this factory overclocked card has two different BIOS profiles and is without doubt one of the more interesting models available. We will be putting it up against overclocked versions of the GTX 580 3GB, 7970 and 6970 to find out how each performs on Intel i7/X79 @ 5.0GHz.
by Stuart Davidson | 10th January 2012
When we originally published our 7970 content on January 9th 2012 it wasn't possible to run Quad CrossFire with the 7970 and MSI's new X79 Big Bang XPower 2 motherboard. The configuration simply wasn't enabled. That changed overnight with a new BIOS from MSI and new driver from AMD (dated 5th January) which allowed us to test 4x7970 in CrossFire.
by Stuart Davidson | 9th January 2012
What better to do with Sapphires 7970 than round up single and dual results then add in some tri-7970 action in games like Star Wars: The Old Republic. That not enough? Then we also take a look at their new X79 board and even throw in an attempt at Quad-7970... would it work? Let's find out!
by Stuart Davidson | 9th January 2012
With the only 'launch day' 7970 that features an enhanced cooler and factory overclock in hand we decided to put it up against overclocked GTX 580 3GB and Radeon 6970 cards to see what the performance looked like...
by Stuart Davidson | 9th January 2012
Today we are finally able to talk about partner cards and so have paired up PowerColor's hardware in our test system and have retested the latest games such as Battlefield 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic with single and dual GPU's on the latest drivers and game patches. What does the PowerColor 7970 and CrossFire offer us? Let's find out...
by Stuart Davidson | 9th January 2012
First up on our test bench is the HIS Radeon HD 7970 3GB. We will be putting it up against the best of the last generation in a selection of real world tests which include Battlefield 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Skyrimâ€¦ all at 5760x1080. In addition to this we will also look at GPU computing and media performance as well as power and thermal performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 22nd December 2011
This review focuses on DUAL GPU performance comparing 2x Radeon 7970 with GTX 580 in SLI... and a little GTX 590 and Radeon 6990 performance thrown in for good measure. So let's see how the 7970 does running CrossFire in games such as Arkham City and Battlefield 3.
by Stuart Davidson | 22nd December 2011
Today we take a detailed look at the Radeon HD 7970 in the latest games, including Star Wars: The Old Republic and Batman: Arkham City. Added to that is GPU computing performance as well as 1080p playback tests and power, thermal and noise testing.
by Stuart Davidson | 29th November 2011
Enter the GTX 560 Ti 448 Core, a limited edition of the GTX 560 Ti with additional CUDA processors in the GPU. Give these cores to manufacturers and let them create custom models and on paper there are some very interesting products to consider. Today we have four of the cards in our system with models from ASUS, GIGABYTE, MSI and ZOTAC all looking to persuade consumers to part with their hard earned money.
by Stuart Davidson | 17th November 2011
Sapphire today announced their low profile compatible, single slot Radeon 6670. We have one on our test bench and will be looking at its performance in the latest titles, including Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3 and Skyrim as well as video tasks to find out how well it fits the needs of gamers and media enthusiasts.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th November 2011
One manufacturer who is pushing the 6970 to new limits is PowerColor. Famous for their PCS++ range they are no strangers to enhancing Radeons but this new card, the Devil 13 edition, goes further than ever before. Today we will be putting the Devil 13 up against an overclocked GTX 570 in Skyrim, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Human Revolution and F1 2011 to find out how they compare.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th October 2011
Updated: Battlefield 3 performance added.
Today we have a custom GTX 560 Ti on our test bench and this model from Palit aims to offer enhanced gaming and thermal/noise performance along with adding a little extra style to the system.
by Stuart Davidson | 22nd July 2011
The GTX 580M is available in Alienware's M18x and M17x systems with the M17x also offering the option of a 3D enabled display. We took a look at the M17x R3 back in February and today we revisit it, equipped this time with the GTX 580M to find out in a selection of real world gameplay just how fast NVIDIA's GPU is...
by Stuart Davidson | 14th July 2011
HIS are bucking the trend for custom 6950s today with a new version of the 6970, the IceQ Mix. While it has a name which could make people think of a cold drink it is actually a rather interesting take on the 6970 featuring a large, low noise custom cooler and the first real attempt we have seen at implementing Lucids HydraLogix 200 controller on a graphics card.
by Stuart Davidson | 13th July 2011
Today we will be putting the 6950 PCS+ Vortex 2 and its unique cooler through a selection of real world gaming, multimedia and GPU computing tasks to see how it stacks up against some of the best competitor cards on the market.
by Stuart Davidson | 4th July 2011
Taking the foundations of their DirectCU II GTX 580 ASUS have further enhanced the design, aiming it at enthusiasts with the addition of voltage read points, on-board buttons for fan and power adjustments and making it part of the Republic of Gamers brand. So today we have the Matrix GTX 580 Platinum on our test bench and will be finding out in a selection of real world gaming tests, including Crysis 2 with DX11 and high res textures and GPU computing, whether this is now the ultimate GTX 580... or maybe even the best single GPU product ever released...
by Stuart Davidson | 25th June 2011
The AMD Radeon 6950 is a card which has been available for nearly 7 months but that doesn't seem to be stopping manufacturers from tweaking the design to suit their needs and one of the latest to do so (again) is Sapphire. In the form of a custom PCB, custom cooler model with a bundle designed to please even the most demanding consumers we have the Sapphire Radeon 6950 DiRT 3 Edition.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th May 2011
Today on our test bench we have the GTX 560 iChill from their Freezer X Series. What does that mean? It means a triple slot cooler, custom PCB and factory overclock and we will look at how the card performs in some of the latest games, such as DiRT 3, The Witcher 2 and Portal 2. The tests don't stop there though as we will, as always, take a look at media playback, 3D Vision performance and GPU computing.
by Stuart Davidson | 25th May 2011
Now Sapphire are expanding their 6670 range with the introduction of the (silent) Ultimate Edition and today we have that version of the card on our test bench. We will be running it through a selection of real world tests which include DiRT 3 and The Witcher 2 as well as HD playback with GPU computing rounding things off.
by Stuart Davidson | 17th May 2011
For anyone looking to upgrade their system for 1080p gaming NVIDIA claim this GPU will deliver for less than $199(£150)... let's find out if it does as we take a look at the Palit Sonic Platinum edition of the new GTX 560 in a selection of real world gaming tests mixed with some 3D playback, GPU computing and media tasks.
by Stuart Davidson | 29th April 2011
Today we have the PowerColor 6870 PCS++ which includes an enhanced PCB and cooler and overclocked specifications. What card should it go up against? Well that would be the latest Inno3D GTX 560 Ti with triple slot cooler and its own overclock. We will be putting both cards through a selection of real world gaming, media and GPU computing tasks to find out which consumers each suits.
by Stuart Davidson | 24th April 2011
Today we have two of the new value orientated Radeons on our test bench, the Sapphire 6570 and 6670. These cards are more than just rebranded reference designs thanks to their Arctic Cooling coolers and redesigned PCB's so let's take a look at how they perform in some of the most popular games around, as well as GPU computing and media related tasks.
by Stuart Davidson | 14th April 2011
With new 4 cards launched from £80 to £250 we have a bunch of products which are ideal for a roundup to see what we, the consumers, get at each price point. Which of the latest games can each play and are any of them suitable for gaming at 5760x1080. We will answer those questions today as well as looking at media playback and GPU computing performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th April 2011
Despite the reference designs impressive cooling solution there were consumers who demanded enhanced versions of the GTX 580 with enhanced cooler. One of the latest to deliver this is Inno3D with their custom GTX 580 HAWK Edition. As well as featuring an enhanced cooler and some tweaks on the style of the card it also has 3GB of memory rather than the standard 1.5GB. Lets see how it performs in a selection of real world tests.
by Stuart Davidson | 7th April 2011
Earlier in the week we took a look at AMD (and Sapphires) new midrange DirectX 11 GPU and commented at the time that the refresh of lower end parts from 5000 to 6000 series was taking some time. The 6790 filled the gap in the 6000 series at around £110 which left the sub £100 mark to populate and today we get a taste of one model that AMD has to offer in that area with a look at the 6450 which will hit retail in a couple of weeks time.
by Stuart Davidson | 5th April 2011
With the release of NVIDIAs GTX 550 Ti at $150 a few weeks ago the market changed slightly and AMD had a new product to consider, today we see their response in the form of the 6790, our first 6700 series product and on our test bench is Sapphires version. We will be putting it up against the 550 Ti (as well as a few other products) in a selection of the latest games, media playback and GPU computing tests to establish how good the new Radeon is.
by Stuart Davidson | 24th March 2011
Today NVIDIA released their updated driver, 267.84 and we have taken that, 5 recently released games (including Crysis 2, BulletStorm and Shogun 2) and tested at 1920x1080 and 5760x1080 with the 6990 and GTX 590 overclocked to their limit. Read on to find out which is faster when both are pushed as far as they will go on a heavily overclocked Intel Core i7-990X.
by Stuart Davidson | 24th March 2011
Earlier today we took a look at the new GeForce GTX 590 for the first time, comparing it to the GTX 580 and Radeon 6990 in a selection of real world scenarios. At that time there was no driver available which allowed us to look at quad SLI however that has now changed and we have spent the majority of the day testing Zotac's model on driver version 267.84. So let's take a look at how the GTX 590 in SLI compares to the Radeon 6990 in CrossFire with games such as Crysis 2, Dragon Age 2 and Shogun 2.
by Stuart Davidson | 24th March 2011
With the recent release of the Radeon 6990 AMD overtook the GTX 580 in framerate performance, giving them the chance to claim they had the fastest graphics card available. On launch day we all knew that this might not last for long though as it was clear that NVIDIA was readying their long awaited dual GPU upgrade. Today that product is released and it is called the GTX 590.
by Stuart Davidson | 15th March 2011
Over the last year or so one of the more popular models in the mainstream area has been the GeForce GTS 450, a card which many consumers saw as offering a good balance of features and performance for the price. As the NVIDIA product catalogue changed, seeing the release of the GTX 560, 570 and 580 this meant there was a reasonable gap between the GTS 450 and the 460/560 Ti and today we see the release of a product designed to improve on the GTS model while filling the space below the higher specification cards.
by Stuart Davidson | 8th March 2011
We have one of the first retail branded 6990s in our test system and have combined it with the reference 6990 model to look at performance when gaming on one and three screens. This includes Dragon Age 2, Crysis 2 and of course the customary run through 3DMark 2011.
by Stuart Davidson | 8th March 2011
The Radeon 6990 has just launched and today we will be putting it up against the GTX 580 and 570 (with SLI) as well as the 5970 to find out how the new card from AMD compares. As well as the standard 1920x1080 tests we will also cover 5760x1080 on all products, 3D Blu-Ray, GPU computing, power, noise, temps and overclocking.
by Stuart Davidson | 1st March 2011
Over the last month or so we have taken a look at a number of GTX 560 Ti models from various manufacturers and in the majority of cases we have been impressed. The stock GTX 560 Ti is a good card with great performance for the price and offers a nice entry into stereoscopic 3D and PhysX. That said the reference design does have some stiff competition from the Radeon 6870 and more recently the 6950 1GB.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd February 2011
Today we will be looking at one of the first custom versions of the 6950 1GB, the XFX XXX and in the process we will take a detailed look at 1920x1080 performance as well as 5760x1080 (Eyefinity) and CrossFire. To spice things up a little we are adding in a detailed look at building an Eyefinity system for high end gaming, high end wheel and stick controllers... video of the system running... the works.
by Stuart Davidson | 9th February 2011
We will be running this enhanced version of the 6970 through a selection of real world tests to find out how it compares to the GTX 570 and will include maximum overclock results in each case... all on an i7 CPU running at 4.4GHz.
by Stuart Davidson | 9th February 2011
Gainward have covered all bases and brought the - Phantom branding to the mainstream cards. This means that we get an enhanced cooler, redesigned card and in theory, better performance than the reference model... all of the benefits of the high end card at a much more affordable price. Today we have the GTX 560 Ti Phantom 2 on our test bench and will be putting it up against a selection of cards in a similar price bracket to see how it compares in real world gaming, media and GPU computing tasks.
by Stuart Davidson | 8th February 2011
One of the more recent enhanced 6870 models to hit the market is Sapphires Vapor-X model. It features a custom PCB and enhanced cooler to make it stand out from the crowd and that, combined with Sapphires TriXX utility for overclocking and voltage increases means we have a very interesting product on our test bench today.
by Stuart Davidson | 4th February 2011
Today on our test bench we have Gainward's 3GB GTX 580 Phantom3 and the massive Asus GTX 580 DirectCU 2. Tests will include real world gaming, 3DMark 11, media playback, and GPU computing. Then, for the first time on Hardware Heaven, all gaming tests will include stereoscopic 3D results.
by Stuart Davidson | 28th January 2011
One of the more impressive looking enhanced 6950s is the PowerColor PCS++ model and today we have one of those on our test bench. With an enhanced cooler and significantly increased specifications over the standard 6950 we will be putting it up against the GTX 570 and Radeon 6970 to see if it can compete with those, more expensive models.
by Stuart Davidson | 28th January 2011
Today we have the HIS Radeon 6970 Turbo on our test bench and have paired it with an overclocked Core i7-980X to see how well it performs against the standard 6970 and GTX 570 in a selection of real world gaming tests, media playback, stereoscopic 3D and GPU computing.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th January 2011
Over the past day we have taken a look in detail at NVIDIAs new GTX 560 TI. Aspects which have been covered include single card performance, SLI, stereoscopic 3D, Blu-Ray playback, GPU computing and PhysX amongst other things. As always though we like to end our launch coverage with a look in more detail at overclocked performance...
by Stuart Davidson | 25th January 2011
To cover SLI testing on the GTX 560 Ti we are using the ASUS Direct CU2 TOP Edition, a custom designed version of the product which is factory overclocked. We will be testing the card against the 6870 in CrossFire to see, in real world scenarios, which multi-GPU configuration offers the best experience. As always Surround gaming videos will be included, as will 5760x1080 screenshots.
by Stuart Davidson | 25th January 2011
In the first of our GTX 560 Ti launch articles we have the Palit GTX 560 Ti Sonic on our test bench and will be running it through a selection of real world tests to establish how well it performs against the current line-up from AMD and NVIDIA. Tests will include Black Ops, Crysis, F1 2010 and of course our usual selection of GPU computing and multimedia tests.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd December 2010
On our test bench today we have one of the first cards to tweak the GTX 570 design. Gainwards GTX 570 GLH Edition features their own cooler and a factory overclock to enhance the performance over reference cards. We will put it through a selection of real world tests which include Black Ops, stereoscopic 3D gaming, Blu-Ray 3D and GPU computing to see how it compares to the reference model.
by Stuart Davidson | 18th December 2010
UPDATED: Overclocking Analysis
The Radeon EAH6870 DirectCU is a factory overclocked model which claims to run cooler than the reference model and certainly looks different. We will be running it through a selection of real world tests to find out how it performs in gaming, multimedia and GPU computing tasks. These include Blu-Ray 3D, Stereoscopic 3D gaming and the latest releases such as Black Ops and H.A.W.X. 2.
by Stuart Davidson | 17th December 2010
On our test bench is a GTX 570 from Gigabyte and the Radeon 6970/6950 from Sapphire. We will be overclocking each of these and putting them head to head against each other and an overclocked Radeon 5870 to find out how the new cards compare in this scenario. As always real world gameplay will be used, including Black Ops and HAWX 2 and just for fun we will throw in 3DMark 2011 Professional.
by Stuart Davidson | 15th December 2010
Today the Radeon 6970 and 6950 hit the market and we have XFX branded models on our test bench. We will be putting the 6900 series through a selection of real world gaming, CPU computing and stereoscopic 3D tests against the GTX 580 and 570 to see where these new products fit in the market. Added to that are 2-way and 3-way CrossFire testing and a look at the power, noise and thermal performance of the cards to ensure a thorough evaluation of the latest and greatest from AMD.
by Stuart Davidson | 7th December 2010
Not everyone can afford the highest specification, fastest graphics card though and for that reason, less than a month on, NVIDIA are launching the GTX 570. On our test bench we have a model from Inno3D which is factory overclocked and we will be putting it through its paces in a selection of real world tests which include Black Ops, Stereoscopic 3D gaming, GPU Computing, Blu-Ray 3D playback and we will even throw in a quick look at 3DMark 2011 Professional.
by Stuart Davidson | 3rd December 2010
In the next few days stock of the revised XFX Radeon HD 6850 Black Edition will be landing at a store near you and today we have one of the very first samples on our test bench. With a brand new dual fan cooler and factory overclock can it compete with a top of the range GTX 460? We will find out as it is put through a selection of real world tests which include Black Ops, F1 2010, Blu-Ray 3D and GPU computing.
by Stuart Davidson | 17th November 2010
In this article we have decided to take a look at how one of the more desirable 5770s on the market performs in 5 of the most recent games (Black Ops, Fallout New Vegas, Medal of Honor, Civilization V and F1 2010). Our aim is to see how it plays at the highest "normal" resolution of 1920x1080 with maximum in-game detail. Can the 5770 be the ideal solution for serious gamers on a budget?
by Stuart Davidson | 15th November 2010
Sapphire rarely does anything half-heartedly though and the focus of today's review is their take on an enhanced 6850. This is more than just a new cooler and factory overclock though as they have completely changed the product to enhance its performance and overclocking potential.
by Stuart Davidson | 11th November 2010
Today's comparison is the GTX 580, overclocked to the fastest speed we have seen advertised by a manufacturer on standard air cooling against the 6870 in Crossfire with the same highest overclock rule. In addition to that we will also add the 5970, in full. Each of the cards will be tested in a selection of the latest games including Call of Duty: Black Ops, F1 2010 (DX11 Patch) and Fallout: New Vegas with the latest patch.
by Stuart Davidson | 9th November 2010
Today we have not one, not two but three GTX 580's on our test bench and we will be running them through a huge amount of real world testing to show everyone reading the complete picture of GTX 580. It's all here in comparisons which include the GTX 480, Radeon 5870, 5870 Crossfire, 5970 and 6870.
by Stuart Davidson | 5th November 2010
On our test bench today we have two cards from the £150-165 price range which sit on either side of the NVIDIA and AMD divide. Those products are the Inno3D GTXÂ 460 OC and PowerColor's Radeon HD 6850 and we will be putting each through a selection of real world tests to find out what their strengths and weaknesses are.
by Stuart Davidson | 3rd November 2010
Today we have one of the top end GTX 470's on our test bench, the Gigabyte GTX 470 Super Overclock. It features custom PCB, cooler and the fastest core we have seen on a GTX 470 to date. We will be putting it through a selection of tests including Medal of Honor, Fallout New Vegas (3D Vision), F1 2010 (DX11 Patch) and 3D Blu-Ray playback to find out how much Gigabyte have improved on the reference design.
by Stuart Davidson | 22nd October 2010
Today we have a number of brand new AMD 6800 Series cards on our test bench and will be putting them through a selection of real world tests including standard gaming, Eyefinity gaming, Stereo 3D gaming using the latest Zalman 3D monitor, 3D Blu-Ray playback and GPU computing to see where they find themselves in the marketplace.
by Stuart Davidson | 11th October 2010
Today we have Zotac's GeForce GT 430 Zone Edition on our test bench and have run it through a selection of real world tests to establish where it sits in the current market. Tests include gaming, 3D Vision, PhysX, CUDA (GPU Computing) and 3D Blu-Ray playback so by the end of this article we will know exactly what NVIDIA's new budget GPU is capable of.
by Stuart Davidson | 5th October 2010
We have two of PowerColor's Radeon 5870 PCS+ cards on our test bench. We will be running them through 1920x1080 and 5760x1080 tests in a number of the latest games, including Medal of Honor, Civilisation 5 and F1 2010 to see what the user experience is like (Eyefinity videos included). In addition to this we also look at GPU computing and HD playback to get a full overview of the PowerColor model.
by Stuart Davidson | 16th September 2010
Today we take a look at how to set up a 3D Vision Surround system and then run it through a selection of real world gaming tests to find out the performance level we can achieve on the latest driver.
We will include a full selection of 5760x1080 screenshots, 5760x1080 gameplay videos and all of this running on three Asus VG236H screens with Zotac's GTX 480 AMP! Edition in SLI.
by Stuart Davidson | 13th September 2010
Today NVIDIA launched their GeForce GTS 450 and earlier we took a look at how a few models performed in a single card configuration. The results were very positive however one of the main benefits of a £100/$120 card is that combining two is something which is easily affordable for most people. With this in mind we have taken another model, the Palit Sonic Platinum, and combined two in SLI.
by Stuart Davidson | 13th September 2010
Today we will be putting three GTS 450s through their paces in a selection of real world gaming tests which include PhysX and 3D Vision. In addition to that we also take a look at the GPU Computing potential and fire up a Blu-Ray 3D title to check out the acceleration performance offered by the GTS 450.
by Stuart Davidson | 3rd September 2010
Today on our test bench we have the GTX 460 Beast Edition which on paper exceeds any GTX 460 we have tested to date. We will be running it through a set of real world gameplay tests which include DirectX 9, 10 and 11 titles, PhysX, 3D Vision, 3D Blu-Ray and GPU Computing to establish just how good it is.
by Stuart Davidson | 31st August 2010
Today we get the chance to put sample 0021 of the Black Edition Limited run through its paces. Tests will cover 5760x1080 Eyefinity gaming, GPU computing, HD playback and the usual selection of single screen gameplay... is this the most extreme 5970 ever? Can it play the latest games including Mafia 2 and StarCraft 2 at 5760x1080? Let's find out...
by Stuart Davidson | 17th August 2010
Today Zotac are releasing their "AMP! Edition" of the GTX 460 and hope that its redesigned cooler and enhanced specifications will appeal to enthusiasts on a budget. Today we take a look at that card and find out in a selection of real world tests how it compares to the standard GTX 460 as well as a couple of Radeons in the same price range.
by Stuart Davidson | 17th August 2010
The 5850 PCS+ is a factory overclocked model with enhanced cooler and we will be putting it thorough a selection of real world tests, including StarCraft 2, to establish how it compares to the best 5830 on the market. In addition to this we will also take a look at how both cards perform in the recently released Mafia 2 and Lost Planet 2 benchmarks before concluding with some 3D Blu-Ray playback and GPU computing tasks.
by Stuart Davidson | 16th August 2010
Today we have the XFX Radeon 5830 XXX Edition on our test bench and it will be put through its paces in a selection of real world gaming, multimedia and GPU computing tasks. As always these will feature DirectX 11 titles such as Alien Vs. Predator but we have also updated our test suite to include a first look at Mafia 2, Lost Planet 2 as well as StarCraft 2 and 3D Blu-Ray.
by Stuart Davidson | 11th August 2010
Today we have another 5770 on our test bench and while it uses an enhanced cooler that is not the cards main feature, Sapphires 5770 FleX Edition offers a refined Eyefinity experience. Read on to find out what they have changed and how it offers a significant improvement over other Radeon cards.
by Stuart Davidson | 5th August 2010
Today from PowerColor and Gigabyte come two Radeon 5750s which offer passive heatsinks and a few more twists. Will these make an ideal HTPC card; can they even game successfully without active cooling? Today we find out.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th July 2010
Today sees the launch of the GeForce GTX 460 despite a name which is close to the existing GTX 465 the GTX 460 is based on a new class of Fermi/GF100 GPU. Today we find out how it compares to the existing GTX 400 range, the GTX 200 series and its direct competition, the Radeon 5830.
by Stuart Davidson | 8th July 2010
We will be combining the ARES with a Core i7-980X overclocked to 4.25GHz and running it through a selection of real world tests including gaming and Blu-Ray 3D playback to find out how well it compares to the standard 5970 and 2x480 in SLI.
by Stuart Davidson | 6th July 2010
Today Cyberlink are adding the next big feature to PowerDVD 10 Ultra 3D in an update called Mark 2, free to existing v10 Ultra users, which adds support for the Blu-Ray 3D platform; the official standard for 3D optical media in the home.
by Stuart Davidson | 16th June 2010
On the ATI based side we have Sapphire's 5970 Toxic 4GB and the Asus Matrix 5870 Platinum. From NVIDIA partners we have Zotac GTX 480's, Gigabyte and Palit GTX 470's and Gainward GTX 465s which allow us to compare single GPU and SLI based setups. We will be covering real world gameplay, PhysX, 3D Vision, GPU computing, High Definition / 3D media playback and power/noise readings in this review to establish which products are worth purchasing.
by Stuart Davidson | 31st May 2010
To tie in with Computex 2010 Nvidia is today launching the GTX 465 which brings the same GF100 architecture and features which were present in the GTX 480 and 470 to a new price point, sub $300/£255. We will be running the new card through a number of real world tests including DX 9/10/11 gaming, 3D Vision, PhysX, CUDA and 3D movie Playback to establish how it fits into the current marketplace; including comparisons with cards such as the GTX 285, 470 and Radeon 5000 series.
by Grace | 13th May 2010
NVIDIA's long awaited high end products have finally been released, satisfying the ever-craving performance enthusiasts. However the release of the high end cards does not mean that NVIDIA lost interest in the mainstream market where the majority of gamers and users wants to combine performance with value. Today we are going to test the performance of three NVIDIA GT 240 GFX cards, which even though they are all based on the same GT 215 core, are very different from each other.
by Stuart Davidson | 27th April 2010
Today we find out how Sapphire's Radeon 5870 2GB TOXIC compares to the GTX 480 in a selection real world gaming, media and GPU computing tasks. In addition to this we will also cover noise levels, power use and overclocking to find out which enthusiast product is worth purchasing.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th March 2010
So today one of the most discussed graphics card launches of all time takes place; join us as we take a look at the real world performance of the GTX 480 covering DirectX 9, 10, 10.1 and 11 gaming, GPU Computing (CUDA), High Definition playback, PhysX, 3DVision, gaming with 32x anti-aliasing and even 3D-DVD playback. If thats not enough then how about internal and external temperature readings, power use then some overclocking?
by Stuart Davidson | 25th February 2010
Today we get to see the final (for now) piece of the puzzle in the Radeon 5000 range, the 5830. We will be running the card through a selection of real world gaming tests as well as GPU computing tasks and HD playback to find out how it compares to the 5770, 5850 and GTX 275.
by Stuart Davidson | 18th February 2010
On our test bench today we have a version of the Radeon HD 5850 which has received the Toxic treatment. We will demonstrate how it compares to the reference design 5850 and the GeForce GTX 285 in a selection of real world gaming, multimedia and GPU computing tests.
by Stuart Davidson | 9th February 2010
Today we will be taking a look at Sapphires 5570 to see where the new GPU fits into the market in a selection of real world gaming tests, GPU computing tasks and high definition playback. In addition to this we will also take a look back at two other products in the value area, the XFX 5670 and HIS 5450...
by Stuart Davidson | 4th February 2010
Today we will be running Sapphires version of the card through a selection of real world gaming scenarios as well as GPU computing tasks and media playback tests. Read on to find out how the card compares to the main competitor in the same price range.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th January 2010
Today we have two different models of the 5770 on our review bench. Each offers enhanced performance and aftermarket cooling and we will be running them through a selection of real world benchmarks in both gaming and GPU computing tasks.
by Stuart Davidson | 14th January 2010
Today ATI/AMD are launching the first sub $100 (512MB) and $120 (1GB) DirectX 11 capable products in the shape of the Radeon 5670.
We will be running the latest addition to the Radeon range through a selection of real world gaming and media tests to find out how it fits into a very competitive marketplace which includes the GT 240, GTS 250 and Radeon 5750.
by Zardon | 5th December 2009
Our sister site Gamingheaven reviewed Dirt 2 a short while ago and today we have a look at the performance of the PC version in DX11 mode when paired up with the stunning new range of ATI Series 5 graphics cards. I have been playing the PC version of Dirt 2 for the last week or so and it really is a stunning racing game, with state of the art graphics combined with the same fantastic gameplay we experienced on the console version.
by Stuart Davidson | 29th November 2009
Today we have the latest model in the Sapphire Vapor-X family on our test bench, the 5750. We will be taking a look at how it compares to the reference model in areas such as thermal performance, overclocking, GPU computing and real world gameplay. Can the Vapor-X 5750 live up to the reputation of the previous models?
by Zardon | 20th November 2009
Today we will be taking a look at the new HIS and Sapphire 5970's and as they sent us two of the cards apiece we felt it would be a good time to to cover Crossfire X configurations - for those of you rich enough to be able to afford two of these monster graphics cards. We also overclock our watercooled Core i7 processor to 4.1 ghz and the memory to 1800mhz to mirror a real life environment for a potential customer of two of these high end boards - we want CPU limiting at a minimum.
by Stuart Davidson | 18th November 2009
Today we will be taking a look at the Powercolor Radeon HD 5970 2GB and putting it through its paces in a selection of real world gaming tests, including the recently released Modern Warfare 2. In addition to this we will cover GPU computing and high definition playback as well as having a play with the surprise inclusion of an official voltage tweaking tool. This little application may well make this product a favourite with enthusiasts who want to get the most from their purchase.
by Stuart Davidson | 4th November 2009
Today we look at the new AMD processors - the revised Phenom II 965 Black Edition and the Athlon II X3 435. We also look at the DFI DK-790FXB-M3H5 and the stunning new Sapphire Vapor X 5870 and watercooled Powercolor 5870 LCS.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th October 2009
Today we have Gigabytes GTX 275 Super Overclock in our labs which takes nVidias GTX275 to a whole new level. To make things even more interesting we have paired this impressive card with Nvidias 3D Vision kit, today we see if the latest development in display technology is ready for the mainstream market.
by Stuart Davidson | 13th October 2009
These two products are priced to target (and undercut) the GTS 250 and GTX 260. Can ATI take control of the mainstream graphics market? Read on to find out as we put all of these cards through their paces in a selection of the latest games as well as high definition media playback and GPU computing tasks.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th October 2009
Despite Nvidia having a strong product catalogue rumours have been rife in the last week or so about the future of their mid and high range products. It is business as usual in the budget range today however as we see the launch of a new card in the sub $79 price range. This isnt just a cut down version of a different card though; for once we have a budget model which brings something a little different to Nvidias product range.
by Stuart Davidson | 10th October 2009
A couple of weeks ago on launch day we looked at the Radeon 5870 and found it to be a very impressive card. Today we have a follow-up article where we will look at the 5870 offerings from a selection of ATIs partners as well as the 5850 to see which cards are worth your hard earned cash. In addition to this full CrossFire results for both cards will be provided as well as GPU computing and media playback performance figures.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd September 2009
In order to take full advantage of Microsofts latest DirectX we require hardware which supports features such as Shader Model 5 and today we bring you the launch of the worlds first publically available DX 11 hardware, the Radeon 5870.
by Zardon | 28th August 2009
Today we look at a higher price bracket for those who demand a little extra than our recent 4890 roundup and there is no better card to focus on than the massively successful, and extremely powerful 285 GTX from Nvidia. We have been noticing the prices of these cards dropping recently and rather than focus on a plethora of 1gb versions we thought it would be interesting to focus on possibly the cheapest 2gb 285 GTX available from lesser known manufacturer Sparkle.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th August 2009
Asus have just rewritten the Nvidia rulebook with the release of their 1 grand video card - the Asus MARS. Its basically two 285's on one board with 4GB of high performance ram. Asus sent us TWO of these limited edition boards and we put them in a watercooled system to see just how many frames they can deliver with all the modern gaming titles.
by Zardon | 21st August 2009
Today not only are we testing three of the hottest new overclocked 4890 ATI graphics cards but we are building a high performance system with the focus on value for money. We base the system around the powerful, yet extremely affordable Phenom II 965 Black Edition and the very capable Asus Crosshair III Formula motherboard.
by Stuart Davidson | 31st July 2009
Today we have one product from each of the mainstream and high-end GeForce families on our test bench to see what performance each offers for its price point. Read on to find out what can be achieved through a simple upgrade as we test each in a selection of the latest games and GPU computing applications.
by Nathan Marks | 19th June 2009
Today we are looking at two cards, the XFX HD 4890 Black Edition and Zotacs GTX285 Infinity. Both are each respective manufacturers fastest single core offerings and bring several improved features to the table.
by Nathan Marks | 17th June 2009
Recently we tested the Sapphire 4890 Vapor-X which offers a slight improvement over the reference model with a modest overclock and a custom cooling solution. Today however we will be taking a look at the real powerhouse that Sapphire have on offer, the HD 4890 Atomic.
by Nathan Marks | 12th June 2009
Today were going to be testing the Sapphire HD 4890 Vapor-X. This specific model of the 4890 slots in just above the basic card and below the Toxic edition which is clocked at slightly higher speeds.
by Nathan Marks | 21st May 2009
Today were going to be looking at the Asus ENGTX260 Matrix graphics card. The card is complete with a custom cooler and a comprehensive software application which allows for overvolting and overclocking of the card. The card is available for about Â£160 and these features could easily give it a strong advantage over competing products.
by Stuart Davidson | 7th May 2009
There has been a steady stream of processor releases from AMD in recent times. Whether it is revisions of triple and quad core models or the addition of DDR3 parts to the product line there has always been something new to look at regularly. Two weeks ago we took a look at the latest high end Phenom 2, the 955 and now AMD have another release for us to cover. The Athlon X2 7850 Black Edition.
by Nathan Marks | 27th April 2009
High end graphics cards such as Nvidias GTX295 and ATIs 4870x2 are the stuff of dreams for most of us. With the current economic climate and tightening budgets it is important we focus on some of the more affordable solutions and today we are doing just that by looking at two cards available from the current Nvidia lineup, Gigabytes 1GB 9600 GT and a 9400 GT from PNY.
by Stuart Davidson | 17th April 2009
Today we take a look at several of the cards based on the GT200 core as well as a GTS 250 to see which offer the best value for gaming and GPU computing tasks. For anyone considering the purchase of a GeForce product in the next few months this article is essential reading.
by Stuart Davidson | 2nd April 2009
Today we will be putting a selection of 4890s up against the GTX 275 in the latest games at resolutions up to 2560x1600. We will also run each of the cards through a selection of GPU computing tasks as well as completing our test suite with some CrossFire tests and overclocking/thermal performance.
by Stuart Davidson | 19th March 2009
Today Sapphire becomes the first GPU manufacturer to attach 2 GB of DDR5 to their Radeon 4870 making it one of the most impressive models available in terms of paper specifications. They have their own PCB design and a cooler based on the Vapor-X technology which we have seen on a few of their previous cards. We are lucky enough to have one of these new cards on our test bench and have run it through a number of real world tests so be sure to read our review !
by Nathan Marks | 9th March 2009
As our readers already know, XFX are new to the ATI game however we have already had the chance to look at a range of their new products and today we are going to take a look at their 4830 and 4350 alongside Sapphires 4670 Ultimate.
by Stuart Davidson | 2nd March 2009
Over the last week or two there has been heated debate online regarding the latest graphics card from Nvidia. This kind of discussion is usually reserved for the latest high end product but in this case it is a mainstream model, the GTS 250.
by Nathan Marks | 17th February 2009
Today we are going to look at a £75 offering from Sapphire, the HD 4670. We looked at a similar model a few months ago from Sapphire and at the time we were impressed by the value it offered to the mainstream customer. Sapphire has completely revisited the card, adding GDDR4 memory and a brand new cooler to this mid-range card.
by Stuart Davidson | 10th February 2009
In the second of todays XFX articles we take a look at the Radeon HD 4650. Those reading who have already seen our 4870 XXX article will know that XFX have already made a good impression with that product in their new ATI range. We will find out if this winning streak continues as we run the card through a selection of tests including gaming, Overclocking and Blu-Ray playback.
by Stuart Davidson | 10th February 2009
Not content with being known for great Nvidia based products XFX recently announced a range of Radeon graphics cards and Intel motherboards, all of which are designed to take on the best products in their marketplace. Today we have the first of their cards on our test bench, the Radeon HD 4870 1 GB XXX which is a factory overclocked model.
by Stuart Davidson | 28th January 2009
During CES 2009 Nvidia launched the latest cards in their GeForce range, the GTX 285 and 295. The 285 is essentially a refresh of the existing GTX 280 with a reduction in the core size and reduced power requirements. The GTX 295 is their latest dual GPU design, the first card since the 9800 GX2 to support Quad SLI. Rather than rush out a half assed review to meet Nvidias tight timescales for this launch, we opted to delay our article and ensure it was as informative as we could make it.
by Nathan Marks | 21st January 2009
The Radeon HD 4870 was ATIs answer to the powerful GTX260, so after the release of the MaxCore GTX260 ATIs partners got to work on overclocked versions of their 1gb 4870s to compete in the market. Weve already looked at the Gainward and Sapphire overclocked variations and today were going to look at an offering from HIS, the HD4870 IceQ 4+ Turbo.
by Nathan Marks | 7th January 2009
Today were looking at a new offering from Sapphire based on the original 4870 Toxic. This edition now brings 1GB of memory to the table to combine with the pre-overclocked frequencies.
by Nathan Marks | 30th December 2008
Zotac was established as a Nvidia partner in 2006 and have been producing quality VGA and motherboard solutions since then. Today we're going to look at the Zotac Nitro, an overclocking tool unlike anything we've seen before. This USB device allows you to overclock your video card on the fly, setup profiles and monitor fan speed and temperature. Overclocking is very much an enthusiast hobby, but Zotac hope the Nitro will encourage more users to try and get the most out of their graphics cards.
by Stuart Davidson | 17th December 2008
It comes as no surprise to us that there are also versions of the 4870X2 hitting the market with extreme cooling solutions in addition to enhanced speeds. Today we will run two of the most interesting through a selection of real world tests, including gaming at 2560x1600 and Blu-Ray playback to find out how good the 4870 X2 can get.
by Stuart Davidson | 27th November 2008
In the Radeon HD 4870 family there have been numerous overclocked models released in the last few months but few go to the extreme shown by todays review product, the PowerColor Liquid Cooling Solution HD4870.
by Nathan Marks | 26th November 2008
Last month we looked at a 4550 sample from ATI, it proved to be a great budget card and earned our top award. Now weve got our hands on another 4550 from Sapphire, along with their 4650 model.
by Nathan Marks | 25th November 2008
AMDs partners have been busy producing overclocked cards with custom cooling solutions to help improve core cooling and noise levels. Today were going to look at two of those offerings, the HIS 4850 IceQ 4 and the Club3d 4850 Overclocked Edition.
by Stuart Davidson | 21st November 2008
Unless someone wants to spend considerable money there are really only two options for gaming enthusiasts, two cards which provide performance high enough to play the latest games at high detail without requiring a bank loan, the GeForce GTX 260 and Radeon HD 4870 1Gb. The question is, which is the fastest now that many driver revisions have passed since release?
by Nathan Marks | 3rd November 2008
Today we are looking at a hot new graphics card from Sapphire. This is an impressive design comprising two fans on a very attractive blue PCB. How does it perform against the single core 4850 as well as GTX 260 and GTX 280 hardware from Nvidia? Read on to find out ...
by Stuart Davidson | 31st October 2008
Just over a week ago ATI launched the Radeon HD 4830 which is the latest card in the 4800 series range and hits the market at around £99/$130. Unfortunately, due to a BIOS issue on the first batch of review sample cards (reference models and some retail branded) the full number of unified shaders was not available and performance was therefore negatively impacted (some reviews you have already read on other publications are actually wrong).
by Zardon | 30th October 2008
XFX are bundling Far Cry 2 with a wide range of their hardware so when we approached them for this article they sent us over a great cross section of hardware for our analysis. We also compare against leading hardware from ATI to see which will give you the best gaming experience for your money.
by Stuart Davidson | 7th October 2008
On our test bench today is Gainwards Golden Sample version of the latest high end video card to be released by ATI, the Radeon HD 4870 1GB. Rumours and news about this particular model have been around since before the 512MB version made it to launch but it has taken some time for the 1GB model to reach the marketplace and it enters into a slightly more crowded segment than it would have three months ago.
by Stuart Davidson | 6th October 2008
Today's review subject, the Radeon HD 4550, which sits nicely between the 3450 and 4650 in ATIs product catalogue and competes directly against the GeForce 9400 GT. In this review we will be comparing those two cards in a selection of the latest games as well as seeing how each fairs in some high definition playback tests.
by Stuart Davidson | 25th September 2008
The new GeForce GTX 260 increases the number of shader processors and should provide a very competitive alternative to the Radeon 4870. Today we will be finding out how well it compares in a selection of the latest games, including Crysis Warhead as well as demonstrating how well it handles Blu-Ray acceleration and PhysX processing.
by Stuart Davidson | 22nd September 2008
Today we will be throwing a few of the latest and greatest gaming titles at the 9500 GT XXX as well as some PhysX processing and media playback to ascertain whether this product really is the card of dreams for a budget minded consumer.
by Stuart Davidson | 19th September 2008
This card retails for £60/$80 and so should be well within the price range of most consumers, but is it worth buying if you are a gamer? It is our job today to find out, and we will also test them in Crossfire to see the possible gains if you upgraded at a later date.
by Stuart Davidson | 16th September 2008
So what do R&D guys do to unwind and what do they get up to in those rare times when they do not have deadlines to meet? Well, they have some fun creating new products which are not necessarily aimed at being launched, just a test of what can be done... and that brings us to todays product.
by Stuart Davidson | 9th September 2008
Palit are one of a growing number of companies who now sell Nvidia and ATI products which means that in the same price range they can often have several competing products. In the case of the sub $200 market two such products are their 9800GT and 4850 Sonic graphics cards.
by Zardon | 6th September 2008
Today we are taking a look at the new Asus 4870 X2 which is set to push the performance boundaries even further, these preoverclocked cards are lovingly referred to by Asus as the "TOP" versions. This card has enhanced clocks with the cores increased from 750 to 790mhz and the GDDR5 modules increased from 3600 to 3660mhz (900 to 915).
by Stuart Davidson | 5th September 2008
Today we have the GTX 280 OCX on our test bench and will be comparing it to a reference model in a selection of the latest games as well as running it through some high definition playback tests, we will even throw in a few compares to the GTX 260 for those having trouble deciding which card best suits them.
by Stuart Davidson | 11th August 2008
Today we have the opportunity to test the card in its shipping form with a driver which is much closer to the version consumers will receive. We will be running the card through a selection of the latest and greatest games at resolutions up to 2560x1600 as well as testing Blu-Ray acceleration and CrossFireX performance. The big question that needs answered ..... are ATI back at the top of their game?
by Grace | 8th August 2008
Today we will have a look at the gaming performance of seven different budget graphics card products from various manufacturers. The products on test today are all priced between £20 and £70, yet the performance differences between them are vast, making some usable only for HTPC use and 2D gaming while others can be used to power a relatively decent gaming machine.
by Stuart Davidson | 25th July 2008
Today in the first of a two part article we will be looking at some of the Nvidia cards that are on offer in the £70-£150 ($120-$190) range to demonstrate how much performance each provides. In the near future we will be following up with a look at cards in the £30-£70 range.
by Stuart Davidson | 11th July 2008
So what of a product to compete with the GTX 280? Well that is why we are here today, in the last day or so ATI supplied us with an early sample of the R700 giving us the opportunity to see how it compares to cards which are already on the market. We should however state that ATI have placed some limitations on what we can and cannot say about the R700 at this time and therefore a full outline of the card and performance analysis will be published at a later date.
by Stuart Davidson | 8th July 2008
Today we have factory overclocked cards from each of these manufacturers and we will be putting them head to head in a variety of tests including gaming at 2560x1600, high definition playback and â€˜PhysX calculations. In addition to this we will also take a look at how each of the cards compares to various other products which are available on the market, including the Geforce GTX 260, and Radeon 4870.
by Stuart Davidson | 8th July 2008
Today's review product, the Radeon HD 4870, goes some way to rectifying AMD's hole in the market as it is priced to challenge the GTX 260. We will be running the products through a variety of tests including gaming at 2560x1600, CrossFire and high definition playback to find out which company is most deserving of your hard earned cash.
by Stuart Davidson | 25th June 2008
Today we will be running the two new products through a selection of the latest games at resolutions up to 2560x1600 as well as delving into some Blu-Ray playback testing and overclocking in order to establish how well they perform.
by Stuart Davidson | 20th June 2008
When most manufacturers design an enhanced specification graphics card they tend to increase the core and memory speed, others might do this and add a fancy cooler. Visiontek have on the other hand gone above and beyond this by doing both as well as completely redesigning the PCB to improve the size of the product and the features available to their customers. Today we are looking at the Visiontek Radeon HD 3870 X2 Overclocked Edition.
by Stuart Davidson | 16th June 2008
We have two of the hot new Nvidia products in our test labs today ... The first is Zotac's 280 GTX AMP! Edition, a factory overclocked sample of the high end model and the other is a reference design 260 GTX. We will be testing with a selection of the latest games at resolutions up to 2560x1600 as well as delving into some Blu-Ray playback and card overclocking in order to establish how much of an improvement they are, if any, over the last generation of Nvidia hardware.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th June 2008
The Geforce 9800 GTX has been around for some time now and the maturing of the product brings with it a selection of cards which look to improve on the reference specification or design. We have one such card on our test bench today, XFXs 9800 GTX Black Edition from a handpicked range of cards which feature enhanced core and memory speeds for exceptional performance and stability.
by Stuart Davidson | 11th April 2008
Today we take a look at a plethora of mid range graphics cards available to you, the consumer. The cards in the lineup today are: Zotac 9600 GT Amp! Edition, Gainward Bliss 9600 GT, Asus EN9600GT, XFX 9600 GT XXX, Palit 9600GT Sonic, Gainward 8800 GTS Golden Sample (Goes Like Hell), Zotac 8800 GT 1GB, Asus 3850 OC Gear. Which one is worth your money?
by Stuart Davidson | 31st March 2008
No, its not an April's fools joke, today we have yet another launch from Nvidia, the new 9800 GTX which is set to replace the 8800 GTX of old. Not content with just reviewing the new GTX however we have several new GX2's as well as a kick ass new Asus 3870 X2 in our test labs today.
by Stuart Davidson | 24th March 2008
Within last weeks nForce 790i SLI and 9800 GX2 article we would have liked to include benchmarks of the GX2 in an SLI Quad configuration but due to a rather bizarre decision by Nvidia they asked all partners to withhold Quad performance until today.
Anyway, today we can tell you how Quad SLI performs but we want to do more than that so we will be taking our first look at 3-Way SLI using three 8800 Ultras ...
by Stuart Davidson | 17th March 2008
Today is the launch of two high end Nvidia products. The 790i motherboard which supports DDR3 right up to 2000mhz and the 9800 GX2 the latest in the G9x range of GPU's.
Are they worth your hard earned cash? read our 29 page indepth analysis to find out.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th February 2008
With the recent release of the Radeon 3850 and GeForce 8800 GS there is a new battle taking place for consumers with a budget of £100-£140 and today we have two such cards on our test bench, the XFX 8800 GS XXX 384Mb and the Sapphire 3850 256Mb. Which deserves your money?
by WhO_KnOwS | 7th February 2008
If you take a look at the upcoming Force Unleashed trailers you will see that things are moving forward at blazing speeds and as a result only the fastest CPUs can be sure of handling the increased load.
The graphics industry faced a similar situation back in the days of 3dfx, when something had to be done to offload some of the work from the CPU and allow games to develop. Back then 3D acceleration was introduced and right now AGEIA is trying to do the same for the world of physics.
With Nvidia having just purchased Ageia we decided to take a look at their PhysX.
by WhO_KnOwS | 6th February 2008
Right now things are looking up for AMD. The HD3870 X2 is a great card, performing on a par with similarly priced cards from nVidia. This makes it an excellent choice for enthusiasts who require the ultimate performance at all times. Equally so, it also puts the card out of reach for gamers who don't want to spend a fortune on their gaming machines.
AMD's answer is the HD3850. The card has all the features it's two faster brothers (the HD3870 and the HD3870 X2) offers and only falls behind in performance due to slightly lower GPU speeds and slower memory. But while no features were cut in the process of making the HD3850, its price experienced a significant reduction. The question on everybody's lips is – did the performance drop suffer to a similar degree?
by Stuart Davidson | 28th January 2008
It has been a boring state of affairs in the graphics card industry with Nvidia ruling the roost for a long time. Today we take a look at ATI's new HD 3870 X2 card, do they finally have an answer to Nvidia's high end dominance? We think you might be surprised ....
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd January 2008
With a new graphics card launch the initial batch of cards is followed by a flurry of enhanced models and the 8800 GT and GTS are no different. In today's review we will be taking a look at some of the more impressive enhanced models that are available, the first two products are supplied by XFX and Zotac and are factory overclocked GTS models.
XFX are highly experienced in this area and while Zotac are relatively new to this sector this has not stopped them impressing us with previous overclocked models. In fact their 8800 GT AMP! Edition is still the fastest GT branded card we have tested. The third product in this review is Gainward's 8800 GT Golden Sample. Gainward have enhanced clock speeds on this particular card and have chosen to attach an impressive looking cooler and one gigabyte of memory. The heat is on ...
by Stuart Davidson | 8th January 2008
There are a plethora of Radeon HD 2600 series cards available to buy and many manufacturers have applied different customisations to their specific models. Some are supplied with silent coolers, others with factory overclocked settings and then there is the product we are reviewing today.
Visiontek have taken the 2600 XT 256Mb and redesigned it to perfectly suit low profile PCs or Media Centres. Part of this redesign is a native HDMI port which when added to full high definition video support could make the card an essential purchase. In this article we will be putting the card through a number of gaming and media tests to find out if media centre enthusiasts have a new must have purchase.
by Stuart Davidson | 2nd January 2008
A few weeks ago Sapphire launched the Atomic homepage with content aimed at the enthusiast market.
Driver Heaven now have the first of their enhanced products, the Atomic HD 3870. With this card Sapphire have done all they can to improve on the reference design and in addition to this the overall package has also been enhanced. Let us take a look at what makes this particular 3870 so special.
by Stuart Davidson | 11th December 2007
Today we are taking a look at Nvidia’s refresh of the 8800 GTS which is designed to bring the performance and specifications up to where they should be for the suggested price range.
by Stuart Davidson | 27th November 2007
As always in such a short space of time, the marketplace has changed and the direct competition to the 8800GT is no longer the 2900XT/Pro, it is the Radeon HD 3870. There is still a gap in the ATI product line-up with no single card flagship enthusiast product; instead ATI's stance is to crossfire the 3870's and with a recommended price of $219/£160 each that is not too outrageous.
Our review will be covering comparisons between the 8800GT XXX, 3870, 2900 XT and stock 8800 GT using the latest games and high definition movies. We will also cover 3870 CrossFire, overclocking, image quality and whether it is possible to connect a 3870 and 2900 XT in a working CrossFire system.
by Stuart Davidson | 29th October 2007
Today we have not one, but four new 8800GT's in our test labs from some of the leading manufacturer's. We will be giving the card a thorough analysis in all the leading DX9 and DX10 games, including Crysis.
The big question on everyones lips? Is the 8800GT the new class leader as the best "bang for buck"?
Read our review and find out.
by WhO_KnOwS | 21st October 2007
It has been a good year for nVidia and its partners. The 8800 series has seen little competition, and even when it has, the 8800GTX and Ultra have emerged as the clear winners every time.
Being almost a year old the 8800GTX could well start reaching its limits in the newest games at high resolutions, making it a less than stellar purchase. Aiming to find out we fired up all the latest and greatest titles at the Zotac 8800GTX AMP! Edition, giving you a chance to see just how well the card can cope with them.
To top it off, we threw a few standard games in the mix as well, hoping to find how much the faster clocks of the AMP! Edition actually help.
by Stuart Davidson | 3rd October 2007
XFX 8800 GTS 320Mb Fatal1ty and Gainward Bliss 8800 GTS 640Mb.
by Stuart Davidson | 1st October 2007
ne of the latest graphics cards to be released by Visiontek is a Radeon 2600XT model. Bored already? then fear not........ this is no ordinary XT, this video card features one gigabyte of DDR2 memory and two GPUs on a single PCB.
by WhO_KnOwS | 21st September 2007
This generation of graphics cards seems to be all about nVidia, at least for the time being. On most forums users will call you a fool for even considering an AMD graphics card, claiming that nVidia can wipe the floor with AMD any day of the week.
Facts speak differently however. Yes, nVidia’s solutions are a bit faster in certain games, but AMD has a fair share of games that run faster on their hardware as well. And most importantly, when somebody buys a graphics card, they tend to use it for more than just gaming. HD video playback is getting more popular by the day, so having a card that is capable of accelerating playback on computers that aren’t exactly high-end is an important feature. And what do you know, AMD is faring a great deal better here than their competition.
So you see, things aren’t as black and white as some would have you believe and because of that, we decided to turn the spotlight to AMD’s camp, and showcase the performance of their budget and middle end graphics cards.
by WhO_KnOwS | 5th September 2007
One of the eternal debates of computer graphics is whether the speed of the card is more important than the amount of memory it has. If both are similar, how can a user choose between the two based on his needs as a gamer?
When Gainward sent us two of their newest Bliss 8600GT products we knew that finding an answer was only a matter of time. With one card being extremely fast (for a 8600GT) and the other equipped with 1024Mb of memory, we decided to find the answer to the question with one of the most popular GPUs of this generation.
by WhO_KnOwS | 27th August 2007
We have previously pitted the 8400 cards again the HD2400 and the 8600 against the HD2600. While these reviews delivered plenty of information to people who already settled on a price range and were only looking for which card to get from that segment, they didn’t offer much to users who were unsure which price range was right for them.
To help such users we decided to look at how the different middle and low-end boards from nVidia compared to each other. To top it off, all of the cards on test today are passively cooled, making them all prime candidates for multimedia PCs.
by WhO_KnOwS | 16th July 2007
It is time to see how the newly released HD2600XT can compete against manufacturer improved versions of the GT and GTS 8600 cards. Judging from what we saw in the HD2400/8400 roundup this could end up to be a bloody battle with no survivors left behind.
by WhO_KnOwS | 9th July 2007
While enthusiasts care only about the middle and high end computer parts market, it is the low end cards that bring in the most money for the manufacturers. All those desktop machines that are only used to browse the internet and write the occasional document don’t really need a GeForce 8800 Ultra, but considering that more and more people want to watch videos on their PCs an integrated graphics card doesn’t cut it either.
Because of that cards like the GeForce 7300 and ATI X1300 were such a success. They offered a lot for a very low price. But times change and with Vista becoming the OS of choice for many, cards like that are having trouble displaying the Aero desktop environment without slowdowns. But the aforementioned cards weren’t designed with Vista in mind. Their successors however are.
The GeForce 8400GS and the ATI X2400XT are the latest entries into the budget market and judging by their price you shouldn’t expect much from them, especially in terms of gaming. But as always we shouldn’t judge the book by the cover, so let us take a closer look at these newest offerings.
by WhO_KnOwS | 26th June 2007
What about gamers that aren’t interested in when nVidia will release the next series and don’t care who is winning the graphics card war? As far as they are concerned higher shader clocks mean nothing and their graphics card is perfect for them for as long as they can enjoy their games at reasonable resolutions.
This is where Fatal1ty steps in, with his series of products aimed at gamers. They usually aren’t the fastest or most feature packed items on the market, but they still stick out because of their exceptional quality and eye-catching design. The fact that the most famous professional gamer stands behind them doesn’t hurt either. Couple that with XFX, one of the best graphics cards manufacturers out there and you have (in theory) a very capable partnership.
by Stuart Davidson | 20th May 2007
Nvidia have held the GFX performance crown for quite some time with the extremely impressive 8800 GTX, so when they announced the “Ultra” a few weeks ago the general consensus was they had yet again pushed the envelope further, albeit with a huge price premium.
Everything considered, there will always be a market for these high end cards and with this in mind XFX sent us their new “XXX” Ultra for review, with further improvements on the core, memory and shader clocks. As AMD’s graphics card division are yet unable to supply an answer to the older GTX, the Ultra is certain to push the two companies high end products even further apart.
With such a high price tag on the Ultra our graphics card guru Stuart “Veridian3” Davidson will not only measure the cards real world gaming performance on XP and Vista, but will ascertain if the card is ultimately worth the money.
by Stuart Davidson | 14th May 2007
With AMD's acquisition of ATI for vast amounts of money, it would be fair to say there have been high hopes for the long awaited and by now almost mythical R600. If hype and rumour could sell product, then the cards we have in front of us today would guarantee AMD several hundred million in the first week of launch. However, in the internet age we are all all way too savvy to part with money before reading reviews and opinions, this is a luxury in 2007 we should never take for granted. Educated decisions mean we end up buying the product we need, not what companies say we should buy.
It has been a quiet six months for ATI, not only have Nvidia been ruling the roost with their excellent 8800 series, but with AMD getting trounced by Intel in the processor sector, every sane enthusiast is praying that their graphics division can finally deliver a competiing product which gives us all good value for money as well as a stellar gaming experience.
So, the question is, can the R600 take on the huge success story that is the Nvidia 8800? Today our UK Editor and graphics card specialist Stuart "Veridian3" Davidson is going to answer all your questions with real world gaming performance on multiple operating systems against 8800 counterparts, as well as delving into Image Quality concerns and Video Acceleration. We are sure by the end of this review you will know if it is money worth spending...
by WhO_KnOwS | 20th April 2007
Much like the GTS which we reviewed on launch day the 8600GT is aimed at the price-conscious consumer who still wants to play today’s games at reasonable resolutions. Just like its bigger brother the GT fully supports the DirectX 10 standard and has an impressive array of video decoding features under the hood. But whereas the GTS has two HDCP enabled DUAL-DVI connectors by default, it was left up to the individual card manufacturers to decide whether they would add HDCP support to the GT or not.
A reference 8600GT is otherwise more or less a downclocked version of the GTS (the reduced power consumption lead to the removal of the PCI power connector), as both cards have the same amount of stream processors, are fabricated with 80nm technology and have a 128bit memory interface. Just like the GTS the 8600 GT is also very effective at handling textures (in certain situations even better than the 8800 series). By default the 8600GT cores are running at 540Mhz while the memory is set to 700Mhz (1400Mhz DDR). The shader clock runs at a high 1,19Ghz. All in all a very impressive board, especially considering its price starts at $150.
by Stuart Davidson | 17th April 2007
The product(s) that Nvidia and its partners are launching today is designed to bring DirectX 10 features to the mainstream market, in addition to this – this range introduce some quite astounding new video features which are not present on even the top end 8800 series. Top all this with an updated driver which features over 400 bug fixes since the 98 series driver and we have an interesting review ahead of us. So, furnished with overclocked edition GTS cards from MSI and BFG (with more coming this week from other makers) let’s see if the 8600 can deliver the goods.
by WhO_KnOwS | 21st March 2007
nVidia’s latest graphics card series took everybody by surprise. Not only are the 8800 cards the only DX10 capable cards available, but even the slowest 320Mb GTS models can’t be beaten by anything even remotely in the same price range. While the 320Mb version of the card is likely to run out of breath once true DX10 games start showing up, this will more than likely not be the case with the 8800GTS 640Mb.
by Stuart Davidson | 7th March 2007
The 8800GTS 320Mb is a popular product amongst Nvidias partners and as a result there is a hugely varied range of cards currently available which differ greatly in specification, all trying to attract customers in what is a very lucrative segment of the graphics card market. Two manufacturers known for making variants of Nvidia cards which exceed reference specifications are BFG and XFX. Today we have a card from each manufacturer, both of these feature enhanced clock speeds, lets see if these are good value to the end user.
by Stuart Davidson | 5th March 2007
Nvidia’s 8800GTX has been a great success since it was released and currently holds the high end performance crown while we wait for ATI to unleash their forthcoming DX10 card. That said, the 8800GTX is sold around the £375/$500 mark putting it clearly out of the price range of many enthusiast users. There is therefore a need to release a product which will appeal to a more widespread market - those users who want great speed and features but at a more affordable price. That is where today's review product from Foxconn fits in. Retailing at £230/$300 with a feature set matching the higher priced GTS and GTX models, the Foxconn FV-N88SMCD2-ONOC or “8800GTS 320Mb Overclocked” looks, on paper, to be a very attractive purchase.
by WhO_KnOwS | 26th February 2007
We recently reviewed the X1650XT, ATI's best middle-range graphics card solution, intended for people on a tight budget that would still like to enjoy some of the newest games on the market. The X1650XT makes the Pro version of the card somewhat redundant, as its performance is substantially less. This is not the case with Sapphires Ultimate card though, as this card is targeted at users who above all prioritize noiseless operation. This trait is especially important to people looking for a good card for their living room multimedia PC. While it would certainly be nice if the card was capable of playing the newest games, it is far more important how it deals with HD video and how much noise it creates.
by WhO_KnOwS | 20th February 2007
To cope with the ever-increasing details in today’s games the graphics card manufacturers look for all kinds of solutions. The most obvious one is making the cards faster, but such an approach has negative consequences in the shape of overheating. So if you decided to go all out and overclock your card beyond all limits the amount of heat generated would rise as well. Sapphire decided to do just that and follow the old saying “Drastic situations call for drastic measures” to the letter. The end result is an overclocked, water-cooled X1950XTX (which was a fast card to begin with) that every enthusiast will want to own.
by WhO_KnOwS | 9th February 2007
About a month ago we reviewed the Sapphire AGP version of the X1950Pro. The focus of the review was on how well the card compared to a PCI-E version of the same card. The results were surprising as there was literally no difference between the two bus types. This time around we'll be focusing more on how far we can actually push the AGP card. While 1600x1200 is enough for most, it can't hurt to see if an AGP card can handle a game running at 1920x1200. After all, one of the main arguments against AGP is the (so called) limited bandwidth.
by Kombatant | 7th February 2007
The battle for supremacy in the graphics card arena is as fierce as ever these days, and both companies (nVIDIA and ATI - yes, we'll continue to call it that) are keen to point out their advantages and try to grab as much market share as possible. nVIDIA has stolen the thunder recently with the introduction of the all-powerful 8800 line of cards, but it's the midrange market segment where the battle is usually won or lost for the two companies. The reason is quite simple: although the super high-end cards earn bragging rights, it's the £100 cards and lower that are the best sellers, and in this category both companies want to be able to claim victory. When was the last time a friend approached you because you know more about computers, and asked: "Hey, I would like to buy a new graphics card to play all the latest games with great speeds, and I am prepared to pay good money; up to £100!" I bet that has happened more than once!
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd January 2007
We’re sure that many of you who are reading will have seen the performance of 8800’s in SLI already and so we are going to add a little bit of a twist to our review. As well as benchmarks at stock settings combined with an Intel QX6700 we are also going to take a look at how the product performs when paired with the Core2 Quad Core at 4 GHz and if that wasn’t enough, we’re going to show how the 8800 in SLI performs when overclocked and combined with the 4 GHz quad core. We also have over half a gigabyte of high definition content so you can see it all for yourself.
As we found when originally testing the GTX in single card configurations, at 1920x1200 with AA and AF the GTX can be the bottleneck to a QX6700 system so adding a second card will make for some interesting results.
by Asmoday | 17th January 2007
A while back we reviewed the Power Color X1950 Pro Extreme card at Driver Heaven, which proved to be a very good performing mid-sector card with quiet and efficient cooling.
Now the time has come to its Sapphire counter part The Sapphire Ultimate X1950 Pro. We will see if this card lives up to the “ultimate” moniker.
by WhO_KnOwS | 24th December 2006
The industries shift to the PCI-Express platform left many enthusiasts lacking the ability to update their graphics card. Because of that they were forced to either change their motherboard (often requiring they replace the CPU as well) or to keep their current hardware and hope that some day a quality AGP card would come out. Those who have been unable to afford the upgrade to PCIe have had very slim pickings this year, however Sapphire have announced the AGP version of one of the best cards of 2006 – the X1950Pro.
by Stuart Davidson | 4th December 2006
Much has been written recently about DirectX 10 technology and the hardware to power it, however until the retail launch of Windows Vista, and more importantly the launch of the first DirectX 10 titles there are still a number of DirectX 9 cards which warrant some serious consideration if you want the ultimate gaming experience today. One such product is the X1950XTX which along with a CrossFire master card can provide some incredible performance in the latest games.
Today we have a rather special XTX in for review from MSI and luckily enough we have their CrossFire master card too...
by WhO_KnOwS | 1st December 2006
»Bigger is better« holds true practically everywhere except in electronics. A smaller manufacturing process benefits both the manufacturer as well as the consumer. The first enjoys lower costs of production while we see this improvement in the form of reduced power usage and lower work temperatures. Behold the ATI X1950 PRO, a rejuvenated version of the crowd favorite X1900GT. With higher clocks, a similar price and native internal crossfire support the card may become even more popular than the X1900GT was.
by Stuart Davidson | 8th November 2006
As well as designing a GPU which is capable of excelling in DirectX 10 situations Nvidia had to accommodate existing technology and ensure that not only did their card have the ability to play catch-up with ATI in areas such as the ability to do HDR and AA the ideal scenario would be a product which also outperformed existing competitor solutions in titles from the past few years.
Could all this be done successfully? and would there be any downsides to the approach?
by WhO_KnOwS | 30th October 2006
When a certain game proves to be too much for a graphics card to handle, the cheapest solution is to try and overclock the board. This process is getting easier as the years pass with ATI supporting it “out of the box” on most of their cards and nVidia only requiring a small registry tweak to access their overclocking features (via coolbits). It comes as no surprise that card manufacturers like to use the same tactic to gain an edge over the competition by building the increased clock speeds into their bioses. The Palit 7900GS Sonic we are reviewing is one such product. While an overclocked card in itself doesn't have any real advantage over a reference one (after all you can overclock it yourself) a good cooler included in the package might just be enough to tip the scales in favour of the faster board.
by WhO_KnOwS | 20th October 2006
SLI and Crossfire powered gaming systems are something most of us can only dream about. The same thing is true for cards like the dual-GPU GeForce 7950GX2. The majority of us have to look at single-card solutions, and even then the pricier models can be rather expensive. For that reason both ATI and nVidia offer several cards that can still be considered high-end, but with their price being set at a far more reasonable level. Today we look at offerings from both ATI and nVidia, namely the Radeon X1900GT HDCP by Connect3D and the GeForce 7900GS by Foxconn. To spice things up we will compare the results from both cards with a representative of the last generation of nVidias 7x00 series – the 7800GT. The card is getting rather difficult to buy, since it is no longer being manufactured, but its price is similar to that of both the other cards. Cards in this price range are likely to be partnered with a midrange TFT screen running at around 1280x1024, so we will be running tests at this resolution with as much eye candy enabled as possible.
by Zardon | 8th October 2006
My colleague Stuart "Veridian3" Davidson has been singing the praises of Crossfire for the last year and he seems very happy with the overall package. Fortunately for ATI I didn't handle the launch review as I still think their claims have not rang true on many levels. When I was at the original Crossfire press launch I was told that the ATI solution would be superior to SLI as they don't rely on a driver profile to support dual card rendering for your favourite game. One year on, I think most of us know that was perhaps a slight exaggeration on ATI's behalf.
by WhO_KnOwS | 4th October 2006
Not everyone can afford a Conroe X6800 and an SLI system, so today we are covering the Sapphire X1650 pro card which is very reasonably priced at the low to mid range sector. Only question is, can this card power the newest games at a reasonable resolution?
by Stuart Davidson | 14th September 2006
Since the release of Nvidia's 7800 and ATI's X1800 series the graphics card market has seen a deluge of product refreshes to the current generation which bring to market enhanced specifications and claims of improved performance. The product Nvidia are launching today is the 7950GT, as of 9AM PST it will be possible to buy the cards online and in some conventional stores, so lets take a look at Nvidia' reference design, and more importantly a retail branded version in the form of Palit's 7950GT 512mb.
by Stuart Davidson | 2nd September 2006
A long time ago someone came up with the phrase “Never judge a book by its cover” and that has gone on to become a well used and understood part of the English language. We all know the meaning behind the phrase and obviously that it doesn't just apply to books.
Today’s review product is Palit's 7900GT however as is obvious from the first few lines of this introduction there is a lot more going on with this card than the model name suggests. Let’s take a look at what Palit have done to make their card stand out from the crowd.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd August 2006
ATI's latest refresh is upon us, and we have an indepth analysis ready for your enjoyment, we know what hardcore gamers want at Driver Heaven!
We have tested ATI's latest with a good cross section of games ranging from current first person shooters such as PREY to Microsoft's upcoming Flight Simulator X and we also pit the board against current ATI and Nvidia hardware to see if its worth an upgrade. We also have information on mixed crossfire configurations, CPU scaling (with a vapochill cooled extreme edition conroe running at 4ghz), as well as game tests running at resolutions up to 2560x1600 on a 30 inch Dell screen. We look at how the card handles against competing boards with optimisations off/HQ enabled. We also overclock the card to see what headroom you can expect.
by Stuart Davidson | 5th August 2006
It has been some time since Nvidia's 7900 GTX made its way to retail and whilst newer and faster products have been released, this means prices of the older cards drop. Obviously the lower the prices fall the more attractive the card becomes and so today we are going to take a look at two of the best 7900 GTX packages to see how well they perform with the latest games.
by Stuart Davidson | 11th July 2006
he past few generations of graphics products have seen both ATI and Nvidia locked in a battle to get sales from the discerning buyer. This has obviously benefited the consumer and the state of the market today is exceptionally healthy from low end to high end. A popular card falling into the mid to high end sector is Nvidia's 7900 GT and today we are taking a look at the MSI version . ATI's competiting product is the X1900GT and we have two retail X1900 GT's in for testing today, first up is Connect3D's and we'll also take a look at Powercolors
by Stuart Davidson | 19th June 2006
Sometimes products are released which are variations on a theme, these products can usually be looked at in a few days and then our opinions passed on to you. On other occasions products are released which are unique and interesting enough to warrant much more in-depth testing and analysis. The Geforce 7950 GX2 is one such product. A graphics card unlike any other available to gaming enthusiasts, the GX2 combines two 7950 cores on two separate PCB’s with 1Gb of video memory in an attempt to make the fastest graphics card available on a single PCIe slot.
In this review Driver Heaven will be taking a look at how well the product performs in all of the usual gaming titles. In addition to this there will be in-depth testing at widescreen and ultra high resolutions, including advanced AA and AF settings and if that isn’t enough to answer any performance questions we will then take a look at the cards video playback performance of high definition content when compared to competitor part’s. Finally we will throw in a little overclocking to ensure that the benefits and downsides of the card are fully explored.
by Kombatant | 25th May 2006
They say numbers don't lie, and I believe that includes benchmarks as well: the card is wicked fast, and its owners are going to enjoy extreme speeds coupled with extreme image quality. What we liked about the card is the minimum performance penalty we got as we upped the Anti-aliasing and Anisotropic Filtering levels; a “feature” that characterizes the entire X1000 series of cards by ATI, and is attributed to the advanced memory controller these cards have. Club3D has got a winner in their hands, since as we saw from the benchmarks, the card certainly delivers.
by Zardon | 16th May 2006
How high end can a prebuilt get? How about partnering up a few nVidia 7900GTX 512 MB cards in SLI with a FX60 and several hard drives including a half a terrabyte file drive with a Raptor X for boot up? Then wrap it all up in foam soundproofing.....
Im going to benchmark this machine in all the modern titles at 1920x1200 with eye candy maxed to the hilt, to see if it performs as well at it sounds.
by Stuart Davidson | 2nd May 2006
Undoubtedly many sales are generated by having the fastest card on the planet, that’s one of the reasons ATI and Nvidia put so much money into R&D. Where they make the most money isn’t in this market segment however, it’s mainstream and budget cards that generate the big sales figures for both companies and having a killer product in each area at a great price can make or break your whole product range. The current mainstream attempts at killer products come in the shape of the X1800GTO and the 7600GT. We’re taking a look at both today to ascertain which gives you the best value and performance.
by Chaos | 19th April 2006
With all the new high quality video options available today, ATI's AVIVO technology is a truly exciting experience for home media enthusiasts. ATI claim AVIVO will revolutionize the quality of multi media and how it is incorporated into a home Media Center PC. To be more specific AVIVO specifically targets high definition formats like HDTV, Blu-ray and HD-DV and ATI’s new cards with AVIVO technology strive to give end users the best, most vibrant video quality available.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th April 2006
Those of you who remember back to the time of the Geforce 3 and Radeon 8500 may remember the Matrox Parhelia which allowed users to connect three displays while the competition were only offering dualhead. Now Matrox have come up with a clever way of utilizing a similar technology for the gaming community who use non Matrox graphics cards.
by Stuart Davidson | 3rd April 2006
Our review on the Asus A8R32-MVP Deluxe was held off for a while, as our regulars will know we were working closely with Asus in fixing some rather major clock issues and due to our intervention Asus allowed us to host and release a beta bios last week. So while other sites published reviews with the faulty bios, we waited until we could deliver an accurate and indepth look at this rather impressive board from Asus. This review is a double whammy as we are also testing a HIS X1900 Crossfire setup.
by Stuart Davidson | 24th February 2006
It’s not often as a reviewer that you receive a product which doesn’t have a major competitor from another manufacturer. This is one such product though and so allows us to say quite easily that the AIW X1900 is the best product of its type that money can buy. This doesn’t tell the whole story though.
by Kombatant | 27th January 2006
So, with a new taking the world by storm, why focus on a soon-to-be-previous generation model? The reason is simple, and it’s the reason that drives a great volume of cards in the market: the price – performance ratio. The Radeon X1800 XL is an often underappreciated but still great card, with a great feature set, and even greater performance. Its price will probably drop in coming weeks as the new cards arrive in stores, making it an even greater value – and here we are, to explore its overclocking potential, so as to see whether we can get even more value from this card.
by Stuart Davidson | 24th January 2006
The front of the X1900 Crossfire Edition is very similar to the X1800XT Crossfire Edition, you have ATI's now standard Dual Slot cooler featuring a Ruby graphic. The PCIe power connector is also featured as normal and the passive heatsink running down the right side of the card remains. Specification wise the X1900 Crossfire Edition uses a R580 core (featuring 48 pixel shader units) clocked at 621mhz Core and 720mhz Memory ( 512mb GDDR3). To allow you to compare the X1800's Crossfire Master used a R520 core clocked at 625mhz coupled with 512mb of GDDR3 running at 720mhz (16 pixel shader units)
by Stuart Davidson | 2nd January 2006
Now with the launch of Crossfire for the X1800 series ATI effectively have a second generation of Crossfire coming to market which allows them to even the playing field again. So will things be more successful for ATI this time round?"
by Kombatant | 26th November 2005
Our latest review is online, and it takes a closer look in one of ATI's best selling cards, the ATI Radeon X800 GTO. Forums around the internet are full with reports that this particular card can overlock very well, and we wanted to see what speed increases one would witness after such an overclock. Are 12 pipelines enough for today's games?
by Zardon | 21st November 2005
The Radeon All-In-Wonder is one of those unique products that comes to market with no real competition. You could certainly place it against other gaming cards in the same price range however that wouldn’t do it's multimedia features justice.
You could also compare it to a TV card with roughly the same features, however there really isn’t any direct competition ... there no other product which does the same thing (a compliment to how well ATI have done in the design and performance of previous models). So whilst the release of this card should excite the gamer's and multimedia enthusiasts amongst you it’s a real headache for us reviewers who have to write about it and give you an indication of just how good…or bad… it is.
by Stuart Davidson | 7th November 2005
There have been a lot of rumours recently about a new 512mb Nvidia part being launched at the beginning of November…what there haven’t been though are numerous rumours of a new mainstream product from the guys in California. So with that in mind you would be forgiven for visiting the site today to be presented with a review of one such part. That’s right, Nvidia have chosen today to launch their newest mainstream part in the form of the Geforce 6800GS 256mb. So what’s the main competitor for this new part? Well its no less than ATIs new X1600XT 256 which we haven’t reviewed yet…so what better reason to take a first look at that now…
by Stuart Davidson | 16th October 2005
We’re always happy to look at Asus products at Driverheaven, time after time we receive things from them which really are top quality so when they offered us their 7800GTX we immediately accepted. Thinking back to excellent products such as the V9999 Gamer Edition or the Extreme AX800XT it was clear that this product had a lot to live up to, did it manage? Lets see…
by Stuart Davidson | 5th October 2005
Product launches are like buses, you wait ages for an ATI product launch and then two come along almost at the same time. Whilst those of the Nvidia persuasion have happily been playing with their SLI and 7800 series those people holding on for the new ATI products have had quite a wait. ATI went some way to resolving that over the last month when they sent out crossfire reviewer kits to journalists … and in a move I can only assume is meant to ensure we’re kept on our toes here today we have the successor to the X850XT – the ATI Radeon X1800XT.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th September 2005
Considering how fast paced the PC industry moves you would have thought that a delay of over a year since SLI was introduced would have given Nvidia such a massive market segment share that it would be unbeatable. Unfortunately though, despite SLI being available it was far from the perfect solution at the time of launch with issues such as lack of game compatibility and having to use matched cards being factors that made the purchase undesirable for many hardware enthusiasts. It has to be said however that Nvidia have improved SLI game support in recent months and their hardware will take some beating, we aim to not only test crossfire but to show you some comparisons against Nvidia in both single and dual configurations.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th August 2005
ATI’s All-In-Wonder X800XT is the must have card for multimedia and gaming enthusiasts still on the AGP platform, not many people would argue that. If gaming isn’t a primary concern you also have various other AIW versions to choose from. If you happen to be a PCI-Express user the choice of AIW products until now was limited to the X600 version which is hardly ideal for high resolution gaming.
Another area in which ATI have recently excelled is the PCIe version of the X800GT. Rave reviews are surfacing all over the web and as far as the price bracket goes the GT should be certainly on your shortlist.
So to spice things up a little, what if ATI were to combine the excellent multimedia features of the X800XT AGP with the great value and performance of a PCIe X800GT and then, just for good measure throw in some excellent new features… do we have your attention now?
by Stuart Davidson | 19th August 2005
The MyCinema is a stand-alone PCI TV tuner that uses the Philips dual format silicon tuner. The use of said tuner means the product is capable of receiving both Digital Terrestrial (DVB-T) and Analog TV signals. The audio/video decoder chip used on the My Cinema is the SAA1731E, again from Philips.
by Stuart Davidson | 7th August 2005
Let’s face it, video cassettes suck for both playback and recording. There have been so many technical advancements with time that when I made the decision to bin my VCR, I optioned for ATI’s AIW 9800SE. The card was an almost flawless product for watching and recording live television aside from the fact that it did not have a SCART output (important for our European readers). The AIW accomplished everything I needed it to in my media system, but of course, in more recent games, it was starting to show its age and it really isn’t much fun witnessing jerky game playback on low resolutions via a 40” TV. When I saw ATI’s announcement for the AIW X800XT with a SCART output, and needless to say, higher graphical prowess for gaming, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one. That day has finally come; let us see what it’s all about…
by Stuart Davidson | 25th June 2005
The mainstream market segment is where ATI and Nvidia (and their partners) make most of their sales, due to this we have a wealth of products in this price range. Two of the newest, and therefore most desirable, are the Radeon X700 and Geforce 6600. Both are aimed at the user who wants the latest features and to use them at reasonable resolutions like 1280x960 but doesn’t have the finances to spend more on their graphics card than the family’s monthly food budget. Today we have one of each product in for review, lets see how each card performs and find out which gets the best performance/price ratio.
by Stuart Davidson | 16th May 2005
Not everyone is in the financial position to purchase a top of the range graphics card and chances are if you’ve clicked the link to read this article you are one of those people. Both ATI and Nvidia have begun to take a different approach to the cards aimed at this sector, whilst all previous low end cards came with similar volumes of memory to the mainstream and high end cards there are now cards which come with enough video memory for basic tasks and when needed share some of your system memory.
by Stuart Davidson | 4th May 2005
Going into this article I have to admit I was more than sceptical on the benefits of adding an extra 256mb to the XL…I wondered if the mainstream clocks of the XL would give the card enough oomph to utilise the full 512mb and if an X850XTPE with 512mb would be a better fit… lets see if ATI made the right decision.
by Stuart Davidson | 23rd April 2005
For a while now the 6800 Ultra and X800 XTPE have been batting it out for the performance crown at the top of the AGP card market, until now neither ATI or Nvidia have released a product to move their AGP lines forward and due to this users of PCI Express have found their performance is slightly higher than those using AGP parts. With the development of Rialto, ATI’s PCI express to AGP conversion technology ATI began moving lower spec PCI Express products to AGP a few months ago. Today we have a look at their first move to convert a high end product…the highest infact, the X850 XTPE.
by Zardon | 23rd March 2005
The last time we looked at an Alienware system was February of last year and my colleague Stuart came away with a warm fuzzy feeling as that particular system performed exceptionally well considering the limitations of the mobile sector. Today we have the opportunity to test one of the new Alienware area 51m gaming systems. As some of you might know when you order a machine from Alienware you custom build it on their website. So with a budget of £3000 we decided to go "balls out" and put as much top end hardware into the rig as possible. Ive been reviewing and testing so much ATI hardware lately I went the Nvidia route for the graphics, its a 256 GDDR3 megabyte, 12 pipe design running at 330 core and 1000mhz. The CPU is the hot running Intel based Prescott, id first looked at a Prescott based laptop in a Dell Inspirion machine mid 2004, as you would expect these need serious cooling, ill be dwelling on that later in the article.
by Stuart Davidson | 16th March 2005
Until ATI released the X800XL the Geforce 6800 GT was unchallenged as the best bang buck for buck card available. With a 16 pipeline design the GT only differs from the Ultra model in clock speeds. When you consider that many of the GT’s on the market will overclock to Ultra specifications and beyond its clear why its sold in huge volumes. Asus are a company who always impress us with their releases and so we were more than happy to accept their 6800GT as a review product…so much so in fact we accepted two…
by Zardon | 27th February 2005
The last time we reviewed a Visiontek product was the X800XT in November of last year, since then we have looked at the majority of models coming from the ATI/partner stable. The ATI PCIexpress range is technically very strong across the board, but many people are disgruntled with availability, especially when we look at the Platinium Edition models.
by Stuart Davidson | 15th February 2005
When ATI launched the X800 series of graphics cards it consisted of the X800 Pro, X800XT and X800 XTPE. Back in November ATI released some updates to that range, those being the X800XL and X800 standard. We had our first look at the X800XL a couple of weeks back and were very impressed and now we’ve received our first retail X800 sample in for review. The X800 (£175) is priced in between the X700Pro (£140) and X800XL (£220) Radeons so it’s those cards we are testing against today.
by Stuart Davidson | 13th January 2005
Last month when ATI launched the Radeon X850 they also launched some new X800 series cards, at that time there were no samples available to the public or reviewers. As of the beginning of January the X800XL is making its way into the hands of the public and so we have a sample here for review. With an expected retail price of $299 it sits around $100 less than a 6800GT and so a performance comparison with the 6800GT is what we have here today.
by Stuart Davidson | 12th December 2004
The card we have in for review today is an interesting beast. Not full GT, Nor 6800 Non Ultra, rather 6800 Ultra toned down to somewhere between GT and Non Ultra. You’ll not have seen many reviews of cards with the GTo suffix floating about however they may well be worth a look, certainly from a price perspective it could well be a winner so let’s see how it performs against the more expensive 6800 Ultra…
by Chaos | 12th December 2004
The 5900 Siluro is ABIT’s latest foray into today’s leading edge computer components.
by Stuart Davidson | 30th November 2004
Its that time again, product refresh season and today’s new and improved product is the Radeon X850 XTPE from ATI. The X850 is entering the market at an interesting time, over the past few months the two fastest 3d cards have been the 6800 Ultra and X800 XTPE.
by Stuart Davidson | 25th November 2004
We have been a fan of Asus products for quite some time now and it’s always with great anticipation that we await the next of their products to be sitting on our review bench. Our anticipation was further increased by the moniker that Asus have given this model, "Extreme"… regularly companies give marketing names to their products like "Golden Sample" however the product usually fails to out-do their rivals. Let’s find out if the Extreme Asus X700 Pro can live up to is marketing promise…
by Zardon | 21st November 2004
Visiontek offer a lifetime warranty. The vanilla XT is clocked at 500 core and 500/1000 memory which is slightly slower than the PE edition (520 core 560/1120memory) but in my experience I have found most of these cards overclock to PE speeds via software overclocking with a tool like Powerstrip or ATItool.
by Zardon | 7th October 2004
When you think of Asus, the word "quality" immediately comes to mind, and this is just reaffirmed with today's newest review piece, their new PCI express top of the range graphics card the AX800XT.
by Stuart Davidson | 22nd September 2004
Today we will look at the card in detail through varying resolutions, aa/af settings, with and without driver optimisations and when overclocked to really put the card through its paces. We’ll also be running it through some of the latest game engines such as MOH: Pacific Assault and Shellshock: Nam67 to see what those users who always buy the latest games will experience.
by Zardon | 20th September 2004
The graphics sector is undoubtedly one of the most hotly contested areas of computer hardware with the two giants Nvidia and ATI seemingly alone in the battle for market domination. Its been another good year so far from ATI with the X800XT PE being arguably the fastest card available to the consumer, with Nvidia's 6800 Ultra right on its heels. So here we have the new X700XT from ATI, an eight pixel pipe card aimed at the lucrative mid range sector. This card is being marketed by ATI as a more powerful "replacement" for the 9800XT, their successful high end board of last year.
by Stuart Davidson | 28th August 2004
Over the past few months we’ve had a fair amount of 6800GT’s and Ultras come into Driverheaven however no 6800 non ultras, fortunately this has changed and we now have the chance to look at the Asus branded version of the 6800. This card is quite unique in its specification and comes with a massive amount of add-ins to the bundle. Its certainly no normal 6800 non ultra, more about that later. Around the same time the 6800 arrived we also received Sapphire’s take on the X800Pro, a competitively priced product to the Asus 6800 so it makes sense to look at them both in the same article.
by Zardon | 14th August 2004
ATI have had a great history with mobility graphics cards and today ill be looking at their newest model recently released, the Mobility Radeon 9800 GPU. Currently DELL are supplying this card with their Inspiron series of laptops with more manufacturers to follow.
by Stuart Davidson | 20th July 2004
As this is the second time we’ve looked at the X800 and 6800 products we’re going to mix it up a little in terms of the benchmark settings we use. In the previous article we looked at 1024x768, 1280x960(or 1024) and 1600x1200 followed by 1600x1200 and 4xaa 16xaf. This time we’re going to look at the higher resolutions only and throw in more AA/AF settings such as 2aa/2af and 4aa no-af to give a wider idea of how each card performs under different settings.
by Zardon | 6th July 2004
In this "low-end" sector of the gaming market you would be hoping to put out some decent framerates at 1024x768, anything above this and you start falling into the zone dominated by the mid range boards such as the NV FX5700 and ATIs 9600 (X600/PCIe) series. Bear in mind the boards on test today cost between 60 and 90 euros, strictly for those on a budget, so compromises have to be made.
by Zardon | 30th June 2004
X800XT PE AGP 520/560
X800XT PE PCIe 520/560
X800XT PCIe 500/500
X800 PRO AGP 475/450
X600XT PCIe 500/365
X300 PCIe 325/195
9800XT AGP 412/365
9700 AGP 275/270
9600 XT 500/300
by Zardon | 19th June 2004
The X600 is the "Worlds first PCI Express graphics chip" with native x16 lane PCI Express support, memory bandwidth is increased to 12 gigabytes per second with four extreme parallel 3d rendering pixel pipelines. Its on a 128 bit memory interface which supports 128 MB or 256 MB memory configurations this has full Direct X 9 support. The board we are looking at today is the 128MB version.
by Zardon | 27th May 2004
The card is a reference ATI board, if you look at the front view picture you can see the video connector just below the molex has been removed and the more astute viewers can also see from the rear pictures that the Rage theatre chip is also removed.
by Stuart Davidson | 27th May 2004
The graphics market is as fast moving as any other PC technology area and we’ve now had the chance to get a detailed look at Nvidia and ATI’s upcoming cards, the ATI Radeon X800 Pro and the Nvidia Geforce 6800 Ultra.
by Zardon | 4th May 2004
The Radeon X800 series offers 3DC support, ultra fast GDDR3 memory on a 256 bit memory interface, AGP8x with fully Microsoft Direct X 9.0 and Open GL 1.5 support, the boards are single slot cooling with VGA, DVI and VIVO display I/O.
The X800XT is the big brother to the pro and has a 16 pipe architecture and runs at 520mhz core and 1120mhz memory speeds.
by Stuart Davidson | 4th April 2004
The Geforce-FX 5900XT is arguably the best value card on the market at the moment. When we looked at our last 5900XT model we were more than impressed by its performance both at stock speeds and when overclocked. As with all Geforce models Gainward have released their take on the 5900XT. Today we take a look at that card and see if Gainward can further improve on the product.
by Chaos | 21st February 2004
ABIT has announced that they will be marketing the 9600XT and the 9800 XT. Which to me are two of the best ATI has to offer. ABIT has the basics covered for anyone looking for the best mid range performing card and someone who may settle for nothing but the fastest. I have been given the chance to give the ABIT 9800XT a work out.
by Stuart Davidson | 15th February 2004
A few months ago we reviewed the Geforce FX 5700 Ultra, at the time it was Nvidias direct competitor to the Radeon 9600XT. At that time we were one of the few websites to suggest that the 9600XT was the better card and that the 5700Ultra just wasnt quite good enough. Today we have our first look at the 5900XT, Nvidias new challenger for the mainstream market.
by Stuart Davidson | 15th February 2004
The V8 Duo is a dual core (each core at 350mhz) graphics card and that it features 16 pixel pipelines (8 per core) and 256mb of 450mhz ddr2.
by Stuart Davidson | 20th December 2003
Back in October when we had our first look at the 9800 XT its competition was the 5900 Ultra. 2 months down the line Nvidia have released their refresh to the 5900 Ultra design, the higher clocked differently cooled 5950 Ultra. Read on to find out how it fares in our benchmarks and also to find out how Sapphires take on the 9800 XT scores.
by Craig Humphreys | 6th December 2003
The ATI All-in-Wonder 9600 Pro is ATI’s brand new mainstream multimedia card. A combination of an extremely advanced graphics chipset and arguably the best multimedia packages available on the planet smashed together into a single AGP 8x video card.
by Zardon | 28th November 2003
The 9800 XT is ATI's current jewel in the crown and Visiontek have released their Xtasy 9800 XT.
by Stuart Davidson | 24th October 2003
Our series of fall refresh parts continues today as we have a review of the Nvidia Geforce FX 5700 Ultra 128mb formerly known as the NV36. The 5700U is being released to be the top card in Nvidia’s mainstream range and comes with support for DX9/OGL 1.5. We will be putting the 5700U up against its direct competitor – the ATI Radeon 9600XT in a range of custom benchmarks and preset benchmarks available to the public. Can Nvidia reclaim the mainstream performance crown?
by Stuart Davidson | 19th October 2003
Recently we had the chance to review the 2 new additions to the Radeon range, the 9600 and 9800 Xt’s. Before the next batch of Geforce cards hit the market we now have a little reminder of what’s available at the lower price point of the enthusiasts market, the 5900 non ultra and the 9800 non pro. With the addition of NV38 and R360 the price points for these cards will surely fall and these cards might just be the best value for money of the range, read on to find out how they perform.
by Stuart Davidson | 14th October 2003
On the 30th September ATI announced 2 new products, the Radeon 9800 XT and the 9600 XT. Reviews of the 9800 XT have been available on the web for since the announcement however information on the 9600 XT performance has been scarce. Today we have the opportunity to review the 9600 XT and show you just how much performance the card has.
by Stuart Davidson | 29th September 2003
Earlier this year we were sent our first 9800 Pro based card, it was a 128mb card and at the time thoroughly beat every card on the market in games, benchmarks and Image Quality. As the months moved on the 256mb variants were released to give the range that extra speed to convincingly outscore the Geforce FX 5900 Ultra. As with all technology things have continued to move on at an astounding rate and today we have the opportunity to tell you about ATI’s latest card, the ATI RADEON 9800 XT 256mb.
by Stuart Davidson | 28th September 2003
Well as you can see above I did manage to hit the 15K mark in 3DMark 2001. Not too shabby for a $200 dollar card I'd say !!
by Stuart Davidson | 25th September 2003
A month or so ago we reviewed the Gainward Geforce FX 5900 Ultra 1600 XP Golden Sample and due to various issues it received a less than average rating. Since then we have been in close contact with Gainward and have had the opportunity to test and review the newer revision of the same card.
by Stuart Davidson | 8th August 2003
Our recent reviews have concentrated on the high end of the Graphics card market. Today we have the chance to step back into the mainstream area as we review two Radeon 9600 Pros.
by WyreTheWolf | 26th July 2003
Today I am not reviewing new technology... Today I am going to review a card that is the low man on the totem pole. You may ask why... Well, most people have heard about modifying a Radeon 9500 non pro into a Radeon 9700 non pro by opening the other 4 pipelines that are disabled by default on the 9500. Today not only am I going to show you how to do this... but I am also going to show you the performance increases that you can gain from this.
by Stuart Davidson | 25th July 2003
In our last review we looked at the Hercules 3D Prophet 9800 pro 128mb, today we have our first look at ATI ‘s 256mb version of the Radeon 9800 pro. Does the move to DDR-2 in the 256mb version improve performance and overclocking? How does the increased memory speed of the 256mb version affect performance? Read on to find out as we compare the two cards…
by Stuart Davidson | 19th July 2003
Back when the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro was launched were privileged to receive and review one of the first samples of the card. It has been a few months since that article and today we have the opportunity to see what one of ATI’s “Powered By” partners has been able to produce based around the Radeon 9800 Pro chipset. Has the chipset improved over time, read on to find out as we review the Hercules 3D PROPHET 9800 PRO.
by Stuart Davidson | 26th June 2003
The PNY card ships at approximately £145 and comes with 256mb of RAM making it one of the first cards to bring 256mb to the mainstream market.
by Zardon | 5th March 2003
So what have ATI got in store for us gamers with the new top of the line 9800 pro, the much awaited R350 core? Is this set to be the nail in FX's coffin or is it just basically an overclocked 9700 pro?
by Craig Humphreys | 2nd March 2003
It boasts DirectX 9 support and a vast array of features such as 128MB DDR memory, an eight pipe, 128bit memory interface, SMARTSHADER™ 2.0 technology which allows users to experience complex, movie-quality effects in next-generation 3D games and applications.