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Video Card Performance per $ and per Wattage

Posted by OnionKnight, 23 September 2010 · 1,048 views

WARNING:
This article is very very boring. It is made as a reference for people buying video cards. Also if you want to skip over the data, just go straight to the conclusion for each section.


Performance per $

I used newegg.com (US) for the prices and used www.futuremark.com for their 3dMark Vantage Video Card Benchmarks. From there I just did a quick calculation of the # of Marks per $.

Important Notes:

  • Shipping and Rebates are included in the final price
  • Prices are from the US. May not reflect the price in your country.
  • The price chosen is the lowest possible price of that video card. And no overclocked video cards are included in this comparison (because futuremark uses data from the reference cards).

In 3dmark vantage score per $:

  • HD 5970: 57.55
  • GTX 480: 55.22
  • HD 5870: 54.57
  • GTX 470: 58.6
  • HD 5850: 61.57
  • GTX 465: 55.2
  • GTX 460 1 GB: 72.88
  • GTX 285: 52
  • HD 5830: 72.62
  • GTX 460 768 MB: 64.12
  • GTX 260: 61.39
  • HD 5770: 82.4
  • HD 4870: 103 <---------- PEAK
  • GTS 450: 70.98
  • HD 5750: 70
  • *Every card after this point goes down a negative curve*
  • HD 5450: 36
Conclusion:

If I had to plot this data it would have looked like a bell curve (when listing the cards in order of 3dmark Vantage Score).

So in conclusion the best bang for your buck today is the HD 4870 in terms of performance per dollar (103 marks per $ spent).
It is kinda ironic though considering that the HD 4870 is a few years old and one of the hottest and most energy hungry card out there, yet costs only ~$101 for a card that puts out 10300 3d marks.

The runner ups were the HD 5770 (82.4 marks per $) and GTX 460 1 GB (72.88 marks per $). It shows the mid to high range spectra of cards tend to give you the best performance per $

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Best Performing Video Cards in a Price Range:


How I calculated this was compare video cards in that price range and rate them according to performance. I used newegg.com (US) and took the lowest price of that card and used www.futuremark.com for their 3dMark Vantage Video Card Benchmarks.

Important Notes:


  • In the case that two cards have the same 3dMark Score, i took the lowest price as the winner.
  • Some cards span more than one price range. Therefore some cards can span more than column.
Posted Image


To conclude the best performance you can get in a certain price range:

$100-$150: HD 4870
$150-200: GTX 460 768 MB
$200-250: HD 5850 1 GB
$250-300: GTX 470 1 GB
$300-400: HD 5870 1 GB
$400 + : HD 5970 2 GB

________________________________________________________________


Performance Per Wattage

I used TomsHardware to try to look up the max load wattage in their furmark tests and used www.futuremark.com for their 3dMark Vantage Video Card Benchmarks. From there I just did a quick calculation of the # of Marks per watt.

Important Notes:

  • This test is on efficiency. We are trying to see how much performance can be squeezed out of a single watt.
  • This isn't talking about how much energy is needed to run the card and this isn't a test on energy consumption. Please keep note of that.
  • Errors: Using furmark to test wattage and 3dmark vantage to test performance and derive a score from those two tests will be confounded with lots of error. Although 3dmark vantage is a good determiner or the cards performance, it may not stress the card to its maximum load wattage.
In 3dmark vantage score per watt:
  • HD 5970: 67
  • GTX 480: 54
  • HD 5870: 60.8
  • GTX 470: 49
  • HD 5850: 56
  • GTX 460 1 GB: 53.7
  • HD 5830: 46.76
  • GTX 460 768 MB: 43.6
  • HD 5770: 46.6
  • GTS 450: 30.9
  • *Every card after this point goes down a negative curve*
  • HD 5450: 39.9

Conclusion:


So from this we find that the high performance cards actually do squeeze out the most performance for a single watt at load. And thus they are actually the most efficient in using the wattage they consume. The HD 5970, HD 5870 and HD 5850 were the three highest performers.

Also this is different from wattage consumption. Wattage consumption is how much wattage the card will consume in idle and load. Wattage Efficiency is how well the card will use that wattage towards performance.







Cool blog Onion. Looks like my HD4870 was a good choice after all.

I'll have to dig up the temps on other cards, but I know the original reference 4850s and 4870 ran quite warm. I've been pretty pleased with mine thus far as it typically runs at these temps

Ambient temp 26-27C
Idle 47-48C
Load 65-71C

Not to bad IMO. Just stock Sapphire cooler but it's a bit larger than the old specs were.

Cool blog Onion. Looks like my HD4870 was a good choice after all.

I'll have to dig up the temps on other cards, but I know the original reference 4850s and 4870 ran quite warm. I've been pretty pleased with mine thus far as it typically runs at these temps

Ambient temp 26-27C
Idle 47-48C
Load 65-71C

Not to bad IMO. Just stock Sapphire cooler but it's a bit larger than the old specs were.


Today the best $ per performance is the HD 4870, so yes you do get the best bang for your buck NoGooD =P. It is mainly because the HD 4870's are not longer going to be produced so they just want to get rid of the left over stock =P. They are very powerful cards though and will play any game on highest settings even today (and probably for the next few years)

Its a pretty boring review though. Took me a while to do all the calculating and looking up the price and vantage scores to get the values lol. I haven't got around to posting the top 10 most ugly cases yet XD (i will soon)

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