5 Newest Pc Game Titles Testedccokeman - November 19, 2008
Category: Video Cards
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Ole Saint Nick is going to be making his rounds here in just over a month. I know you are wondering what the jolly fat man has to do with a performance evaluation. Well, the reason is that this time of the year is traditionally a strong selling season for games and the associated hardware that makes the games enjoyable. Sure, you could play with just about any video card out there but it's a matter of how much of the video experience you will be missing since many of the games I will be looking at look stunning with the video quality just about or completely maxed out. The question is what video card do you need to play at this level? Speaking of the games, there are five new game titles either just recently released or will be released in time for the holiday buying season. These games are "Far Cry 2" from Ubisoft, "Dead Space" from Electronic Arts, "Call of Duty World at War" from Activision, "Fallout 3" from Bethesda, and the newest release "Left for Dead" from Valve.
There are some among us who will always opt for the biggest and baddest computer gaming hardware money can buy. Top of the line memory, processors, motherboards and last, but certainly not least, the video card. Since that is really where the majority of your graphics performance is gained. Now back to the real world, where most of us play games with the best hardware we can afford and sacrifice some video quality and resolution to gain as much as we can from the almighty FPS gods. The $500 and up cards are strictly off limits as well as the $400 cards. More along the lines for most of us would be the $200 to $300 range. By us I mean the people who want better quality at higher resolutions but just can't see the value of the higher priced cards. We are the majority of buyers in this price range. So what can you get in this range? Well, everything from a 3 series ATI and 9 series Nvidia card on up to the top single GPU card in ATI's playing deck, the HD4870 1GB, and the lower tier GT200 offering from Nvidia, the GTX260 as well as the GTX260/216 core models. What this gives us is performance close to the top of the product lineup from both manufacturers for a more modest price.
That begs the question, just how well will these video cards play the latest games to be released? Well, that's what I will find out as I compare the performance of the top cards in the $200 to $300 price range. I want to see if there is one card that stands out over the other, kind of another ATI vs. Nvidia showdown, this time pitting two cards from ATI and two cards from Nvidia that realistically should compete head to head in a performance showdown using the latest PC game releases. Just in time for you to get your wishlist out to that same jolly fat man mentioned earlier. Just send your list to Santa: the North Pole and it will get there!
The video cards I will be testing will be the HD4870 with a 512MB frame buffer from Sapphire, HD4870 1GB from Diamond and the Nvidia GTX260/216 core from XFX in both stock and stock overclocked trim. The same cards that fit into the 200 to 300 dollar range we are playing in.
You undoubtedly have seen the spec sheets on all of the video cards so they will not be reproduced here. You may find links to them on the testing setup page. Let's see just how well these cards perform and if one is a better option than the other. In previous game testing there has not been a huge performance differential, so let's see if this holds true for this current crop of games.