First of all, let’s see how faster the graphics cards from ASUS and MSI are in comparison with the reference Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 and AMD Radeon HD 7970, respectively. First goes the ASUS card which is pre-overclocked by 13% in terms of the GPU frequency:
The performance boost is obvious in each game, but it is not linear. The 13% increase in GPU clock rate leads to an average 7% increase in frame rate. So, we don’t have a linear correlation between performance and clock rate in this case.
Next goes the MSI R7970 Lightning which is pre-overclocked by 15.7% in GPU clock rate and by 1.8% in memory clock rate.
Comparing this pair of diagrams with the previous one, we can see that the MSI R7970 Lightning offers a higher performance boost over the reference card than the ASUS does. The MSI is ahead of the AMD by 9-10% at 1920x1080 and by 9-11% at 2560x1440.
Now the third pair of summary diagrams helps us compare the two graphics cards we’ve dedicated this review to: ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP 2 GB 1137/6008 MHz and MSI R7970 Lightning 3 GB 1070/5600 MHz.
Judging by these tests, neither card is better. The ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP in faster in the three semi-synthetic benchmarks as well as in Just Cause 2, Lost Planet 2, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty, Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2, Hard Reset. It is also a little ahead in Batman: Arkham City and Battlefield 3. In its turn, the MSI R7970 Lightning beats the opponent in Metro 2033: The Last Refuge, Aliens vs. Predator (2010), Sid Meier's Civilization V, Total War: Shogun 2 and DiRT Showdown. The two graphics cards are equals in the remaining three games on our list.