The GeForce 9800 GX2 wins the first two resolutions, proving that the concept of super-fast monolithic GPUs has nearly exhausted its potential. The senior model of the new series should be given credit for delivering similar minimum speed but that’s the only achievement of the GeForce GTX 280 in this test. Its average frame rate is not very high. For example, it is 13% slower than the Radeon HD 4870 at 1920x1200 notwithstanding having two times the latter’s amount of memory and raster back-ends.
The GeForce GTX 260 is comparable to the cheaper Radeon HD 4850 in average frame rate but has a higher minimum of speed than the same-price Radeon HD 4870. It doesn’t make the game more enjoyable though, because the frame rate bottoms out to an uncomfortable 20fps and lower.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
The GeForce GTX 200 series is no winner in Call of Duty 4, either. The GeForce 9800 GX2 is about as fast as the new cards at 1280x1024 but leaves them behind at the higher resolutions.
Quite disappointingly, the GTX 280 falls behind the HD 4870 at 1600x1200. Having a 512-bit memory bus and 32 raster back-ends, the GeForce GTX 280 should feel more confident at high display modes but it does not. The senior model is 17-18% slower than the Radeon HD 4870 at 1920x1200 and comparable to the Radeon HD 4850 which costs a mere $199!
The results of the GeForce GTX 260 are surprising. It is about as fast as the $199 Radeon HD 4850 in two out of the three display modes and doesn’t compete with the senior Radeon that is equipped with GDDR5 memory. Nvidia’s solution has a higher bottom speed, yet the Radeon HD 4850 delivers a comfortable frame rate in every resolution, too.