Articles: Graphics

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The graphics cards are sorted in the order of descending recommended price in two groups: at their default and overclocked frequencies. The results of the AMD Radeon HD 6870 are colored purple. AMD’s Radeon HD 6850, HD 6970 and HD 5770 are red; Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 460 and TX 550 Ti are green. Every card comes with 1 gigabyte of onboard memory, so this number is not indicated in the diagrams.

3DMark Vantage

The 3DMark Vantage performance of the graphics cards is proportional to their recommended prices except for the FSAA-less mode (the Extreme profile) where the Radeon HD 6790 beats the GeForce GTX 550 Ti and the latter card cannot overtake the former when overclocked. Comparing the Radeon HD 6790 with the HD 5770 and HD 6850, the new card is halfway between its two cousins, filling in the previously unoccupied niche. Take note that the well-overclocked GeForce GTX 460 beats the more expensive Radeon HD 6870 in this benchmark.

3DMark 2011

The Radeon HD 6790 is ahead of the GeForce GTX 550 Ti in this version of 3DMark as well. The gap is over 20%. The new Radeon is again somewhere midway between the HD 5770 and HD 6850. When overclocked, the Radeon HD 6850 and GeForce GTX 460 get close to the reference Radeon HD 6870 but cannot overtake it.

Unigine Heaven Demo

This technical demo shows a strict correlation between performance and price. The Radeon HD 6790 enjoys a third win in the synthetic benchmarks in its competition with the GeForce GTX 550 Ti. Besides, the new card from AMD enjoys the biggest advantage over the Radeon HD 5770 across all the benchmarks and games. It amounts to 36-37%. The new Barts LE is obviously better at tessellation than the old Juniper XT. The Radeon HD 6790 is also 6 to 11% slower than the HD 6850, which is much smaller than the difference in their recommended prices.

As for the overclocked cards, the GeForce GTX 460 should be again noted for its being able to overtake the Radeon HD 6870. The overclocked HIS Radeon HD 6850 looks good, too.


Crysis doesn’t have anything new to tell us. The Radeon HD 6790 is still a little bit faster than the GeForce GTX 550 Ti and somewhere midway between the Radeon HD 5770 and HD 6850. The overclocked Radeon HD 6850 and GeForce GTX 460 deliver excellent performance, leaving the reference Radeon HD 6870 behind.

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