Testing Configurations and Pricing Wars
Mmm, 1024 cores of goodness
As I mentioned on the previous page, the new GeForce GTX 580 will release today with an MSRP of $499; that puts it into an interesting competitive stance. Of course we will be compare it to the GeForce GTX 480 to see how this new GPU compares to NVIDIA’s previous top-of-the-line option but what about AMD? There are two options for this and we included both: the Radeon HD 5970 2GB dual-GPU card and the 2GB variant of the single-GPU Radeon HD 5870.
Now, I want to get this out of the way right now: I have been disappointed in the lack of availability on the HD 5970 for a long time and with prices hovering around the $650-699 mark for the last year or so, it hasn’t been a great option for consumers. Just last week AMD called to tell me that Sapphire was going to start offering a Radeon HD 5970 card for $499 starting over the weekend; obviously this is not just convenient timing. That card is in fact available (see previous link) but I have very little faith that it will either stay at that price or stay available for the holiday season. For now, let’s take it as a fire sale just to piss off NVIDIA.
The Radeon HD 5870 2GB cards are obviously much more available and can be found anywhere from $399 to much, much higher based on the overclocked speed you want.
Finally, the GeForce GTX 480, despite being overtaken by the GTX 580 today, can be found for $450 or under depending on rebates. That puts the landscape as so:
- GeForce GTX 580 – $499
- Radeon HD 5970 – $499 (for now)
- GeForce GTX 480 – $450
- Radeon HD 5870 2GB – $400
In our benchmarks you will find those exact cards compared side by side. Also, just as interestingly, you will also see this comparison:
- GeForce GTX 580 – $499
- GeForce GTX 580 SLI – $998
- Radeon HD 5970 – $499
- GeForce GTX 460 1GB SLI – $400-450
You will likely also notice a completely new benchmark suite on PC Perspective – we have needed a refresh for quite some time and we finally got it. Unfortunately for us that mean 40+ hours of benchmarking; for you that means much more current and relevant results!
Here is our test system setup for the benchmarks:
- Testing Configuration
- ASUS P6X58D Premium Motherboard
- Intel Core i7-965 @ 3.33 GHz Processor
- 3 x 2GB Corsair DDR3-1333 MHz Memory
- Western Digital VelociRaptor 600GB HDD
- Corsair Professional Series 1200w PSU
- Benchmarks used: 3DMark Vantage, Unigine Heaven v2.1, Metro 2033, Lost Planet 2, Civilization V, F1 2010, Bad Company 2, Left 4 Dead 2