Legacy GPU Comparison – 9800 GT, GTX 460, GTX 560 Ti

Here is where we expect to see some really interesting information for users that have 9800 GTs, GTX 460s or even the very popular GTX 560 Ti.  How much performance advantage does the new GK106-based GeForce GTX 660 truly offer?

Obviously, we had to lower some of our settings to get the GeForce 9800 GT running fast enough to get some benchmarks to run.  Also, we ran these games in a DX9 mode if possible, or DX10 otherwise. 

Here is how we'll look at these results: performance delta from the GTX 660 to the 9800 GT, GTX 660 to the GTX 460 and then GTX 660 to the GTX 560 Ti.

9800 GT: 242%
GTX 460 1GB: 69%
GTX 560 Ti 1GB: 28%

If you upgrade from a 9800 GT you will see a 242% increase in performance and that would obviously be a game changer for anyone that dedicates time to gaming on the PC.  If you move up from a GTX 460 you'll see a 69% increase in gaming performance and users of the GTX 560 Ti will see a 28% increase. 

9800 GT: 218%
GTX 460 1GB: 49%
GTX 560 Ti 1GB: 15%


9800 GT: 228%
GTX 460 1GB: 67%
GTX 560 Ti 1GB: 20%


9800 GT: 187%
GTX 460 1GB: 35%
GTX 560 Ti 1GB: 11%


9800 GT: 199%
GTX 460 1GB: 63%
GTX 560 Ti 1GB: 23%


9800 GT: 225%
GTX 460 1GB: 76%
GTX 560 Ti 1GB: 30%


9800 GT: 224%
GTX 460 1GB: 44%
GTX 560 Ti 1GB: 9%


Okay, so what do we make of all of this?  Users that are still gaming on the 9800 GT (and there are a lot of you) will see some very impressive gains by jumping up to the GeForce GTX 660 2GB.  The GeForce GTX 460 1GB upgrade path shows an average increase of 60% or so with the move to a GK106-based graphics card.  The GTX 560 Ti is more capable though and that performance gap is more like 20-25% depending on your specific game. 

The power efficiency of Kepler is apparent here in our legacy card power testing – the GTX 660 2GB card uses the same power as the GTX 460 but about 35 watts LESS than the GTX 560 Ti. 

Though not really important for the upgrade argument, I included this graph just out of interest of my own.  Notice how the load temperature of the GPU has increased over the years, from 51C on the reference 9800 GT to 76C for today's GTX 660 release.  As process technology has improved and the designs of the GPUs have progressed it seems that both NVIDIA and AMD have allowed the GPU temps to rise.  (Also, the sound on the 9800 GT was INSANE!)

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