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AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition vs. Nvidia GeForce GTX 680: frametimes preview

Last week Hardware.Info published an article about a new way of testing graphics card performance in video games. Traditionally, graphics cards performance has been expressed in frames per second (or fps).

The assumption has always been, the more fps your graphics card is capable of, the better video games will perform. But is it really that simple? Not quite so, it turns out. To really determine how a graphics card handles a video game, the average fps is not an adequate measure of performance, and you need more details. Frametime tests provide exactly that.

Today we are publishing the results of our first test, comparing the AMD Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 680. When we originally tested the 7970 GHz Edition, we concluded that the AMD card is faster in most benchmarks compared to the GeForce GTX 680. And when you take the lower price into consideration, it's clear that AMD gives you the best value for your money.

So, will this conclusion hold up in the light of new frametime data? We tested the two cards in five recent video games to find out. For the frametime test we focused on the most popular resolution, and that's still Full HD for most people. The five games we tested are: Assassin's Creed III, Battlefield 3, Far Cry 3, Hitman: Absolution and Max Payne 3. We tested each one with Normal/Medium settings and also with the highest settings. With the highest settings we also enable 4X AA when possible.

The first game in our first frametime test is Assassin's Creed III. At 1,920 x 1,080 with Medium settings the GeForce GTX 680 comes out ahead: 160.3 fps for Nvidia compared to 132.7 fps for AMD. The frametime test showed very little difference between the two cards, they're both around 8ms without significant peaks. Looking at the 99th percentile, Nvidia scores 8.5 ms and AMD 8.8 ms. Very good for both.

The rest of the results you can find on Hardware.Info.