Synthetics

As always we’ll also take a quick look at synthetic performance to get a better look at our video cards' underpinnings. These tests are mostly for comparing cards from within a manufacturer, as opposed to directly comparing AMD and NVIDIA cards.

We’ll start with 3DMark Vantage’s Pixel Fill test, a mix of a ROP test and a bandwidth test to see if you have enough bandwidth to feed those ROPs.

Synthetic: 3DMark Vantage Pixel Fill

3DMark Vantage’s pixel fill test confirms what we know from the specs of the GTX 650 Ti Boost: that it has received a massive boost in ROP performance and memory bandwidth. The 45% greater pixel throughput rate here doesn’t reach the kind of lofty goals that the theoreticals would put it at, but it’s clearly quite an improvement. Interestingly despite the equal ROP throughput and memory bandwidth of the GTX 660 and GTX 650 Ti Boost, the GTX 660 is still clearly in the lead here. We’ve never looked at the impact of GPCs here, so if our card is a 2 GPC model then this might explain what we’re seeing.

Moving on, we have our 3DMark Vantage texture fillrate test, which does for texels and texture mapping units what the previous test does for ROPs.

Synthetic: 3DMark Vantage Texel Fill

Texture fillrates on the other hand are really only benefitting from the higher clockspeeds of the GTX 650 Ti Boost over the GTX 650 Ti, and memory bandwidth to a much lesser extent. This is why despite the similarities between the GTX 650 Ti Boost and the GTX 660, the latter is still quite safe from the GTX 650 Ti Boost.

Finally we’ll take a quick look at tessellation performance with TessMark. We have everything turned up to maximum here, which means we're looking at roughly 11 million polygons per frame.

Synthetic: TessMark, Image Set 4, 64x Tessellation

NVIDIA has always had a fairly ridiculous geometry throughput rate, and that doesn’t change on the GTX 650 Ti Boost. A score of 753 is second only to the GTX 660, and well ahead of the 7850, which is an interesting confluence of a 2 primative/clock rate, and its lower clockspeeds relative to the 7790 and GTX 650 Ti Boost.

Compute Performance Power, Temperature, & Noise
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  • Bob Todd - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - link

    More data points are usually a good thing, but can I ask what you'd use that for? Since you can't install one in the other, beyond the novelty of knowing how close a midrange desktop card is to a halo mobile part I'm curious to know what you want out of it. It seems like on the mobile side most parts are 2-3 rungs below the desktop part of the same name throughout the lineup. Reply
  • Hrel - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - link

    I base card recs on how long they intend to keep it. On a budget? Ok, get something that will run 1080p for a year or two. 1GB 650 ti or 7790. Idk, I'd have to look at those two to really know between that. But then after that point spend more a 2GB card with a 256bit memory interface. (GTX660 192bit, WTF Nividia?) BUT, if you have some more money and want to keep the card 4 years or more, get the 7850. The 7850 will be faster now, last longer. But whatever card you'd replace the 650 ti with in a year or two for the same price will be even faster than that.

    I really don't like where the GPU market is right now. It feels stagnant. Nothing is really a good deal. Like you guys said, there is no sweet spot. The 8800GT was the card to get after the price dropped below 150. Same for the GTX460. Now to get that level of performance they expect you to shell out 220 bucks. Fuck that. I say, for now, either keep your current card or buy the cheapest one you can possibly stomach. This market needs to straighten itself out again.

    I'm keeping my GTX460 until I literally can't run games anymore. Don't really care if I have to turn off AA in new titles. Neither company has given me a reason to upgrade. Sub 200 used to be competitive.
    Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - link

    Well.. generally speaking the 660 and the 7870 are currently enjoying the sweet spot. Neither card breaks the bank and the trade off in the +$300 range isn't so great to be a game breaker.

    The 460 was a $240 card when it launched and both of the ones I mentioned can be had for $220 if you look around.. (not including mail in rebates etc or game bundles). On average their 70% faster than 460 but over the past few years there's been a focus on loading temperatures, power consumption, and other features.. which is something that got kick-started around the time of the 460. Right now it's not giant leaps forward but rather, several steps to the side with a few steps forward in performance.
    Reply
  • just4U - Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - link

    Also.. if the 460 was your last purchase over the 8800 than your buying every third generation.. For you that wont come up until the next line-up/fall refresh. Reply
  • Calinou_ - Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - link

    Want a large memory bus for cheap? Get an used GTX 570, then you have a 320 bit memory bus for the price of a 650 Ti. Then deal with the 250W in full load. :D Reply
  • Shadowmaster625 - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - link

    The 7850 is a 10% larger die. So with all things being equal you can expect roughly 10% more performance. Both chips contain significant fused off sections but the amount that is fused off is roughly the same in percentage terms.

    The 7850 at stock is leaving an awful lot of performance on the table. You can tell this just by looking at the power consumption. Overclock the 7850 until its power consumption matches this new nvidia card, and how much performance differential are we now talking about? Well over 10% I'm sure...

    The 650 Ti Boost is clearly more aggressively timed and configured, to squeeze out more dollars out of the enthusiast's pocket and into Nvidia's. The fact that the review doesnt really mention any of this is kind of surprising. I would say the 7850 is a better deal, based on the assumption that it has more overclocking overhead. Given the same 28nm process vs the difference in die sizes, that is surely a safe assumption.
    Reply
  • mczak - Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - link

    7850 doesn't have larger die. Pitcairn is quoted as 212mm^2 whereas gk106 is actually 221mm^2 (though the difference might be just be measuring differently, i.e. including the empty space at the edges or not if those are official, not measured, figures). Pitcairn does have 10% more transistors though (I guess for whatever reason amd could pack them more densely overall).
    But yes pitcairn is faster than gk106 overall. The reason the gtx660 loses to hd7870 but the gtx650ti boost is very close to hd7850 is of course that hd7850 is a hd7870 with 20% less shader units and 14% less clocks, whereas the 650ti boost is a 660 with 20% less shader units but same clocks. And yes this shows in overclocking potential and perf/w.
    Reply
  • royalcrown - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - link

    Too many cards, just buy a 660 ! Reply
  • Spunjji - Wednesday, March 27, 2013 - link

    Too many cards, just buy a 7870!

    FTFY ;)
    Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - link

    Nice card. Okay, the power draw is a bit of a downside, meaning we've got a 680-7970-esque comparison again between the 7850 and 650 Ti Boost where the former performs a little better in general whilst using less power, however considering the gap to the 660 isn't that big, is it worth the extra money?

    I can definitely see people buying these; that extra 1GB will certainly help in time.
    Reply

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