Battlefield 3

Its popularity aside, Battlefield 3 may be the most interesting game in our benchmark suite for a single reason: it’s the first AAA DX10+ game. It’s been 5 years since the launch of the first DX10 GPUs, and 3 whole process node shrinks later we’re finally to the point where games are using DX10’s functionality as a baseline rather than an addition. Not surprisingly BF3 is one of the best looking games in our suite, but as with past Battlefield games that beauty comes with a high performance cost.

Battlefield 3 is the game that really drives home the point that the GTX 650 Ti isn’t well suited for 1920x1200 with top quality settings. We have to get down to 1680x1050 with high quality (a notch below ultra) in order to get our framerate above 60fps, a prerequisite for keeping it from bottoming out below 30fps in large multiplayer firefights. To that end the GTX 650 Ti is fast enough (if just barely) to hit the kind of solid framerates needed for Battlefield 3.

With Battlefield 3 being another game that has typically favored NVIDIA’s architectures, the results of our benchmarks may or may not come as a great surprise. Typically NVIDIA’s cards have enjoyed 10%+ leads, but not this time. Instead the GTX 650 Ti and the 7850 are in a dead heat, posting framerates within a fraction of each other. On the other hand, given the fact that the GTX 650 Ti is being sold as a slower, lower priced card than the 7850, the fact that it can tie the 7850 here is quite remarkable. The kind of lopsided performance we’re seeing today means that the comparable AMD and NVIDIA cards aren’t going back and forth on a game-by-game basis, but it doesn’t have to be a blowout either.

Meanwhile the factory overclocked cards build upon that tie and push past the reference GTX 650 Ti and the 7850. Once more the Zotac takes the lead thanks to its combined overclock, followed by the EVGA card and finally the Gigabyte card.

On a side note, we haven’t really discussed the GeForce 500 series before now, so let’s do that. On the one hand, despite the GTX 650 Ti’s difficulties versus the 7850, one thing NVIDIA has clearly been able to do is to rocket past the GTX 550 Ti. At a year and a half old it’s not direct competition, but it shows that compared to some milder gains over past-generation cards on the high-end, NVIDIA’s mid-to-low cards are seeing greater gains. On the other hand the GTX 550 Ti was an overpriced card when it launched, so this also isn’t a ringing endorsement.

On the other hand the performance compared to the GTX 560 isn’t particularly enthusing. The GTX 650 Ti is never really passing the GTX 560 in performance, and while the GTX 560 is an outgoing card it means that at launch the GTX 650 Ti isn’t offering anything on the price/performance curve the GTX 560 wasn’t already hitting.

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  • flipmode - Tuesday, October 09, 2012 - link

    Please, that mantra is goofy. Of course there is such a thing as a bad product. You're telling me you've never run into a product that you wouldn't buy at any price? I have. Not saying the GTX 650 Ti fits that description - it doesn't - but I just wish you'd dispense with that silly expression. Reply
  • Paulman - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - link

    I think it's a good saying, especially when applied to the two horse race between AMD/ATI and NVIDIA. Both companies have been executing fairly well over the past half decade or more, and ultimately the biggest factor that determines the success or value of a card is the performance vs. price. The only thing that would mess with that is a significant spat of failing parts, or ridiculously high power/noise consumption that can't be mitigated, or unfixably buggy drivers. But barring such catastrophe scenarios, if your part isn't that great by the time it hits the market, just lower the price :P Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, October 12, 2012 - link

    It's amazing the amd fanboy brain farts spewing here.

    AMD lowered their frikkin 7850 price, not the card that "isn't that great that just hit the market".

    I'll also point out that this nVidia card does 4 monitors out of the box, and the Asus version at the egg has a great port setup for that, and is inexpensive.

    It's just amazing to me really. AMD drops in price, and the idiot response is late and slow for the card reviewed demanding a lower price.

    LOL - it's so so freakin sad.
  • rarson - Friday, October 12, 2012 - link

    You don't understand economics, do you? Reply
  • Homeles - Saturday, October 13, 2012 - link

    "AMD lowered their frikkin 7850 price, not the card that 'isn't that great that just hit the market.'"

    You need to brush up on your reading comprehension skills, kid. You have completely missed the point of the post you are replying to. Quite laughably, really, especially given your condescension.
  • Siana - Monday, October 15, 2012 - link

    OMG a sane person on the Internet!

  • Uritziel - Thursday, October 11, 2012 - link

    Nothing keeps a price from being negative, so the saying isn't really wrong. Bet you'd buy that bad product you have in mind for -$5000... Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, October 12, 2012 - link

    Here, where are the amd fanboys usual bloviating load of crap spews ?

    I'll pretend I'm them.

    This card OverClocks to 7850 speeds and passes it for $5o LESS ! you'd have to be an idiot to buy the amd card when every single nVidia 650Ti hit the same awesome overclock flying past the 7850 !
    Not to mention eyefinity sucks and is dead now that 4 monitors are rockin on these 650Ti's !
    I'd sure like to see amd innovate but all they care about is MONEY $$$ so they charge more!

    There we go amd fanboys, FTFY, and the worse part of it all for you is it's all true instead of big fat lies like when you do it !
  • rarson - Friday, October 12, 2012 - link

    This has nothing to do with fanboys, just like the last post didn't. We're talking about economics here, not AMD vs. Nvidia. Stop looking at everything through your green-tinted glasses and try reading what is actually on the screen. The comment you replied to has nothing to do with the cards you mentioned. Reply
  • Galidou - Saturday, October 13, 2012 - link

    He says everyone is lying when speaking about AMD while he can hardly stay in the right path himself.... He's taking the side of the most powerful companies in the world(anything that's against AMD is worth taking their side) while spewing shit like: ''all they care about is MONEY $$$.''

    Let's go, take the side of the giants of this world, kill the small companies spewing shit about them so the world can turn more monopolistic than it is now... LoL funniest vomit the world had to know about... Make the rich even more rich and KILL everyone below... I have to admit AMD is in a bad situation, their CPU division fares ALOT worse than their GPU division but it's not a reason to be so stupid... so freaking imbecile..... Just so stubbornly refusing to have any respect toward anyone that doesn't TOTALLY embrace his stupid closed vision of the computer industry.

    I just wish AMD gets out of there, if not then too bad, we can't change things for them. They are fighting against the giants of the computer industry that have a hundred times more budget than they do... Just for that, I'm wishing they succeed in the future.

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