Too many charts to look at and process? Never fear, I’ve averaged-out all the in-game framerates (minus the 3DMark scores) across all the cards to give a broader picture of how these cards perform across the board:
It’s no surprise who takes the overall performance crown here; with a punishing 25% lead over its nearest competitors, the 9800GX2 takes its rightful place at head of the table. The 9600GT SLI achieves an impressive third place, marginally behind the 8800GT SLI setup, and the 9800GTX comes out basically on par with its predecessor.
The 3870X2 is the third most expensive solution here today but falls in behind at 6th place for performance, while our budget performer—the single 9600GT—manages to outpace the more expensive 3870 by a narrow margin.
Bang for buck
Here’s something you won’t get from any overseas reviews – performance per dollar in New Zealand currency using local market pricing.
I’ve taken the average framerate across all the games and then calculated how much you would pay for each frame per second. Bear in mind that the top few cards were mildly held back by the CPU so having a faster CPU with more cores will increase the value of these cards for you, but if you have a similar system to what I’ve used to test today this is the real value that you can expect to receive:
The 9600GT is definitely great value. It’s good to see a return to powerful midrange cards for budget oriented gamers. Whether you’re just buying one or getting two for SLI then you’re getting great value for money here.
However, not all of us have the luxury of having an SLI capable motherboard, so the 9800GTX is the next most obvious choice for performance users.
The 9800GX2, while winning pretty much every test here by a large margin, comes with a large price tag too, but if money is no concern for you then it is definitely the card to get.
As for ATI, the 3870 still represents good value, but its dual-GPU sibling did not fare as well in these tests. Perhaps with a more powerful CPU and higher resolutions we’ll see some better performance out of it, but that’s another review for another day.