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How is it better?

post #1 of 7
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I wanna upgrade my gpu really for dx11. Looking at the clocks I don't get how the newer cards are really better. THey're smaller. Have half the bus width. And a little bit higher clocks. (I'm talking about the 460 compared to 260). But people say how they're so much better, I don't get the different? Gimmie some sunshine?
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post #2 of 7
GDDR5. This is practically double the performance of GDDR3. Also more shader cores, higher clocks..
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post #3 of 7
The architecture of the chip is completely different. You know how an i7 quad at 2.6 is a lot faster than a q6600 at 2.6GHz? Same idea. More work gets done per clock cycle ... that kind of thing.

The GDDR5 makes up for the smaller bus width because it's quad data rate memory, so 256-bit ddr5@1000MHz is the same bandwidth as 512-bit ddr3@1000MHz (in theory ... in reality, it's probably a little less bandwidth than the 512-bit setup, but not by much)

Comparing 260 to 460, the Fermi cards also have a lot more shader cores (216 vs. 336 ... a pretty huge % difference) and each of those is more powerful on top of it. 460 also has more ROP's than the 260.

In reality if you drill down to the actual important specs, the only one the 260 has an advantage on is maybe texture fill-rate, other than that, the 460 is superior in all the important specs.

BTW, you should never try to compare cards based on the specs you see online, esp. if you don't really know the relative importance of each one. I mean, you can compare two of the *same* cards based on clocks (like an OC'd version vs. a stock clock version), but you can't compare across generations, or across gpu makers (nV vs. AMD) by looking at specs ... esp. not the tiny sliver of specs provided by newegg or some place like that.

You wanna make a good decision, you need to go out and look up benchmarks ... preferably from a few different sites cause some of them out there are biased, either on purpose or they'll accidentally bench a bunch of games that favor one architecture over another.

Then ask on OCN, cause most of us know what we're talking about around here

460 is a nice boost from a 260 ... not HUGE, but it'll be an improvement in terms of your maximum playable settings for sure.
Edited by brettjv - 7/30/11 at 11:07am
    
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post #4 of 7
It's not all about the clock speeds, that's only a fraction of the entire picture. Clock speeds can be altered very easily nowadays with programs like MSI Afterburner, so that's far from the point as to why the modern cards are so much faster.

There are a ton of other, more up-to-date and powerful features under the hood, including things like additional stream processors (if you're AMD)/CUDA cores (if you're NVIDIA). In addition, the design architecture also factors in, as smaller fabrication processes mean they can pack in more components and features - in other words, the design is made more efficient.

So the bottom line is that, don't just look at the clock speeds, there's been major changes around, and features like GDDR5 memory (double the memory bandwidth GDDR3 on your 260), along with the new GPU design architectures, means upgrading a GPU is just as a big step up over a GPU back in its generation (i.e. core quad to i7-2600k).
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post #5 of 7
More stream processors, better architecture, higher clocks, etc..

None of this means anything on it's own though, what matters is the combination of everything, which is why we benchmark.
 
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
THank you people who know what you're talking about XD
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post #7 of 7
Well obviously the higher the number the better the card.

560 Ti > 560 > 460 > 260

Nah, jk. There's a whole mess of things that make the newer cards better. Everything from GDDR5 memory modules, to more power efficient cores, more cores in general, better architecture and utilization.

There's so many things to choose as a valid point but the real question is why don't you pick one up for yourself and see if it's really worth it?
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