Ok, this is officially:
A Word about Video Card Numbering systems.
Subtitled: How you guys (and gals Aura & Izzy) are getting duped by the Video Card Numbering system.
Oh, for those of you that have been here a while, my speciality is video cards, it always has been, for those of you that are new here, go back about 17 words and read again.
Ok, this isn't new. With the introduction of Nvidia's 260 series came some of the first dupes. They were releasing 260 numbered cards that were not even close to the 260 cores that they were supposed to have. Some groups of owners tried to make them accountable for these dupes and tried to force them (Nvidia) to change the numbering system & send out the correct cards for the correct core numbers.
In fact, it didn't even have to be the number but the letter, a GTS card wasn't the same as a GTX card even though it was hard to tell the difference from the box.
Now, the DX-11 cards come out. ATI (AMD), has led the pack the whole way with thier ground breaking 5xxx series of cards, it was pretty easy to tell your 5870 was better than your friends 5850 because after all a 70 is bigger than a 50.
Then along comes Nvidia again, the new, long awaited Fermi cards are HOT, not just on the market but literally the chips run upwards of 95c!
Unless you have been around for a while & know there are many things you can do like running MSI afterburner & adding a custom cooling profile, running Evga Precision and also a custom cooling profile. Or you could change the TIM and get HF brackets & HF backplates, or go to the extreme & get watercooled.
So, when the 480 was released, it was easy to figure out, it had 480 Cuda cores, the 470 had 470 Cuda cores, the 465 and so on.
The only really confusing thing was AMD's eyefinity cards were the same as the regular card but the ports were entirely different. The card was still basically the same card. Then came the 6xxx series and of course, everyone was thinking.........Cool, the 6xxx card has to be better, stronger, faster than the 5xxx card of the same number right? Wrong!
Lets just take one, the 5870 and the 6870, well Bri, the 6870 is going to be a better card, right? Guess again, that answer is wrong!
A 5870 has 1600 stream processors a reference card is running at 850mhz with an effective memory clock of 4800mhz.
A 6870 has only 1120 stream processors running at a slightly higher 900Mhz (which you can do with the included CCC software on the 5870), making it's effective clock run at 4200Mhz.
So you see the flag ship of the 5xxx fleet is still better than the equivelent card of teh 6xxx fleet. The only thing you're going to get better by getting the 6xxx card is 3D & honestly, how many of you can actually afford a 3D setup?? I'm not talking about the built in 3D graphics but the full blown 3D effect that requires a special monitor & special glasses?
Now to Nvidia. The GTX 480 comes out & it trounces on the equivalent AMD card, the 5870. Or does it? It comes out a full $130- more, it takes up to 135 watts more & puts out heat off it's hobbled chip that goes up to 95c no problem. Also, the production is miserable, a full 50% of all the fermi chips that come out can't even make it to be a GTX 480. As usual though, they aren't headed to the Silicon graveyard but head instead to be altered to make 470's 460's and 455's. When "The Fermi Problem" is finally corrected though, the GTX 580 is released. it has a set of fully working 580 Cuda cores, it runs cooler, it runs quieter but it still takes a very powerfull PSU to feed it's hunger. Meanwhile the hobbled Chips on the GTX 480's have dropped in price, dramaticly, they're now selling for around $100- less than on release date. Nothing new there, early adopters are always punished.
The core count didn't stay right from the very beginning though because while a 480 had 480 Cuda cores, a GTX 470 has 440 cores.
Then we drop the numbers a bit and we get into the mix of letters too where a 470 is a GTX (336 cores) but a 450 is a GTS (192 cores).
Are we all baffled now?? Just wait, the GTX 580 was released with lots of fanfare and horns blowing that said it's got fully operational 580 cores but the new 570's have 480 cores!
So how is it a 570 instead of a 480?? Well the 570 is cheaper & has 60 texture units and 40 ROP's. The 480 has 480 cores, 56 texture units and 48 ROP's. Is it better to have a 570 than a 480?
It depends gang, it all depends!