I guess you get what you pay for and ATI's gpu's perform best for the money =]
* the normalisation refers to taking playable frame rate into account. Should a card benchmark at over 60 frames per second in any one game, the extra fps count as half. Similarly, should a card benchmark lower, say at 40fps, we deduct half the difference from its average frame rate and the desired 60fps, giving it a HEXUS.bang4buck score of 30 marks. The minimum allowable frame rate is 20fps but that scores zero. The HEXUS.bang4buck score only takes the performance and price into account.
What we see is that the ATI card's performance is slightly better, at 2,560x1,600, under Windows 7. Conversely, the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 295 gains in Company of Heroes but loses out more in other titles, including Far Cry 2 and Race Driver: GRID. As such, its aggregate and normalised scores are a touch lower. End result? Taken on the balance of our five games, ATI's driver appears to be slightly more robust with respect to performance, but neither driver is horribly bad, unless playing Far Cry 2 is your thing.
Next, we'll be looking at Windows 7 and Vista performance on ATI and NVIDIA's low-end and mid-range cards, so stay tuned for that.
Windows 7 is still some way off from being released to the public in retail form, but ATI has come in early and is building Windows 7 (WDDM v1.1) support right into all subsequent Catalyst sets, intimating that a WHQL driver will be ready on the day of Microsoft's official launch. NVIDIA, too, isn't standing still, but, as far as our results are concerned, needs to do a little more optimisation work until the Windows 7 driver is consistently better than Vista's.