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2560×1600: GeForce GTX 780 Ti vs Radeon R9 290X

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Final Thoughts: Gaming at 2560×1600

These days, video card manufacturer’s price their product according to relative performance compared to the competition. Occasionally they attempt to undercut prices to win more business, but typically the parts are priced accordingly.

Top-end graphics cards traditionally add a premium for their unparalleled performance, and from these results we can see that the trend continues. All three of these graphics cards are considered high-end, representing the premium offerings available from their respective manufacturer.

NVIDIA-GeForce-GTX-780Ti-Video-Card-Top

The data below is arranged In terms of raw frame rate performance, with cost information included for reference:

  • GeForce GTX 780: 45.8 FPS test average
    • Available online for $499.99 (Amazon | Newegg)
      • Battlefield 3 cost per frame/performance: $7.39 (baseline cost/frame)
      • Metro 2033 cost per frame/performance: $13.66 (baseline cost/frame)
      • Unigen Heaven cost per frame/performance: $12.20 (baseline cost/frame)
      • Battlefield 4 cost per frame/performance: $13.16 (baseline cost/frame)
  • Radeon R9 290X: 43.9 FPS test average
    • Available online for $579.99 (Amazon | Newegg)
      • Battlefield 3 cost per frame/performance: $9.88 (+34% over baseline cost/frame)
      • Metro 2033 cost per frame/performance: $15.98 (+17% over baseline cost/frame)
      • Unigen Heaven cost per frame/performance: $13.30 (+9% over baseline cost/frame)
      • Battlefield 4 cost per frame/performance: $15.68 (+19% over baseline cost/frame)
  • GeForce GTX 780: 51.7 FPS test average
    • Available online for starting at $699.99 (Amazon | Newegg)
      • Battlefield 3 cost per frame/performance: $9.22 (+25% over baseline cost/frame)
      • Metro 2033 cost per frame/performance: $17.95 (+31% over baseline cost/frame)
      • Unigen Heaven cost per frame/performance: $15.28 (+25% over baseline cost/frame)
      • Battlefield 4 cost per frame/performance: $15.22 (+16% over baseline cost/frame)

Every video card tested at 2560×1600 resolution provided 30-FPS or better in these DirectX 11 games, which were generally configured to their highest graphics quality settings and played at the largest resolution available from a single display. Any of these cards will provide excellent performance with PC video games, but it’s obvious from the price-per-frame that you get the performance you pay for.

If you’re a serious gamer who demands high-end graphics quality displayed onto a single 2560×1600 monitor, then GeForce GTX 780 offers ideal value for the money. Radeon R9 290X nearly produces similar frame rate performance to GTX 780, but costs about $80 more on average. Between these two cards GeForce GTX 780 produces much less heat and noise, and includes unique features such as NVIDIA G-SYNC, NVIDIA ShadowPlay, and TXAA post-processing.

Then we have GeForce GTX 780 Ti, an ultra-premium video card that is ideal for either 2560×1600 or three-panel 5760×1080 displays configured with the highest graphics quality settings. But top-end performance comes at a premium, and not everybody needs a graphics card to push maximum frame rates to three monitors (or one giant panel). One size might fit all in theory, but certainly not in terms of budget.

In conclusion, there are three top-end single-GPU choices available on the market right now, and while they range from $500-700, their performance differences aren’t quite as broad. Choose what your budget can afford, but take heat and noise into special consideration as well. Even if these products were equal in terms of frame rate performance, and it’s clear they are not, proprietary features create a significant difference in the user experience.

COMMENT QUESTION: Have the comparisons in this article help you decide on a video card purchase?


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1 comment

  1. Rich Paul

    As usual, Great Review and Stats! It’s unfortunate that I can’t convince my wife that I need that $700.00 card and the board… and the PSU…, and the CPU… to go with it. She just doesn’t understand…. (sigh).

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