Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I have a new video card.

I've been threatening to do this for years. My old card was a trusty Radeon 5850, believe it or not, which was starting to shudder and groan at 1920x1080 with games like Skyrim (at high detail, anyway).

Not that I have any time to play Skyrim right now, mind you, but the conceptual idea of playing Skyrim at high levels of detail was blocked by my video card.

I've been having an on-off dalliance with the Kepler architecture on the new Geforce cards (680 and 670, in particular). Never could quite close the deal, though.

However, when the 660 came out, it changed my mind.

Here's how much graphics card efficiency has improved in the last few years. This card uses 10% more power (under load) than the 5850. It's also
--15C cooler on the deskop, and 12C cooler under load
--6 dB quieter under load

Impressive, right? Oh, and the performance in games at 1920x1080 is roughly DOUBLE the 5850.

So for the same power consumption, you get double the performance, 10-15C cooler, and 6 dB quieter.

The particular card was the Gigabyte Windforce 2X OC Edition, and it was $319 at Amazon.

I was expecting an installation nightmare (always), but the entire process took 20 minutes. Zero problems.

I still don't have time to play Skyrim--or anything else, really--but the conceptual impediment has been removed.

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