I’m back — Why is buying a new graphics card so difficult?

My good old Nvidia 7600GT started crapping out. It has crashed my computer several times, leaving semi-permanent artifacts on the screen. I discovered that the heatsink doesn’t touch some of the RAM chips, which might explain just that. Why it started to act up NOW I don’t know. It isn’t particularly warm this ‘summer’.

So I got an affordable replacement: Nvidia GT 610 – about 50€ delivered.

I had to find out that this 2012 model only delivers about 1/2 to 1/3 the framerate of my 6-year-old 7600GT playing Quake4 in ultra mode. BUMMER. It’s still playable, but sometimes the framerate drops down pretty hard. It shows that the memory bandwidth is just 64bit wide and not 256bit.

On the positive side I can report that total energy consumption has dropped by about 20 to 30 Watts and it stays much cooler as well. Given that I rarely play games these days that is probably tolerable.

Why can’t Nvidia name their products in a way that allows for easy performance comparison? I would have expected the GT 610 to be at least on par with the old 7600GT. According to some benchmark list the 610 should at least be on par, but I guess the lower memory bandwidth is quite counterproductive.

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2 Responses to I’m back — Why is buying a new graphics card so difficult?

  1. Yeah, NVidia’s naming system is unfortunate. On the bright side, you at least now have a GPU that’s CUDA capable, so if you ever wanted to play with writing software with 1M threads, now’s your chance.

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