3D Mark Vantage
Vantage has always been an excellent way to compare one card against another, even if it isn't a rock solid indicator of expected performance.
Under the Vantage Performance preset the GTX465 puts up a fairly good showing, giving us around 15000 3D Marks. Way below the GTX480 and even the identically priced HD5850. Naturally the 50% cheaper HD5770 trails in last place but not by as much as its price would have you believe.
Unigine is an absolutely stunning feast for the eyes. Even if you've no interest in ever benchmarking you should download and run it just to find yourself drooling and picking your jaw up at what is possible.
This should be a test that the GTX465 really stretches its legs because Tessellation is one of the much heralded features, along with CUDA and Physx, that nVidia have included. Because it's so performance heavy there is no point in running the HD5770 for this test.
We have a shock result here as the HD5850 just beats the GTX465 at something the Fermi card should be excellent at. It's not even thanks to some driver trickery as Catalyst AI is, as always, disabled. Despite many runs and comparisons there isn't a visual difference either. Of all the tests we have on the menu today this was the one we'd have bet the farm on the GTX465 waltzing. It doesn't bode well for the rest of them.
Tessellation isn't the only technical trickery that nVidia have employed. Their other highly eulogised feature is CUDA which allows processing load to be shifted to the GPU. To take advantage of this we're gradually seeing the release of some encoders and transcoders that utilise CUDA. One freeware example is MediaCoder, and whilst there are expensive applications available we always like the trumpet the efforts of the freeware coder whenever we can.
In our test we took a 720P 220MB AVI (a music video if you're interested) and compressed it down to Ipod Touch size. We used a very high compression algorithm and also one that attempted to keep the quality as high as possible. The test was run using solely CPU processing, and also solely using CUDA.
Oh dear. As someone who does a fair amount of video encoding I couldn't wait to get my hands on CUDA and pump it. As it's around 30% slower than using CPU horsepower alone I must confess as to being hugely disappointed. If our Unigine Tessellation test was a bit ho hum, this is actually depressing.
Let's see if the GTX465 redeems itself in pure gaming tests.