It is amazing how the video card market changes so fast. Last December, we were impressed with the Radeon HD 7970 and said it was the fastest single-GPU video card ever released. But three months later, NVIDIA takes the crown from AMD: the GeForce GTX 680 is faster and cheaper than the Radeon HD 7970, and it is our current recommendation if you are looking for the latest and greatest video card, and have USD 500 to spend on one. Of course, for the average user there are several more cost-effective options out there.
In our tests, the GeForce GTX 680 was up to 29% faster than the Radeon HD 7970. The only exceptions were in Aliens vs. Predator, where the competitor from AMD was between 8% and 12% faster, and in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, where the two cards achieved the same performance at 1920×1200, with the Radeon HD 7970 slightly faster at 2560×1600. Compared to its predecessor, the GeForce GTX 580, the new model, was between 12% and 55% faster, depending on the program.