Passmark is probably useful for comparing cards with a large performance disparity like the 650 vs 280x. Generally though, I don't like using a score-based evaluation for GPUs, especially if gaming is the goal. There are cards that score lower in benchmarks but outperform the higher scorers in certain games. A good example is the GTX 770 vs. the 280x. They are basically equal cards in terms of average performance. The benchmarks on passmark show the 770 scoring nearly 20% higher than the 280x, but the 280x either matches or pulls ahead of the 770 in many instances, depending on resolution and how much the game depends on memory bandwidth. It ends up pretty even.
Another obvious inaccuracy in the chart shows dual-GPU cards scoring similarly or lower than their single-gpu counterparts, probably because Passmark didn't know how to properly deal with the 2 GPUs.
Nice. Was just curious. How do you guys figure out how these different video cards made by different companies are better or not?
With experience, one can make a general guess in performance based on the age of the architecture, its core specs (shaders, SPs, cuda, whatever), and memory bandwidth. Otherwise, a better (but still imperfect) barometer of performance is anandtech's convenient gaming benchmark comparison charts. Pick two cards and see how they compare in average framerate in a smattering of games at various resolutions and settings. Example: 770 vs 280x: LINK
Average framerate doesn't tell the whole story, but it contributes well enough for a reasonable decision.
As far as comparing the different AIBs (Gigabyte, MSI, ASUS, Sapphire, etc. etc.), you really just have to read reviews of those particular cards (reviews from legitimate tech sites, not Newegg). At this point I already have a general sense of how each AIB handles the fabrication and packaging of their video cards, and I choose based on my own requirements. For example, I always water cool my cards, so I need one with a reference design PCB and dual bios, and I tend to stick with companies that consistently use Hynix RAM (better overclocking) rather than sell cards with either Hynix or Elpida under the same SKU. I also choose companies that aren't over-the-top anal about what voids warranties and whether the warranty can be transferred.
This post was edited on 8/26 at 12:25 pm