The heavyweight bouts are not always the most interesting to watch, whether it be Professional Boxing, UFC or graphic cards. The N460GTX Hawk and the R6850 Cyclone both proved to be scrappy, knock-down drag-out fighters. Throughout our testing there was no constant victor, it seemed as soon as a pattern would emerge indicating one card was clearly dominant the lead would abrupt shift with the next benchmark ran. In true brawler style, neither competitor would give in, instead rallying back and forth with the lead changing hands multiple times.
It is true that even though each card earned a number of wins in different benchmarks, one card did come out on top with more checkmarks in their Win column. That card is the R6850 Cyclone. The R6850 can handle any of today’s latest games while still maintaining solid frame rates. The Cyclone cooling solution handles the heat of stressful gaming with ease and without the annoying fan noise found on some of its competitors.
Even though the R6850 Cyclone came out on top, the fact of the matter is that the gap between first and second place is minimal and the N460GTX provided a strong showing as well. When it comes down to it, I can easily recommend either card as neither card truly dominated the other in our tests, there were wins for sure but the performance from both of these cards is close enough that purchasing either is going to provide you with a great gaming experience. When you factor in that both cards support their own version of multi-card performance, be it SLI or CrossFire, the main deciding factor may come down to which technology your motherboard supports.
If you are truly looking for the best bang-for-your-buck performance, both cards deliver. It is clear that NVIDIA and AMD understand the market and it is evidenced by the fact that they have designed competing cards that so closely rival each others performance. MSI has taken the performance and value a step further on both offerings making one hard to beat package, whichever flavor you choose.
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