How much does a graphic card benchmark improve after six to twelve months on the market?

An example, currently ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870 is better than NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M. However, I have read that is only because the 460M drivers are not mature.

So, is it possible that a graphic card, such as the 460M, will improve its benchmarks 10% or more across the board after drivers mature in six plus months?

  • ... how much does it improve on average. – SgtOJ Nov 18 '10 at 6:11
  • There's no definite way to answer this. – Sathyajith Bhat Nov 19 '10 at 1:57
  • I find it funny to vote down a question that has been closed. Even more funny to vote it down when it has been closed for nearly a year. – SgtOJ Aug 30 '11 at 7:29
  • ... And it's a question by you ;) @SgtOJ – Sathyajith Bhat Aug 30 '11 at 10:12

ATI and Nvidia both list the percentage of improvement for specific games in their change logs when a new driver is released. If you use those games as a benchmark you could calculate driver improvements for that game, but you will never be able to calculate an "across the board" improvement because the benchmark used will influence the results to a significant degree. It would be better to refer to "across the board" improvement in respect to a specific benchmark. The games listed in the change logs do not have to be your benchmark, you could tested each driver with a benchmark of your choice (like 3D Mark). The test results from each historical driver could then be averaged to calculate the improvement gained from that drivers predecessor.

Based on experience only I would estimate that an Nvidia card would yield better benchmark results due to driver improvements over time than an ATI card (with respect to their original performance levels). Nvidia is typically known as having pretty good drivers, an area where ATI is often lacking, though ATI often makes up for lacking drivers with more impressive hardware.

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  • I wouldn't call ATI's hardware particularly impressive; Nvidia currently has the most impressive graphics cards on the market in terms of features and performance. The only thing ATI has going for it right now is price, but that's about it. (They also tend to be the first to adopt new features such as DirectX 11 support, but Nvidia is always quick to catch up.) – Sasha Chedygov Nov 18 '10 at 7:30
  • @musicfreak it is very back and fourth between red and green as to who is on top. For nearly a year (2009) before Nvidia finally got it together with their fermi architecture they had no answer for ATIs 5XXX series cards, but now Nvidia is on top again. The prices of the cards also seems to vary based on which brand is on top. When ATI is the under dog they drop their prices, same for Nvidia. – ubiquibacon Nov 18 '10 at 7:45
  • True, I have noticed that as well, but I guess my point was that in the end, Nvidia always seems to turn out something more impressive (IMO). If ATI is on top, it's only temporarily. The only reason I would personally get an ATI card nowdays is if I wanted to save a few bucks. – Sasha Chedygov Nov 18 '10 at 7:47
  • @musicfreak I would agree with you, but I was trying to stay as un-bias as possible to prevent a flame war :) – ubiquibacon Nov 18 '10 at 7:58
  • Fair enough. :) – Sasha Chedygov Nov 18 '10 at 8:06

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