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Batman: Arkham City
To warm up the new Radeons, we grappled and glided our way around Gotham, occasionally touching down to mingle with the inhabitants.

Arkham City's DX11 eye candy is a little too demanding for cards like the Radeon HD 7700 series, so we tested at 1080p in DirectX 9 mode.

Apologies for the hard-to-read line graphs. The simple truth is that most of these cards are neck-and-neck, and all of them exhibit wanton frame latency spikes, making their individual plots hard to distinguish from one another. Let's dress up the data into something a little more presentable, shall we?

Our average FPS chart also shows most of the cards mashed together, with average performance in the same ballpark.

Thanks to our new benchmarking methodology, we can look inside the second for more subtle differences between these solutions. Our next two charts highlight those differences. The first one shows the latency threshold below which 99% of frames are rendered...

...while the second one tells us how long each card spends working on frames that take longer than 50 ms to render:

Based on these results, the Radeons clearly suffer from fewer abnormal frame latency spikes than the GeForces, with most of their frames rendered under a lower threshold. The differences aren't huge by any means, but the Radeons are a teeny bit more fluid overall.

Put it all together, and we can confidently say the Radeon HD 6850 and 7770 are the best performers here. Which one is better? Well, it'd be a toss-up if the 6850 weren't so much cheaper. Newegg's cheapest 6850 sells for just $139.99 right now, and that's before a $10 mail-in rebate. The 7770 should consume less power (we'll test power, noise, and temperatures in a bit), but that may not justify its $20-30 price premium for most folks.

We should say a few words about the Radeon HD 7750, too. This little card actually does slightly better than the competition—our superclocked Radeon HD 5770 and GeForce GTS 450—and at $109, it's no more expensive. Not bad at all.