Performance in First-Person 3D Shooters
Aliens vs. Predator
The hypothetic dual-GF110 based card would be able to make this game playable at 2560x1600, let alone the lower resolutions like 2560x1440. It will only be challenged by the Radeon HD 6990 Antilles here.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
It is clear that the SLI-based GeForce GTX 570 pair cannot show their best at low resolutions. It is unrivalled starting from 1920x1080, though. The only dubious point is whether the GeForce GTX 590, if it ever comes out, will use GF110 or GF114 cores.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Using an earlier version of the IW Engine than Modern Warfare 2, this game has very modest system requirements. Today’s multi-GPU solutions are redundant here because even a single GeForce GTX 570 delivers a playable speed at 2560x1600. Two such cards in SLI mode may only be necessary for panoramic visuals using three monitors at once. We cannot test such extremely high display modes as yet, and they are not so popular among gamers despite being touted by both AMD and Nvidia.
The SLI tandem of GeForce GTX 570 cards stops very short of the comfortable limit at 2560x1600. This game is still a hard nut to crack even for the latest generation of GPUs, although its engine doesn't implement any of the advanced DirectX 11 capabilities. We are curious whether the Radeon HD 6990 will cope with it.
This game is tested with tessellation turned on.
When tessellation is turned on, the game’s instantaneous frame rate may occasionally plummet below 10 fps, yet overall it is quite playable even at the highest resolutions. Take note that the SLI tandem is not much faster than the old Radeon HD 5970 at 2560x1600 in terms of average speed. This must be due to the difference in the amount of texture-mapping units: 120 against 160.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
We turn tessellation on in this game.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is far easier than Crysis Warhead, so using two GeForce GTX 570 cards instead of a single GeForce GTX 580 is hardly necessary here. The SLI tandem has a higher bottom speed, but also higher power consumption and noise level. A dual-processor successor to the GeForce GTX 295 would be a better option, especially as an alternative to the upcoming Radeon HD 6990, but so far a single GeForce GTX 580 should be quite enough for most gamers who play at 1920x1200. The Radeon HD 5970 is far from brilliant in tessellation-heavy games and falls behind the single-processor Radeon HD 6970 even at 1920x1080.