Performance in First-Person 3D Shooters
Aliens vs. Predator
The dual-card GeForce GTX 580 SLI configuration beats both single-card dual-GPU monsters in the first test, which is obviously due to the lower clock rates of the GeForce GTX 590. Anyway, the SLI tandem enjoys a 43% advantage over the latter at the popular resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. It is also 1 to 14% ahead of the Radeon HD 6990 which works in overdrive mode (you should keep it in mind that the overdrive mode is not the default one and is not covered by the warranty).
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
The top-end solutions are limited by the platform’s overall performance at 1600x900 but at the higher resolutions the dual-card SLI tandem is obviously superior to its single-card cousin: by 14% in the Full HD mode and by 22% at 2560x1600. The Radeon HD 6990 is unable to challenge the leader, either.
Call of Duty: Black Ops
This game's system requirements being rather low, top-end solutions like GeForce GTX 580 SLI can't show their best in it. Anyway, Nvidia's dual-card SLI tandem is ahead at any resolution whereas the GeForce GTX 590 has certain problems at resolutions up to 1920x1080, even though its frame rate is never lower than 90 fps.
Crysis 2 is not as a resource-consuming application as the previous games in the series, yet the top-end SLI and CrossFire configurations are useful, especially at resolutions above 1920x1080 where other graphics solutions fail to deliver a playable frame rate. Nvidia's products are superior in the top-performance category although the GeForce GTX 590 isn’t much faster than the Radeon HD 6990. The GeForce GTX 580 SLI tandem proves that single-card dual-GPU solutions are always a compromise, outperforming the GeForce GTX 590 by 25% and the Radeon HD 6990 by 40%.
This game is tested with the tessellation option turned on.
The bottom frame rate is still very low, yet the GeForce GTX 580 SLI tandem is unrivalled in terms of average speed. It is 7 to 40% faster than its opponents, depending on the resolution. The gap from the Radeon HD 6990 clocked at 880 MHz is very small in the Ultra HD mode, though.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
This game runs with enabled tessellation.
The GeForce GTX 580 SLI tandem is superior at every resolution. It is followed by the GeForce GTX 590 whereas the single GTX 580 is third up to 2560x1600. The advanced capabilities of the Fermi architecture in terms of geometry processing and tessellation show up here. Although the game is playable even on the modest Radeon HD 6970 in the Ultra HD mode, it’s comforting to have a reserve of speed here.