Articles: Graphics

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The two semi-synthetic benchmarks and tech demo ran at their default settings in two graphics quality modes. We didn't test our three-monitor configurations with them because 3DMark cannot produce scores for settings other than its predefined profiles (Performance, Extreme, etc) whereas Unigine Heaven doesn't permit to set a resolution higher than 1920x1080 pixels. Anyway, we can still compare our graphics subsystems in these benchmarks.

3DMark Vantage

Our testbed can't match the potential of the GeForce GTX 690 SLI tandem in 3DMark Vantage, so it is not much faster than the single GTX 690. Anyway, the GTX 690 SLI scores about 70,000 and 50,000 points at the Performance and Extreme settings, respectively. The two Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition cards in CrossFireX mode can't beat the single GTX 690. The fastest GeForce GTX 680 from ASUS easily outperforms AMD's flagship.

3DMark 2011

We’ve got the same picture in the newer version of 3DMark, except that the two GTX 690s in 4-way SLI mode enjoy a larger advantage over the single GTX 690.

Unigine Heaven Demo

Unigine Heaven is only capable of getting the best from our graphics subsystems at the highest settings with 8x antialiasing. The standings are the same as in the two versions of 3DMark, though.

Now let’s see what we have in real games.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat

There’s nothing extraordinary about these results except that the two Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition cards are ahead of the single GTX 690. Take note that the game is playable on three monitors at 3240x1920 using not only the dual-processor GeForce GTX 690 (or two such cards) but also the CrossFireX tandem built out of two Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition cards. The frame rate is high even when we turn on antialiasing. Well, antialiasing doesn’t contribute as much to the overall image quality at such a high resolution as, for example, at 1920x1080.

Metro 2033: The Last Refuge

Except for the bottom speed, the two GeForce GTX 690s are just splendid here. No other graphics card or multi-GPU subsystem has ever delivered such a high frame rate in Metro 2033: The Last Refuge. The 3240x1920 results have no practical value, however, because the picture was striped on our monitors irrespective of the graphics subsystem we used. Anyway, we can note the huge advantage of the single Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition over the overclocked GeForce GTX 680 and the small gap between the CrossFireX tandem and the two GTX 690s.

Just Cause 2

The results of this test are more predictable and easier to explain:

We can see that the single-GPU flagship products from AMD and Nvidia cannot make the game playable with comfort at 3240x1920 pixels, although Just Cause 2 was released over 2 years ago. The CrossFireX and SLI configurations are most appropriate here.

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