Bang Bang: Here Come Problems
Before we proceed with the benchmark scores, we would like to stress that Nvidia GeForce 7900 quad SLI technology does not seem to be mature enough so far. We have experienced a lot of significant and insignificant issues with nearly all the games we have tested with it, including 3DMark benchmarks, except just a few.
The Chronicles of Riddick performed well and even did not crash, however, SLI AA worked really incorrectly: images doubled, tripled, quadrupled and so on.
A really unpleasant experience, which makes SLI AA useless in this game for now. It is impossible to catch such issues in a screenshot (as screenshot basically copies the frame-buffer of the card that outputs the image), but we can show you a photograph.
In the Doom III , Quake 4 and Serious Sam 2 we noticed exactly the same effects as in case of the Chronicles of Riddick: once SLI AA and relatively high resolutions are enabled, we see the aforementioned artifacts with AA, which were probably caused by the fact the frame compositing mechanism did not work as it is supposed to.
In the Half-Life 2 we noticed some artifacts on certain reflective surfaces after changing resolution during the game. The issue is definitely not significant, but is not a pleasant one either. They say that this may be a peculiarity of Nvidia GeForce-based graphics cards, which means, that it happens even on single GPU systems.
The most notable rendering related problem could be observed in Pacific Fighter game, the one which has been renowned for vertex texturing and some other Nvidia-only techniques. Apparently, neither water, nor earth, nor skies could be displayed.
Far Cry crashed pretty often in both SLI AA as well as in high-resolution modes, but we have to admit that the game itself does not support ultra high resolutions out of the box and we also could not benchmark the Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire in 2560x1600.
The Call of Duty 2 game usually froze after changing resolution, which made it nearly impossible to benchmark. At the same time, Battlefield 2 game did not start at all.
Serious Sam 2 could not be benchmarked with 32xs AA in 2560x1600. While such setting is useless, as it is too slow, this issue still does not improve overall impression about the quad SLI platform.
3DMark05 crashed with SLI AA enabled in higher resolutions, while The Elder Scroll’s: Oblivion game froze when we attempted to take screenshots in 2560x1600 resolution with 32xs SLI AA enabled.
During the testing we also experienced numerous crashes and freezes in different situation, primarily in high resolutions or with high levels of SLI AA enabled, which is why we could not compete quite a number of test runs. After numerous crashes we decided to switch to a 1000W power supply unit bought in Northern America, as we believed that the 660W power supply shipped with the system (as there are no higher-wattage power supplies in Europe) could not supply enough power for the machine. Even after the 1kW PSU was installed, the crashes and freezes remained.
The continuous crashes, freezes and problems of the currently shipping Nvidia GeForce quad SLI systems may be associated with early revisions of the hardware, but as the hardware is shipping to customers, any issues with stability are totally unacceptable.