The 3DMark06 results are more interesting: the system with two GeForce 9600 GT cards working in SLI mode scores over 12,000 points. This is over 1000 less than the total score of the Radeon HD 3870 X2 that features far more advanced computing capabilities.
The described SLI configuration isn’t impressive in the SM2.0 tests being somewhat faster than the GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB and almost as fast as the GeForce 9800 GTX.
The GeForce 9600 GT SLI is far more confident in the SM3.0/HDR tests, outperforming every single-chip card and being only inferior to the dual-chip Radeon HD 3870 X2 with its 640 shader processors.
It’s all very different when we enable 4x FSAA. The GeForce 9600 GT SLI doesn’t show anything extraordinary in the total result for the SM2.0 tests, it is now ahead of every single-chip solution from Nvidia, including the GeForce 9800 GTX. The Radeon HD 3870 X2 is left behind in the first test, too. ATI’s solution is dragged down by its texture processor architecture with two filter unit per each two address units but it wins the second test due to its impressive computing capabilities.
The ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 is in the lead in both SM3.0/HDR tests but the GeForce 9600 GT SLI tandem is second with a large lead over the single-chip solutions. The alternate frame rendering proves to be better than the double amount of ALUs and TMUs in the GeForce 9800 GTX and 8800 GTS 512MB.