Performance in First-Person 3D Shooters
Call of Duty: World at War
The relatively inexpensive GeForce GTS 250 SLI tandem looks good in this test. At resolutions below 2560x1600 it is inferior to the Radeon HD 4850 X2 but faster than the GeForce GTX 285. And it even goes ahead of them both at 2560x1600. The performance growth relative to the single card varies from 50 to 70% depending on the resolution. That’s quite far from the theoretical maximum, yet impressive for a $300 solution. This solution is even more appealing for users who are going to upgrade their graphics subsystem in two steps.
On the other hand, the single GeForce GTX 285 is a good option, too. It is simpler to install and use, requires but one PCI Express x16 slot, and does not depend on software optimizations. And it ensures a comfortable frame rate at every resolution including 2560x1600.
Although the GeForce GTS 250 SLI tandem has the best average speed in three out of the four resolutions, being especially faster than the GeForce GTX 285 and Radeon HD 4850 X2 at 1280x1024. However, its bottom speed is no higher than 20fps. In other words, the SLI tandem cannot ensure smooth gameplay in every scene, even though is close to doing that.
Take note that the gap between the GeForce GTS 250 SLI and Radeon HD 4850 X2 shrinks from 25% to 8% as the resolution grows up, and the dual-chip card from ATI is even ahead at 2560x1600.
Enemy Territory: Quake Wars
We disabled the integrated frame rate limiter in the game console for the sake of comparing the cards. The game’s built-in benchmarking options do not provide information about the bottom speed, so there is no such info in the diagrams.
We can see no clear winner in this test. The GeForce GTS 250 SLI and the single GeForce GTX 285 go ahead in different resolutions and are joined by the Radeon HD 4850 X2 at 1920x1200. The GeForce GTX 285 is better in such parameters as noise level and the ease of installation and use.