Far Cry 2
Nvidia enjoys an all-around triumph with its GeForce GTX 285 SLI tandem outperforming the Radeon HD 4890 CrossFireX by 12-29%. However, the bottom speed of both platforms was comparable at resolutions up to 2560x1600 and both were equals in terms of gamer’s comfort. ATI’s solution maintains a bottom speed of over 25fps at 2560x1600 but falls far behind the GeForce GTX 285 SLI. This additional reserve of bottom speed may come in handy in certain scenes.
As for the GeForce GTX 295, it can successfully compete with the Radeon HD 4890 CrossFireX even at the highest resolution. If Nvidia’s solution has a comparable or lower retail price, we’d recommend it to Far Cry 2 players because it is easier to use.
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
Here, ATI’s solution is in the lead at the first three resolutions although the advantage of the Radeon HD 4890 CrossFireX over the GeForce GTX 285 SLI is negligible and its bottom speed is considerably lower. Despite its three GPUs the Radeon HD 4870 3-way CrossFireX configuration delivers the same performance at a much higher level of power consumption.
The GeForce GTX 285 SLI subsystem is only 3% ahead of its opponent at 2560x1600 in terms of average performance. The GeForce GTX 295 is still the best solution that delivers a frame rate of 60fps at 2560x1600 but is compatible with nearly every mainboard that has at least one PCI Express x16 slot.
Left 4 Dead
The game runs on the Source engine and has an integrated benchmark, but the latter does not report the bottom speed information.
The two multi-GPU tandems are roughly equal but Nvidia’s solution gains the upper hand at 2560x1600. The Radeon HD 4890 CrossFireX is challenged by the GeForce GTX 295 here. The latter card can make an optimal purchase for a gamer who does not care much about his computer budget but does not want to bother about multiple cards, SLI connectors, etc. But if you are willing to put up with the drawbacks typical of discrete multi-GPU solutions, we can recommend you to buy two GeForce GTX 285 cards and an appropriate mainboard.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
To achieve a playable speed in this game we disabled FSAA and such resource-consuming options as Sun rays, Wet surfaces and Volumetric Smoke. We use the Enhanced full dynamic lighting (DX10) mode for our test and additionally enable the DirectX 10.1 mode for the ATI cards.
This game, besides Crysis Warhead, is among the most demanding applications on our list of benchmarks despite the relaxed settings described above. Therefore it is highly interesting to watch top-end hardware run it.
This time every test participant with two or more GPUs can deliver a playable speed at the resolution of 2560x1600. The best bottom speed can be achieved with the Radeon HD 4890 CrossFireX tandem thanks to its increased clock rates and DirectX 10.1 support whereas the GeForce GTX 285 SLI is somewhat inferior to it in terms of both average and bottom speed. We can also note that Nvidia’s solutions feel more confident at lower display resolutions here.