The GeForce GTX 680 (in its ASUS implementation today) remains the leader among single-GPU solutions in 3DMark 2011, yet the HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition is very close behind. The HIS 7950 IceQ X² Boost Clock is 15-17% slower than the latter while the HIS 7850 IceQ Turbo X is slower by an additional 22-30%. Meanwhile, the pair of junior cards in CrossFireX mode easily beats the top-end single-GPU solutions, including the ASUS. And we can’t even say that CrossFireX is efficient here as it only adds 67 to 84% to the performance of the single card. Anyway, the CrossFireX tandem built out of two HIS 7850 IceQ Turbo X cards scores a confident win in 3DMark 2011.
Metro 2033: The Last Refuge
AMD-based solutions have been traditionally strong in Metro 2033: The Last Refuge, so the ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP can only compete with the cheaper HIS 7950 IceQ X² Boost Clock while the HIS 7970 IceQ X² GHz Edition enjoys a substantial lead over the other single-GPU products. The CrossFireX tandem built out of two HIS 7850 IceQ Turbo X is even faster, although the CrossFireX technology is only 72-76% efficient here.
Total War: SHOGUN 2 – Fall of the Samurai
The overall picture is similar to what we’ve seen in Metro 2033: The Last Refuge, but the Nvidia-based solution looks more confident. The HIS 7850 IceQ Turbo X transforms completely as soon as you add a second card to it. It is only with enabled antialiasing that the CrossFireX tandem cannot beat the ASUS GeForce GTX 680 DirectCU II TOP, the CrossFireX technology being over 90% efficient.
Crysis 2 is interesting for the fierce competition between the GeForce GTX 680 and the Radeon HD 7970 as well as for the peculiar behavior of the CrossFireX tandem. The CrossFireX technology is 66 to 67% efficient when full-screen antialiasing is off. But as soon as it is turned on, the two HIS 7850 IceQ Turbo X cards slow down and are hardly faster than the single such card. Graphics cards with a large amount of memory are the best choice for multi-GPU configurations, so it looks like 2 gigabytes isn’t enough for the Radeon HD 7850s in CrossFireX mode with antialiasing enabled.
CrossFireX shows its best in the less heavy application. The tandem built out of two HIS 7850 IceQ Turbo X cards is unrivalled here. The GeForce GTX 680 goes neck and neck with the Radeon HD 7970, both being closely followed by the Radeon HD 7950.