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Performance in Gaming Benchmarks: Strategies

Age of Empires 3

We don’t publish the results the ATI CrossFire platform in extreme FSAA modes due to the problem that arises in this game if you try to use them.

It is a weird picture: the participating graphics solutions all have nearly the same performance in every resolution. The single Radeon X1900 XT has the best minimum speed; the Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire tandem has a lower min speed, probably due to the overhead for synchronizing the two cards in CrossFire mode.

We’ve got all the best graphics hardware in this test, so the average performance is always on a comfortable level with enabled 4x FSAA.

Warhammer 40.000: Dawn of War

Like almost every game that uses stencil shadows, Dawn of War runs the fastest on Nvidia’s GeForce 6 and 7 series cards. Moreover, the game doesn’t even use the SM2.0 features, not to mention SM3.0. The GeForce 7950 GX2 turns in one of the best results in this game, being just a little slower than the GeForce 7900 GTX SLI which is way more expensive and requires a SLI-compatible mainboard. The results of the GeForce 7950 GX2 are comparable with those of the GeForce 7900 GT SLI, but the latter is less practical just like any classic dual-card multi-GPU rig.

The average performance of the Radeon X1900 XT CrossFire is somewhere near the same point, but its speed goes down more in difficult game scenes because this graphics architecture cannot accelerate stencil shadows rendering.

Nvidia’s solutions including GeForce 7950 GX2, have the same performance in 8x SLI AA mode.

Thanks to its new driver, the GeForce 7950 GX2 manages to compete with the GeForce 7900 GTX SLI, both delivering a playable frame rate in all the standard resolutions. The GeForce 7900 GT SLI configuration, comparable in price with the GeForce 7950 GX2, is not fast enough for 1600x1200.

We remind you that we used ForceWare 84.21 for the classic SLI systems and ForceWare 91.29 for the GeForce 7950 GX. The performance picture would probably be different if we used the new 90 series driver for all of Nvidia’s solutions.

In 16 SLI AA mode the user has to limit himself to 1024x768 resolution. The GeForce 7950 GX2 cannot keep the same pace with the GeForce 7900 GTX SLI here, the gap amounting to about 10%.

 
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