Performance in First-Person 3D Shooters
Aliens vs. Predator
This game is benchmarked in DirectX 11 mode with the highest graphics quality settings.
The 3-way RV870-based configuration expectedly beats the GeForce GTX 480 SLI. The difference is small and due to the architectural specifics of the graphics cores from AMD and Nvidia. That subsystem is going to cost more than $1000 and won’t be quiet, especially in 3D applications, yet it proves that AMD is just as advanced technologically as Nvidia.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
The ordinary Radeon HD 5870 CrossFire tandem feels good in this game, being only inferior to the GeForce GTX 480 SLI at 2560x1600. With the addition of a third GPU, AMD’s graphics platform goes ahead and enjoys a considerable lead at the highest resolution. Take note that the third graphics core does not produce serious performance benefits at 1920x1080 and 1600x900.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
The 3-way CrossFire is not very successful in this test, only matching the GeForce GTX 480 SLI at 2560x1600. We cannot yet benchmark graphics cards at nonstandard resolutions with two or more monitors whereas the maximum single-monitor resolution of 2560x1600 is playable even on the single-GPU flagship cards from both AMD and Nvidia.
Even the 3-way subsystem from AMD cannot do anything with the resolution of 2560x1600 in this game. The highest performance is still delivered by the GeForce GTX 480 SLI but its bottom speed is not high enough for comfortable play using the highest graphics quality settings. It is the 3-way CrossFire that wins at the lower resolutions, yet we wouldn’t recommend it for this game. It is noisy and consumes a lot of power whereas you can play the game just as comfortably on the single Radeon HD 5970.