Performance Summary Diagrams
The first two pairs of summary diagrams compare the efficiency of AMD CrossFireX and Nvidia SLI technologies (in percent of the performance of the respective single cards).
When used on the new AMD Radeon HD 6870 and HD 6850 graphics cards, CrossFireX technology is more effective than the SLI configuration built out of two GeForce GTX 460s. CrossFireX improves performance by 100% in as many as ten games! However, Nvidia's multi-GPU technology gains the upper hand in such games as S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, Borderlands, Left 4 Dead 2: The Sacrifice, StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty and Mafia 2. Neither technology worked correctly in NBA 2K11.
The next diagrams show the advantage of the Radeon HD 6870 over the Radeon HD 6850 at the default frequencies and when the latter is overclocked to the frequencies of the HD 6870 (900/4200 MHz).
The Radeon HD 6850 is an average 15-20% slower than its senior cousin across all the games and test modes but the gap shrinks to 3-6% when we overclock it. The overclocked Radeon HD 6850 is even as fast as the Radeon HD 6870 in certain games, resolutions and test modes.
And the last diagrams compare the performance of the AMD Radeon HD 6870 tandem in CrossFireX mode with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 SLI when the latter is overclocked to 830/4220 MHz (this is an attempt to emulate a GeForce GTX 470 SLI configuration). The performance of the CrossFireX configuration is shown relative to that of the SLI tandem:
We don’t see a clear winner here. The Radeon HD 6870 tandem fails in games where CrossFireX technology is not very efficient. Otherwise, it wins. You can see everything in the diagrams, though.