Performance in Third-Person 3D Shooters
Not a heavy application, Dead Space is predisposed to Nvidia’s solutions. It is the first test in which the Sapphire HD 4850 X2 is routed by its opponent, being 46-53% slower depending on the resolution. The reason can be guessed if you look at the low performance of the Radeon HD 4870 X2 and the good result of the Radeon HD 4870 1GB. So, CrossFire technology just does not work correctly or is incompatible with the game engine, which lowers the performance of the multi-GPU solutions. They do provide comfortable frame rates even at 2560x1600 but the problem is obvious. Hopefully, it will be solved with game or driver updates.
Devil May Cry 4
The Sapphire HD 4850 X2 feels the lack of fast memory its elder brother is equipped with, yet it is still ahead of the Leadtek WinFast GTX 280 at every resolution, including 2560x1600. The gap varies from 23 to 41% depending on the resolution. It should be noted, however, that the Leadtek card is quieter and consumes less power but provides the same level of comfort in this game. Thus, Nvidia’s approach to designing top-end graphics cards is viable, too.
Grand Theft Auto IV
The game does not allow to set Texture Quality at higher than Medium for graphics cards with 512MB of graphics memory whereas the maximum safe value of View Distance is 32. So, we had to select the mentioned values for our test. The other options were set at their maximums. The game’s built-in benchmarking options do not provide information about the bottom speed, so there is no such info in the diagrams.
The built-in test is not a good measure of the performance of today’s cards. We can only see a difference between the two opponents at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600. The Sapphire is 6% ahead at the former resolution and 10% behind its opponents at the latter resolution. This can be viewed as a draw, but the better noise characteristics of the Leadtek WinFast GTX 280 are an advantage.