The Zotac GeForce 9800 GX2 is 6-7% behind the 3-way CrossFireX platform, just like in 3DMark05, but 3DMark06 provides more detailed information about performance of modern graphics cards. Let’s see.
Strangely enough, it is in the SM2.0 tests that the Zotac GeForce 9800 GX2 is the farthest from the leader despite the advantage in the amount of TMUs. Something prevents it from performing properly as its result is almost no different from the ordinary GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB. We can’t explain this behavior.
The 3-way CrossFireX platform wins the SM3.0/HDR tests with a smaller lead. These tests make extensive use of the GPU’s computing capacities, and RV670-based solutions are unrivalled yet in this respect.
The first test is similar to what we’ve seen in 3DMark05, but the Zotac GeForce 9800 GX2 takes the lead sooner, at 1920x1200, due to the increased complexity of the scene. At 2560x1500 it is two times as fast as its opponent. Nvidia’s solution wins in the second test, but with a smaller advantage at 2560x1600.
It’s just the opposite in the SM3.0/HDR tests: the 3-way CrossFireX platform wins both of them. It’s only in the 2560x1600 resolution of the first test that the Zotac GeForce 9800 GX2 is competitive against the 3-way system from ATI. The latter enjoys a bigger advantage in the second test which puts a lower load on the texture processors.