GTX680 Quad SLI vs HD7970 Quad CrossfireX Review

Editor: Richard Weatherstone  Date: 24-04-12   18 Comment(s) - Join the discussion here
Graphics Card Scaling - Gaming
Perhaps the most important aspect to consider when comparing multiple graphics card configurations is the performance scaling - how much performance extra graphics cards will give. It's all good and well having a wall of GPU's in your system but if they nothing to the performance then there really is no point other than to show off just how much money you have to waste (and how little you care about the environment!).

The graphs below are an amalgamation of the various settings used in each game/benchmark to give you an overview of how much performance adding an extra card will give you when compared to lesser configurations. I will however concede that their are an infinite amount of settings and configurations that may give different results. For example the higher the resolution, the higher GPU scaling is likely to be as that added GPU grunt will be put to use. So with that said, the results below are only intended to give an indication of performance gains based on the overall performance of the settings used in our run of benchmarks...

Gaming Benchmarks

Battlefield 3



Dual AMD cards tend to scale better in EA's shooter with the FPS almost doubling compared to a 68% increase given by NVIDIA. Tri-SLI gives the least increase in FPS giving less than half the performance increase of AMD while in 4x configuration, both setups offer less than a 20% improvement over triple card setups.

Crysis 2



Crysis 2 favours SLI over Crossfire but clearly anything more than a dual card configuration offers nothing. Indeed in our testing the performance of the test rig actually suffered with anything more than a dual card configuration!

Crysis Warhead



The tables were turned once more when we ran the older Crysis Warhead game with Crossfire once again scaling very well, offering over 80% increase in FPS. Once more however we see that four cards did not offer any increase in FPS (Quad SLI impeded performance).

Batman: Arkham City



Out of all the games tested today, Batman offered the least in terms of multi GPU comparability. While there were minimal gains in the varying SLI setups, anything more than dual AMD configurations resulted in a drop in frames per second.

The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim



Skyrim favours SLI over Crossfire here yet once again we saw a slight performance deficit when SLI was used in 3 and four card configurations. AMD too showed a performance decrease when four cards were used with 3 cards showing only a minute gain in performance.

DiRT 3



Now this is more like it. All of the graphics card setups, be it NVIDIA or AMD showed performance gains were to be had, albeit with diminishing returns the more cards you add. A 92% and 54% increase by AMD and NVIDIA respectively is nothing to be snuffed at and once again we see AMD have the advantage when mutliple GPU's are added.

Metro 2033



This time we see NVIDIA hold the scaling advantage with all 3 different setups scaling better than their AMD adversaries. All the configurations did however showed performance increases were to be had thanks to the high graphical demands of Metro 2033.

Let's move on to the benchmarking area where those most likely to have such a setup will reside...

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