Multi-GPU World Tour 2006 - Uncommon Benchmarks - Page 8 of 9
Review By Mike Chambers - July 26, 2006
MID-RANGE SYSTEM REPORT
The NVIDIA SLI platform dominated the mid-range system. It outperformed the ATI CrossFire platform and offered more combinations of playable resolution and antialiasing settings. CrossFire was problematic in 3 out of the 5 games that were tested. Some problems could have been attributed to the nForce4 hotfix driver, although similar problems were present on the low-end CrossFire system using official Catalyst drivers.
ATI CrossFire Observations
The Radeon X1900 GT CrossFire setup was limited to 256MB of graphics memory, which put it at a disadvantage from the start. Neverwinter Nights and Painkiller performed without incident. Performance in Neverwinter Nights was impressive as the game had been problematic with ATI graphics cards in the past. However, the nForce4 hotfix driver could have been responsible given the poor performance of Neverwinter Nights on the low-end CrossFire system.
In Morrowind, Super AA was usable, except at higher resolutions. Gameplay deteriorated the closer the frame rate approached 30 frames per second as player movement began to stutter. Morrowind crashed on three different occasions when the resolution was changed from 1600x1200 to 1920x1440. The average frame rate dropped into the single digits using 6X antialiasing at a resolution of 1920x1440 or higher.
As with the low-end CrossFire system, Brothers in Arms performance was extremely poor.
The Dungeon Siege 2 results are somewhat misleading. Gameplay became extremely sluggish in areas where heavy action took place although the minimum frame rate remained at or near 30 frames per second. With SuperAA enabled, the screen flickered whenever the mouse pointer moved. On one occasion while starting the game, a pop-up window appeared that stated "a cable could not be detected and that CrossFire would be disabled."
NVIDIA SLI Observations
The GeForce 7950 GX2 performed exceptionally well. All of the games tested ran smoothly although the gameplay in Dungeon Siege 2 occasionally felt sluggish at higher resolutions.
The system hung once after changing the desktop resolution.
The system shut down once with an infinite loop in nv4_disp.dll upon exiting and immediately re-entering Dungeon Siege 2.