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This one almost had to be trashed altogether. Our DiRT 2 testing centers on the game demo, which includes a built-in benchmarking mode (the retail game does not come with this, and instead needs to be tested manually via FRAPS and a human pilot).
We noticed that the GF100-based cards were generating really high scores compared to the Radeon HD 5000-series cards, which seemed a little odd since both architectures are able to run the game in DirectX 11 mode. As it turns out, the GeForce GTX 480 and 470 aren’t properly detected as DX11 cards by the demo (though they function as expected in the retail game). So, we forced all of the boards into DX9 mode in order to get a look at performance in a DX9 title (rather than toss DiRT 2 as a benchmark altogether) .
Without anti-aliasing applied, the dual-GPU ATI cards take first-place finishes at 1920x1200 and 2560x1600. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 480 performs well against ATI’s Radeon HD 5870, though its advantage slowly evaporates in moving from 16x10 to 19x12 to 25x16. The GeForce GTX 470 starts in front of the Radeon HD 5870, slips between ATI’s two fastest single-GPU cards at 1920x1200, and then falls behind the 5850 at 2560x1600.