Graphics Boosted: 790GX's Side-Port Explored

Game Benchmarks

Crysis doesn’t benefit much from CrossFire, but shared memory and side-port memory plus shared memory provide the best performance in this game. That said, the game is extremely demanding, so we could only get up to 17.5 frames per second at 800x600 resolution. If you want to play Crysis, buy a decent graphics card, as no integrated graphics unit will make you happy.

Supreme Commander is also almost unplayable when using only the side-port memory: 128 MB of video memory just isn’t enough. Using the side-port RAM and 512 MB of shared memory makes the title good enough to play, but it’s not fun. The CrossFire setup using an additional Radeon HD 3450 almost doubles the frame rate. Again, if you want to game, spend $100+ for a beefier graphics card: $150 and up will get you something powerful.

Unreal Tournament 3 is actually playable using our CrossFire setup, although minimum frame rates are lower than our average result. All performance results except the one that is based on only side-port memory provide sufficient performance for occasional gaming.

World in Conflict benefits a lot from Hybrid CrossFire mode running the integrated Radeon HD 3300 and the discrete HD 3450 card, but 20 frames per second is the most you can get at 1280x1024. We picked this resolution as it’s the de facto standard for mainstream flat panel displays. Once again, the side-port memory paired with shared memory provides the best bang, but it’s still far from delivering satisfying game performance.