Benchmark Results: AMD Graphics Cards, CrossFire
The most frustrating part of putting this comparison together was spending a full day troubleshooting AMD’s multi-GPU issues. After swapping out power supplies, graphics cards, SSDs, fresh Windows installations, and motherboard slots, there was simply no rhyme or reason to the number of problems that prevented me from running a dual-GPU card or two single-GPU boards. Then came the idea to trade out memory kits, which actually ended up ameliorating some of my woes. Instead of crashing upon launching the game, CrossFire-based setups crashed when I changed settings at the end of the run or when I’d load up a level.
After a long night of restarting Battlefield 3 after every resolution change, I finally had results for four different card combinations: two 6990s (quad-GPU, yay), 6970s, 6950s, and 6870s.
The Radeon HD 6990s are absolute beasts, pegging this game at its 200 FPS limit at 1680x1050 and 1920x1080. It naturally scales poorly at those resolutions because it simply cannot go any faster. At 2560x1600, however, two additional GPUs contribute an extra 90%.
Scaling amongst the other cards ranges from 83% to 97%, which is really quite phenomenal given the issues AMD encountered pre-Radeon HD 6000 series. With performance in its favor, the company now needs to hammer out the stability/reliability issues currently plaguing its drivers in Battlefield 3. It’s validating that at least some of our own readers are experiencing CrossFire-oriented issues as well, though I also know plenty of you are running CrossFire configurations problem-free.