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Core i7: 4-Way CrossFire, 3-way SLI, Paradise?

Benchmark Results: Company of Heroes

This one is no contest at all. Nvidia crushes AMD, with a single GeForce GTX 280 at 2560x1600 trouncing a four-way CrossFireX configuration at 1920x1200.

It doesn’t really matter if you go Core i7 or Core 2 Extreme—both GTX 280-equipped setups dominate. However, we again see the Core i7 965 Extreme realizing an extra bit of performance that wasn’t available on Core 2.

This isn’t to say the Radeons are somehow “broken” in Company of Heroes. We still see scaling from one GPU to two and four. However, it’s much less pronounced than the gains realized by competing cards, and thus looks less significant on the same chart. The good news is that even a single Radeon HD 4870 is playable at 1920x1200 on any of our AMD-equipped machines. Graphics is holding up performance here, though, not processing power—a fact reflected by the Phenom’s ability to hang right with Intel’s high-end solutions.

In a nearly mirror image of what we saw in the previous chart, Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 280s exert a commanding lead with anti-aliasing turned on. We hesitate to call the detail setting “free.” However, when you’re using three of Nvidia’s highest-end boards in an array of power-sucking cooperation, there is a minimal performance drop when the feature is turned on. Wait—scratch that. You actually gain performance when it’s enabled on a Core i7 system.

Once again, the Radeon HD 4870s run into a brick wall at about 57 FPS and simply cannot do any better. Yes, vsync was forced off in the drivers.

Perhaps even more amazing than AMD’s poor showing in this title is that turning on 8x anti-aliasing actually buys extra speed, with the exception of the 512 MB card’s attempt at 2560x1600. We’re thinking that something is terribly wrong in the latest Catalyst driver since these issues were manifest in testing with the shipping 8.10 set (790FX) and the very latest beta hotfix released to improve performance on X58.

  • randomizer
    SLI scales so nicely on X58.
    Reply
  • DFGum
    Yep, i hafta say being able to switch brands of graphics cards on a whim and selling off the old is great. Knowing im going to be getting the preformance these cards are capable of (better price to preformance ratio) is nice also.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    randomizerSLI scales so nicely on X58.
    Hey you even got a "First" in there Randomizer!
    Reply
  • randomizer
    cangeliniHey you even got a "First" in there Randomizer!And modest old me didn't even mention it. :lol:
    Reply
  • enewmen
    Still waiting for the 4870 X2s to be used in these bechmarks. I thought THG got a couple for the $4500 exteme system. But still happy to see articles like this so early!
    Reply
  • cangelini
    enewmenStill waiting for the 4870 X2s to be used in these bechmarks. I thought THG got a couple for the $4500 exteme system. But still happy to see articles like this so early!
    Go check out the benchmark pages man! Every one with 1, 2, 4 4870s. The 2x and 4x configs are achieved with X2s, too.

    Oh, and latest drivers all around, too. Crazy, I know! =)
    Reply
  • enewmen
    cangeliniI found it, just read the article too quickly. - My bad.
    "A single Radeon HD 4870 X2—representing our 2 x Radeon HD 4870 scores—is similarly capable of scaling fan speed on its own. "
    Hope to see driver updates like you said.
    Reply
  • spyde
    Hi there, my question regarding these benchmarks with the HD card is, "was a 2G card use or a 1G". I am about to buy a new system and was looking to buy 2 x HD4870X2 2G cards, but with these results its looking a bit ify. I hope you can answer my question.
    Cheers.
    Reply
  • Proximon
    That's a nice article. I especially like the way the graphs are done. everything is scaled right, and you get an accurate representation.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    These are 2GB cards =)
    Reply