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AMD CrossFire Vs. Nvidia SLI Scaling Analysis

It’s That Time Again

The new GeForce GTX 460 made us sit up and take notice, particularly when we paired them up in a dual-card SLI configuration. As our own Thomas Soderstrom showed, two GeForce GTX 460s in SLI can even outperform Nvidia's GeForce GTX 480 flagship.

Nvidia recently began a bit of a price war with AMD. Retail prices for graphics cards like the GeForce GTX 470 and 480 are plummeting, bringing the fight to AMD’s doorstep. GeForce  GTX 470s are selling for as little as $279; GeForce GTX 480s are going for $450 on Newegg.

With a one-year head start and plenty of margin in its pocket, AMD isn't too proud to engage in a bit of a brawl. Radeon HD 5850s are $260 all day long on Newegg, and rebates are taking these cards as low as $210. 

This news forces us to challenge preconceived notions of relative value. It lets us know that it’s time for a thorough Radeon HD 5000- vs. GeForce GTX 400-series performance analysis. Today we're testing the Radeon HD 5830, 5850, and 5870, along with the GeForce GTX 460, 470, and 480 to provide a thorough understanding of how these cards perform relative to one another in both single- and dual-card configurations.

There’s not much else to say. Let’s get ready to rumble!

  • reprotected
    So... Nvidia won?
    Reply
  • joytech22
    Now i can safely say that i think i made the right choice :)
    (GTX470 SLI)
    Reply
  • jrharbort
    Nvidia wins this war thanks to the larger standard framebuffer. ATI needs to pick up in this area a bit, as 1GB framebuffers have been around for a while now. Looking foward to another article based on the next gen cards a few months from now. Should be interesting. =)

    Good job to both ATI and Nvidia on this generation.
    Reply
  • gordo_46
    BUT.. i would have preferred 2-3 way SLI with GTX460's.

    gtx 460 can only do 2 way sli
    Reply
  • gkay09
    The SLI scaling is one place where Nvidia wins almost all the time, but ATI has improved a lot though, it still need to work harder if they want to have a complete win over Nvidia...
    Reply
  • joytech22
    gordo_46gtx 460 can only do 2 way sli
    Aww damn that's right..
    Reply
  • gordo_46
    yeah it a shame that it can only do 2 way sli. We would get 3 way gtx 470 sli level performance at amd radeon power consumption
    Reply
  • Nice article. I've made some charts, based on the data in this article, that reflect SLI and CrossFireX scalings. Nvidia's victory is clear cut at 2560 x 1600.

    1920x1200
    http://www.imagebam.com/image/741eca102680169

    2560x1600
    http://www.imagebam.com/image/0295fe102680172

    Also, when it comes to GPU discussions, the comment sections of Tom's and Fudzilla are swarmed by fanboys of 1 certain team. (Can you tell which? It's already obvious here, but much more so at Fudzilla.) Competition is good. Don't downrank comments just because they favor the "other" team.
    Reply
  • Twoboxer
    12 million people with WoW subscriptions, new expansion due 12/7/10, lot's of vid cards being bought for that purpose . . . I know its not easy, the format may have to be different, but can you guys consider including WoW in the benching runs?
    Reply
  • Yet another reason AMD would be happy to never have board of theirs allow SLI
    Reply