Skip to main content

AMD Dual Graphics Analysis: Better Benchmarks; Same Experience?

Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

The Radeon HD 6670 cards provide a noticeable speed-up with Dual Graphics enabled, while the Radeon HD 7750 offers no benefit at all.

All of the test configurations are fairly consistent over the course of our benchmark.

Skyrim suffers from alarmingly high frame time variance in every single-GPU configuration except for the GCN-based Radeon HD 7750. Inexplicably, the variance actually decreases with Dual Graphics enabled, so we're wondering if Dual Graphics does, in fact, improve the experience playing through this title.

Unfortunately, there is no correlation between frame time variance and perceived smoothness in Skyrim. The Radeon HD 6670 DDR3 in a Dual Graphics array averages 40.7 FPS, and that's relatively close to the Radeon HD 7750's 47.9 FPS average. But the actual experience is as choppy as an A10-6800K on its own, running at 23.8 FPS.

  • beta212
    Hmm, IDK, I feel like there is definitely a performance boost in certain games that are just bordering on playability. That said, if you want really good graphics, why not buy the Athlon with disabled GPU cores? Same goes for the intel P series. Just add a discrete card.
    Reply
  • 17seconds
    "That's just not right."

    If I had just paid good money for a new graphics card for Dual Graphics, I'd be feeling pretty well cheated out of my money right now.
    Reply
  • joytech22
    The drivers tested in this analysis are a tiny bit too old, just before the Crossfire Frame Pacing fix was released.

    Could we see this performed again with Catalyst 13.8?

    Reply
  • cleeve
    11356019 said:
    The drivers tested in this analysis are a tiny bit too old, just before the Crossfire Frame Pacing fix was released.
    Could we see this performed again with Catalyst 13.8?

    See page 2:

    "You'll notice that we're using the Catalyst 13.6 Beta 2 driver instead of Catalyst 13.8 Beta, which adds a frame pacing feature for smoother, more consistent output. AMD tells us that the new driver does not affect Dual Graphics configurations. It only works with multiple discrete GPUs. Rest assured that the configuration we're presenting is as up to date as possible."

    Reply
  • Calculatron
    Despite the bad news, I think this article was just what a lot of people needed. It helps clears up a lot of confusion and hearsay about AMD Dual Graphics options, like the being able to enable the Radeon HD 7750, or if GDDR5 makes any difference or not. More importantly, it shows how important software optimization is for product performance, and hopefully AMD strives to eliminate similar issues in the future.

    As this issue unfolds, I hope there are as informative follow-ups to accompany them. Good job!
    Reply
  • joytech22

    Ah - my apologies.. Thanks for the response.
    Reply
  • rpgplayer
    Well, now I see that my Llano box I built for a media center 2 years ago will be completely rebuilt rather than getting an add in card. If AMD's next gen APU will use the FM2+ boards as well I may go that route. If not, I'll probably wind up dumping AMD all together and go with an Intel rig.
    Reply
  • edwd2
    thanks for the clarification
    Reply
  • killerchickens
    Can frame pacing be forced?
    Reply
  • If only AMD spent more of their time and their resources on software optimization rather than on those competition-bashing ads. Seeing some silly ads or reading about some flip/flopping (I now get paid by a different overlord) salesman, bashing Intel or nVidia products, does not instill the confidence in buying AMD products, specifically their APUs and (professional) GPUs. I really do want to buy your stuff AMD; less marketing more software development...pleeease.
    Reply