The GTX 280 is well known for its high power requirements. Based on the same circuit design, we’d expect the mildly-crippled GTX 260 Core 216 GPU and slightly-slower GDDR3 DRAM to increase power consumption simply because three, rather than two, cards were used.
Though the 3-way graphics solution does draw more power, the actual difference is surprisingly small. One could argue that the 3-way GTX 260 Core 216 solution is even more efficient, since it has an even greater lead in computational power, but its performance lead in games was limited to a single title.
I thought that the only problem was that one of the builds performed less than the last one at the same price point. But then again I am used to the comments section of such articles being full of whinners and idiots so its not much of a surprise...
285 SLI is looking interesting
This was a good review, it pointed out to us that buying 3 260s is not so beneficial, Crysis is a great game, but it is not the deciding factor for the purchase of my next video card.
If I really want SLI I would choose as fewer cards as possible. The driver mess and inefficient scaling makes no sense to get more than two cards. GTX 295 > GTX 280 x2 > GTX 260 x3 > 9800GT x4.
Better to notice the fact the 280x2 consistently beats the 260x3 except in the one game that sets the standards for erratic performance results.