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GeForce GTX 680, Part 2: SLI, 5760x1080, And Overclocking

Benchmark Results: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

First off, while Skyrim looks great across three displays, it almost certainly wasn't written with wide-screen gaming in mind. The game natively has an issue where, when you have three monitors attached, it detects the correct horizontal resolution (5760x1080 in our case), but then uses a larger vertical resolution. The result is an almost unusable menu screen. Once you start a new game, everything looks fine. But getting there involves a lot of indiscriminate clicking if you don't know how to load a save point through the console. Fixes are available, but the latest version of Skyrim still hasn't been patched, it seems.

We ran into some odd, yet repeatable performance results in Skyrim. At 1920x1080, two Radeon HD 7970s turn out to be roughly as fast as a single board. There just isn’t a need for more graphics performance at this resolution, and even a pair of GeForce GTX 680s only facilitates a modest speed-up.

AMD’s dual-card performance numbers don’t change at all, really, as we shift to 2560x1600. But because everything else slows down, the Radeon HD 7970s move up into second place, behind the 680s that also aren’t affected much by the resolution increase.

By the time we test at 5760x1080, AMD’s Radeon HD 7970s pass the GTX 680s at Ultra quality settings, and trail at High quality presets with FXAA applied. Both single-card setups are pretty much tied up.

  • tacoslave
    amds driver team needs to get off its ass i mean look at those crossfire results thats downright pitiful .
    Reply
  • bystander
    tacoslaveamds driver team needs to get off its ass i mean look at those crossfire results thats downright pitiful .What is wrong with their crossfire performance?

    You do have to look at the high resolution benchmarks to see actual crossfire results, as 1080p benchmarks are being bottlenecked by the CPU.
    Reply
  • I am a PC
    It is quite clear that the Radeons are more powerful but that once again the Nvidia favoring benchmark suite once again favors Nvidia.
    Reply
  • Would like to see CUDA compute instead of openCL stuff. Something like Blender/Cycles benchmark.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    I am a PCIt is quite clear that the Radeons are more powerful but that once again the Nvidia favoring benchmark suite once again favors Nvidia.If you were to hand-pick a suite to favor AMD, what would it include? :) You did notice the Radeons doing really well in Battlefield and Metro, right?
    Reply
  • cangelini
    AgonothetaWould like to see CUDA compute instead of openCL stuff. Something like Blender/Cycles benchmark.Our Blender test is being working on right now--currently we're only utilizing the Tiles/Cycles engines for CPU reviews.
    Reply
  • My MSI 7870 came with Catalyst 12.3, so why use 12.2 if 12.3 is out there?
    Reply
  • weatherdude
    You know, I'm starting to wonder what the Tom's Hardware labs are like. I hope it has something to keep the staff sane as they run tests over and over again.

    Anyways, looks like the competition in the GPU world is going strong right now. To me both the GTX 680 and Radeon 7970 are fine pieces of work. The general compute performance of Tahiti is really really good though so will AMD really reduce the prices significantly below the GTX 680?

    Great review as usual. All your hard work is appreciated.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    sniper13xMy MSI 7870 came with Catalyst 12.3, so why use 12.2 if 12.3 is out there?Because it's not?
    Reply
  • cangelini
    weatherdudeYou know, I'm starting to wonder what the Tom's Hardware labs are like. I hope it has something to keep the staff sane as they run tests over and over again.Anyways, looks like the competition in the GPU world is going strong right now. To me both the GTX 680 and Radeon 7970 are fine pieces of work. The general compute performance of Tahiti is really really good though so will AMD really reduce the prices significantly below the GTX 680?Great review as usual. All your hard work is appreciated.If ever you're in Bakersfield, CA, you're welcome to drop by and check the lab out. It's like a gamer candy store, literally stacked with graphics cards higher than I can reach!
    Reply