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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.

Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.