Benchmark Results: Ultra Quality Preset
The Ultra preset adds 4x MSAA anti-aliasing and the highest detail levels available.
Of course, nobody is going to play this game on one of these cards at 1280x1024. For the same of comparison, though, we're able to see how much more demanding the Ultra preset is than Medium. The Radeon HD 7770 and GeForce GTX 650 Ti manage to stay above 30 FPS, but they don't have a lot left in them to handle higher resolutions.
At 1680x1050, AMD's Radeon HD 7770 and Nvidia's GeForce GTX 650 Ti dip below 30 FPS a couple of times. We'd still consider them viable options, though. More attractive, perhaps, are the Radeon HD 7850 1 GB and GeForce GTX 660, which sustain performance in excess of 40 FPS at all times.
AMD's Radeon HD 7850 1 GB suffers most pointedly from its single gigabyte of memory, which hurts its performance with high levels of anti-aliasing and Shadow Quality applied. We'd now consider the Radeon HD 7770 and GeForce GTX 650 Ti unplayable.
We also add the Radeon HD 7850 1 GB in CrossFire and a pair of GeForce GTX 660s in SLI, along with a GeForce GTX 680. Nvidia's fastest single-GPU board keeps up with AMD's Radeon HD 7970, while the Radeon HD 7850 1 GB cards in CrossFire achieve a slightly higher average frame rate than the single-GPU boards, but again are hampered by significant frame rate drops. The GeForce GTX 660s in SLI easily deliver the most attractive performance in our test.
At high resolutions, graphics memory capacity is needed most. That's why the Radeon HD 7850 1 GB setup in CrossFire is hammered to the point of being unplayable (succumbing even to a single GeForce GTX 660). Again, you've have to cut anti-aliasing and shadow detail to get this setup back in the realm of acceptable performance.
Just because the 2 GB GeForce GTX 660 beats a paid of Radeon HD 7850s doesn't make it playable, though. Really, you need a GeForce GTX 670, 680, or Radeon HD 7970 to average more than 40 FPS and maintain a sub-30 FPS minimum.
Two GeForce GTX 660s in SLI give you a good average frame rate, but we did notice instances where performance would drop precariously during our time gaming on them. Unfortunately, we've found multi-card configurations to be inconsistent at times, and this is no exception.