Low Resolution Comparison
To run through Quad SLI's range we will first compare it to some other cards at low resolution. We say "low resolution" because this is the traditional band where 97% of most gamers play, according to Valve Software / Steam: at 1600x1200 or less. Interestingly, 95% play at 1280x1024 or less. What we find here is exactly what we would expect when we look at SLI performance versus a single card.
As the amount of component management and resources devoted to making a multi-GPU setup operate increases, so does the overhead to the system. It takes more effort from the system to run four complex system components together than it does for a single card. With this in mind, we should expect that Quad SLI will not scale well at low resolution in games that do not scale well for traditional SLI. We need to keep in mind that this is not the purpose of Quad SLI, but this is the most some gamers will test their graphics cards at. In the following section we will look at how Quad SLI scales from low resolution to high, and see where it does its magic.