Benchmark Results: Real-World Games
Based on your feedback, we're benchmarking these high-end cards using extreme quality settings and resolutions, including the multi-monitor setups they're designed to drive. This does limit the number of games we're able to test, since not all titles support Nvidia Surround and AMD Eyefinity.
What we notice is that the beta Catalyst 12.11 driver does, in fact, deliver a massive performance boost in a majority of the games we're testing. Nvidia only manages to maintain an advantage in long-time strongholds like Battlefield 3 and Batman: Arkham City, even though AMD jumps from 25 to 30 percent in Battlefield 3, practically making it a draw.
The gains in CrossFire configurations are a bit more moderate. We still don’t know how AMD is improving performance this much. Hopefully it isn't doing anything to graphics quality, as we've seen in the past (Do AMD's Radeon HD 7000s Trade Image Quality For Performance?). We aren't able to discern any difference at first glance, but we plan to take a closer look in an upcoming story. Unfortunately, overzealous German customs officials already did their part to make this story late by Googling for the price of a graphics card not yet on the market.
Crysis 2: DirectX 11
Batman: Arkham City
Alien vs. Predator
The massive performance difference between the Nvidia and AMD cards is gone in Battlefield 3, so long as you're talking about boards based on AMD's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture.
Whatever advantage Nvidia maintains has more to do with the game sequence we tested than generally-better performance. AMD manages to draw even or pull ahead in less-taxing workloads.
Nvidia’s SLI technology remains more effective in this game than AMD’s CrossFire. So, we're calling it a draw. To the delight of gamers, the days when you had to pick one vendor over the other for a good experience in Battlefield 3 are over.