Micro-Stuttering: The Current Situation
Micro-Stuttering Benchmarks Revisited
About one year ago, we published Micro-Stuttering And GPU Scaling In CrossFire And SLI. That article is still a good introduction for anyone unfamiliar with this issue. We felt it was time to revisit micro-stuttering to see if it's any less of a problem today. Although Sleeping Dogs is a title evangelized by AMD, it's modern and scales well under graphics card combinations from both AMD and Nvidia.
The large spikes you see in each chart happen when the benchmark changes scenes, and can safely be ignored.
SLI: Overall and Detailed Views
CrossFire: Overall and Detailed Views
Nvidia’s SLI technology is clearly better at minimizing frame times in this benchmark scenario. Even without its Adaptive VSync capability enabled, EVGA's GeForce GTX 690 produces a much smoother output than the Radeon HD 7990.
The higher latencies you see on AMD's card are very much noticeable during gameplay, manifesting as stuttering and skipped frames. Meanwhile, SLI appears much closer to what a single GPU working on its own achieves, though it doesn't quite get there.
Now that we've quantified the extensive micro-stuttering suffered by two Tahiti GPUs in CrossFire, we're going to try doing something about it by experimenting with different rendering methods in the Catalyst driver and overwriting AMD's default CrossFire profile.
The Four Benchmark Game Scenarios