Results: Far Cry 3
For about $920, two GeForce GTX 680s in SLI deliver the highest average frame rate in Far Cry 3, followed by the pricier GeForce GTX 690. AMD’s Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire and 7990 would appear to fall in just behind Nvidia’s multi-GPU solutions. However, dropped and runt frames chip away at the frame rate you actually experience, taking two Radeon HD 7970s below even what a single GTX Titan achieves. The Radeon HD 7990 fares better, and is bolstered further by work AMD is doing in preparation of a driver release expected later this year.
This does not look good for two Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire. It’s not immediately apparent why they’re behaving so much differently than the Radeon HD 7990. However, a peek at the frame time over time chart that FCAT spits out shows the 7970s ranging between 0 and 45 ms per frame throughout our benchmark. The 7990 fluctuates between the same to numbers, but for far less of the test. AMD’s prototype driver cleans up a lot of the dips and spikes, resulting in a better practical frame rate.
And this is the visual representation of those frame time differences. We see how the 7970s and 7990 are close to comparable at the 95th percentile. However, the Radeon HD 7990 spends a lot less time swinging between high-latency frames, pulling the average and 75th percentile numbers down significantly. AMD’s Malta board isn’t the strongest performer in Far Cry 3, but it runs smoothly more of the time than two Radeon HD 7970s in CrossFire.