Anyone who really wants to play Crysis at 2560x1600 pixels will be disappointed by nearly any graphics solution, though GPU overclocking could make a pair of Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics cards in CrossFire mode a possibility. Performance leadership in other games is a toss-up between two GeForce GTX 295 graphics units in Quad-SLI and three GTX 280 cards in 3-way SLI modes.
What would we buy? While two GTX 295 units are cheaper than three GTX 280 cards, a single GTX 295 was fast enough to conquer 2560x1600 and ultra-high graphics settings in every game except Crysis. A quick look back at the performance-per-watt numbers also reveals the single GTX 295 as a top pick, and we have a hard time recommending a more expensive solution to even the wealthiest enthusiasts.
Nvidia set out to reclaim its single-card performance crown, and that is exactly what it has done here. AMD reacted by countering with a $50 price cut and $50 mail-in rebate on its Radeon HD 4870 X2, available through certain e-tailers, but that doesn't win back any crowns. Value on the 4870 X2 is up. However, Nvidia has the crown it set out to win. And true to its word, the GeForce GTX 295 is available for purchase already.