We're going to dispense with a lot of the introductory commentary for all of our gaming benchmarks, as we already have a ton of material to present. At this point, most of you are already familiar with what benchmarks we use and how they are run. If not, you should easily be able to find the information in a previous article. So, rather than adding hundreds of words of repeat text, we're just going to cut straight to the chase and talk about performance.

Company of Heroes Performance

Company of Heroes

Company of Heroes - Power Consumption

Company of Heroes - Performance per Watt

Starting with Company of Heroes, we have a game that really stresses the graphics card at higher settings, though in the past we've also shown that it tends to be CPU limited with different detail settings. Running maximum details, all of the cards still managed to deliver acceptable gameplay at 1600x1200 or lower resolutions. 1920x1440 is still playable as well, but if you have a 30 inch LCD running 2560x1600 and you want to run with antialiasing, you're really going to need a GeForce 8800 series card. The GeForce 8800 is clearly more powerful than anything ATI currently offers, which is to be expected as it's a next-generation card competing with current generation hardware. What's impressive is that the 8800 GTX is basically as fast running 2560x1600 as the GeForce 7900 GTX or Radeon X1950 XTX running at 1600x1200. Put another way, a single 8800 GTX is over twice as fast as a single X1950 XTX in all of the tested resolutions, and it's also about twice as fast as a 7900 GTX.

As far as multiple graphics card configurations go, Company of Heroes currently did not show any performance improvements. Most likely that means that NVIDIA and ATI drivers have not been properly optimized for this game at present. This is a problem that occurs periodically with new titles, and it's always frustrating to get a new game only to find out that it isn't properly using your hardware -- especially if you've shelled out the money for dual graphics cards. This is why we have repeatedly recommended in the past that you purchase a faster single graphics card rather than moving to dual GPUs, up to the point where you basically have the fastest single graphics card available. GeForce 8800 GTX now holds the title of fastest single GPU, so if you were previously looking to spend $800 on a couple of GPUs, you should seriously consider a single 8800 GTX instead. The DirectX 10 support is merely icing on the cake.

The Test F.E.A.R. Performance
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  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    Page 17:

    "The dual SLI connectors are for future applications, such as daisy chaining three G80 based GPUs, much like ATI's latest CrossFire offerings."

    Using a third GPU for physics processing is another possibility, once NVIDIA begins accelerating physics on their GPUs (something that has apparently been in the works for a year or so now).
    Reply
  • Missing Ghost - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    So it seems like by substracting the highest 8800gtx sli power usage result with the one for the 8800gtx single card we can conclude that the card can use as much as 205W. Does anybody knows if this number could increase when the card is used in DX10 mode? Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    Without DX10 games and an OS, we can't test it yet. Sorry. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    Incidentally, I would expect the added power draw in SLI comes from more than just the GPU. The CPU, RAM, and other components are likely pushed to a higher demand with SLI/CF than when running a single card. Look at FEAR as an example, and here's the power differences for the various cards. (Oblivion doesn't have X1950 CF numbers, unfortunately.)

    X1950 XTX: 91.3W
    7900 GTX: 102.7W
    7950 GX2: 121.0W
    8800 GTX: 164.8W

    Notice how in this case, X1950 XTX appears to use less power than the other cards, but that's clearly not the case in single GPU configurations, as it requires more than everything besides the 8800 GTX. Here's the Prey results as well:

    X1950 XTX: 111.4W
    7900 GTX: 115.6W
    7950 GX2: 70.9W
    8800 GTX: 192.4W

    So there, GX2 looks like it is more power efficient, mostly because QSLI isn't doing any good. Anyway, simple subtraction relative to dual GPUs isn't enough to determine the actual power draw of any card. That's why we presented the power data without a lot of commentary - we need to do further research before we come to any final conclusions.
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    It looks like putting SLI uses +170W more power. You can see how significant video card is in terms of power consumption. It blows the Pentium D away by couple of times. Reply
  • JoKeRr - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    well, keep in mind the inefficiency of PSU, generally around 80%, so as overall power draw increases, the marginal loss of power increases a lot as well. If u actually multiply by 0.8, it gives about 136W. I suppose the power draw is from the wall. Reply
  • DerekWilson - Thursday, November 9, 2006 - link

    max TDP of G80 is at most 185W -- NVIDIA revised this to something in the 170W range, but we know it won't get over 185 in any case.

    But games generally don't enable a card to draw max power ... 3dmark on the other hand ...
    Reply
  • photoguy99 - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    Isn't 1920x1440 a resolution that almost no one uses in real life?

    Wouldn't 1920x1200 apply many more people?

    It seems almost all 23", 24", and many high end laptops have 1900x1200.

    Yes we could interpolate benchmarks, but why when no one uses 1440 vertical?

    Reply
  • Frallan - Saturday, November 11, 2006 - link

    Well i have one more suggestion for a resolution. Full HD is 1920*1080 - that is sure to be found in a lot of homes in the future (after X-mas any1 ;0) ) on large LCDs - I believe it would be a good idea to throw that in there as well. Especially right now since loads of people will have to decide how to spend their money. The 37" Full HD is a given but on what system will I be gaming PS-3/X-Box/PC... Pls advice. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - link

    This should be the last time we use that resolution. We're moving to LCD resolutions, but Derek still did a lot of testing (all the lower resolutions) on his trusty old CRT. LOL Reply

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