Multi-GPU Performance

Crysis

NVIDIA's own multi-GPU solution outperformed the GeForce GTX 280 when it launched, so it is not too surprising to see the Radeon HD 4870 in CrossFire mode doing the same. If AMD can put two of these things on a single card it will have a viable competitor for the GTX 280 as well as the GX2.


Click to Enlarge 

Call of Duty 4

AMD's architecture did very well under Call of Duty 4 in the single-card tests, with a single Radeon HD 4870 performing better than a GeForce GTX 260. The scaling from one to two cards is beyond perfect in CoD4, the reason being that we test on two different platforms (Intel X48 for CrossFire, NVIDIA 790i for all single-cards), the end result is a rare case where two of AMD's $300 cards actually outperform two of NVIDIA's $650 cards. By no means is it the norm, but it is a testament to the strength of AMD's RV770 GPU.


Click to Enlarge

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

CrossFire continues to scale poorly in Quake Wars, while NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 280 SLI completely dominates the charts here. The 4870 CF performance isn't terrible, it's actually in line with where it should be (2 x $300 cards are about as fast as 1 x $650 card).


Click to Enlarge

Oblivion Multi-GPU Performance in Assassin's Creed, Oblivion, The Witcher & Bioshock
POST A COMMENT

213 Comments

View All Comments

  • DerekWilson - Sunday, June 29, 2008 - link

    i don't understand what you mean by raw numbers ... these are the numbers we got in our tests ...

    we can't do crossfire on the nvidia board we tested and we can't do sli on the intel board we tested ...

    we do have another option (skulltrail) but people seemed not to like that we went there ... and it was a pain in the ass to test with. plus fb-dimm performance leaves something to be desired.

    in any case, without testing every solution in two different platforms we did the best we could in the time we had. it might be interesting to look at testing single card performance in two different platforms for all cards, but that will have to be a separate article and would be way to tough to do for a launch.
    Reply
  • Denithor - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    In Bioshock in the multiGPU section the SLI 9800GTX+ seems to fall down on the job. In all other benches this SLI beats out the GTX 280 easily, here it fails miserably. While even the SLI 8800GT beats the GTX 280. Methinks something's wrong here. Reply
  • jamstan - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Egg's got them for 309.99. I'm gonna run 2 4870s in CF. I planned on using a P45 board but I am wondering if the P45s X8 per card will bottleneck the bandwidth and if I should go with an X48 board instead? When I research CF all I seem to find is "losing any bandwidth at X8 versus X16 is "debateable". What I'm thinking is that 8 pipelines can handle 4GBs so if I look at the 4870s 3.6 Gbs of memory bandwidth then X8 should be able to handle the 4870 without any performance hits. It that correct or am I all wet? Reply
  • jamstan - Friday, June 27, 2008 - link

    I contacted ATI and they said I was correct. A P45 board only running X8 per card in CF will bottleneck the massive DDR5 bandwidth of the 4870s. If you're gonna CF 2 4870s use an X38 or X48 board. Reply
  • SVM79 - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    I created an account just to say how awesome this article was. It was really nice to see all the technical details laid out and compared to the competition. I was lucky to get in on that $150 hd4850 price at best buy last week and I am hoping the future drivers with improve performance even more. Please keep up the good work on these articles!!! Reply
  • DerekWilson - Sunday, June 29, 2008 - link

    Wow, Anand and I are honored.

    We absolutely appreciate the feedback we've gotten from all of you guys (even the bad stuff cause it helps us refine our future articles).

    of course we enjoy the good stuff more :-)

    thanks again, everyone.
    Reply
  • D3SI - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Long time reader, first time poster

    great article, very informative

    looks like the 4870 is the card to get, cant be beat at that price

    and yes a lot of posters are reading way too much into it "you're biased waaa waaa boo hoo"

    just get the facts from the article (thats what the charts and graphs are for) and then make your decision, if you cant do simple math and come to the conclusion yourself that the $300 card is a better buy than the $650 then you deserve to get ripped off.
    Reply
  • joeschleprock - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    nVidia just got their pussy smoked. Reply
  • kelectron - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    a very important comparison is missing. for those who want to go in for a multi-GPU setup, the 260 SLI vs 4870 CF is a very important consideration since SLI scaling has always been better than CF, and the 260 scales very very well.

    in that case, if nvidia responds by reducing the price on the 260, the 260 SLI could be the real winner here. but sadly there were no 260 SLI benches.

    please give us a 260 SLI vs 4870 CF review.
    Reply
  • Final Destination II - Wednesday, June 25, 2008 - link

    Dear girls and guys,

    does anyone know of a manufacturer, who offers a HD4850 with a better cooler? I'm desperately searching for one...


    Please reply!
    Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now