Now that the flagship single-GPU cards from both Nvidia and AMD are out, it’s time to see how well they perform in a dual-GPU setup. We know that the Nvidia GTX 680 beats the AMD HD 7970 without breaking a sweat; but history has taught us that SLI and CrossFireX don’t always have the same scalability one would hope.
So today I’ll be looking at the capability of a pair of GTX 680 and HD 7970, and how optimized both Nvidia and AMD drivers really are to take advantage of such heavy hardware.
Below is a spec comparison sheet between the GTX 680 and HD 7970 cards.
As you can see, on paper the HD 7970 seems superior to the GTX 680, in that it has a higher transistor count, more memory and shaders. Despite that, a standard GTX 680 will beat any HD 7970 in pretty much all our benchmarks. Increase the number of cards from one to two, though, and the picture changes colors.
For testing the graphics cards today, the following testbed was used:
The drivers used for the AMD HD 7970 cards were Catalyst 12.2 and for the Nvidia GTX 680 cards were GeForce 301.10.
The below settings were used in all of our benchmarks, run at resolutions of both 1920×1200 and 2560×1440.