XFX Triple SLI - 8800 Ultra's in 3 Way SLI

Benchmarks - 3DMark performance

Futuremark - Synthetic Benchmarks
 
FutureMark - 3DMark03

3DMark03 is a benchmark that uses mainly a DirectX 8 featureset including several pixel fill-rate tests. I included this test in the review to see an approximation of how well old games will play on the current gen cards, as well as how well each card copes with the fill-rate tests. Tri SLI then, should surely rip this apart...
 
3dm03
 
And it does indeed, 80k is a more than awesome score and even at 1920 x 1200 with A x QAA on it the score is still very respectable.
 
FutureMark 3DMark05

3DMark05 is a benchmark based on DirectX 9 with more advanced shading and bump-mapping techniques, as well as a tough CPU test integrated. As this is a more advanced test, we should see an improvement here too.
 
3dmark05
 
Not quite the same improvement in 3Dmark05 scores though, which is surprising. The thing to notice here really is the fact that the score hardly budges, even when a lot of AA and screen res is added into the picture.
 
FutureMark - 3DMark06

3DMark06 is a more complex 3D benchmark, using many of the more advanced techniques found in DirectX 9.0c such as utilising Shader Model 3.0 and HDR lighting to create a tough benchmark that stresses both the GPU and CPU. The most advanced of the tests, Triple SLI would do well to do well in this test.
 
3dmark06
 
 
Similar to 3DMark05, the '06 score isn't "amazing", though it is an improvement on the others. Again, the score seems to stay high even when subjected to a pretty intense 1920 x 1200, 8 x QAA.
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Most Recent Comments

25-02-2008, 02:41:41

FarFarAway

25-02-2008, 04:48:05

Havok
I didn't even expect it to be that good, I am impressed! Crysis still chokes it on V.High too, that game is ruthless.

Maybe with the 9 series soon Ultras/GTX will get cheaper and this might be a viable option before we know it (to those who aren't swimming in money)

25-02-2008, 05:28:16

FarFarAway
Yes it was a pleasent surprise tbh, the 9 series should make it even better

25-02-2008, 05:57:15

Rastalovich
Great read. The results do look good, and the comment about how the games `feel` is a better qualifier for me.

I`d not even entertain this, even with planning ahead months in advance to afford it. Does look nice tho hehe

Heat is an issue for me; power is crazy talk - but obviously a requirement, which is where the heat is going; drivers and/or a card being tempremental, I can do without, just don`t need it ontop of other pc dodgyness.

All said and done, I`m banking on the top end single card for the generation to come.

Be nice to see single slotted cards or wc solutions of this being tested.

Some fine benches too.

25-02-2008, 08:27:00

Bungral
Unless I came into some serious wedge then its not something i'd consider.. I'm with most here and reckon on a single card top end when it finally arrives.

Quick thing Matt.. Did you give overclocking it a go at all or would it have caused a total meltdown?

25-02-2008, 08:34:05

Phunky
The performance gains does not justify the price at all, i mean seriously why cant they just get standard SLI to just work properly before moving on to tri, quad and so on...

For this cash i would want to see stable FPS, not 40-500fps ranges, you look at any competitive gamer and the key thing for there setup is constant FPS, why else do you think most of them stick to the low 800x600 res?!?

25-02-2008, 08:42:16

Mr. Smith
It did OK and nothing more IMO.

For what it costs tri-sli should be a mindblowing experience. It isn't.

It is better than quad fire was but it should be. That is no argument for merit anyway, it is like defending the 9600gt on the basis it is better than the 8600gt. Yes it is but it is still a poor excuse for a mid range card.

The people who will be buying this won't care for priceerformance, the rest of the people using this will be top benchers who get it for free...

I wish people (reviewers and consumers) would be a lot harder on this industry than they are. If we continue to accept and praise half arsed developments then manufacturers will continue to sell them.

25-02-2008, 08:55:03

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'
It did OK and nothing more IMO. For what it costs tri-sli should be a mindblowing experience. It isn't. It is better than quad fire was but it should be. That is no argument for merit anyway, it is like defending the 9600gt on the basis it is better than the 8600gt. Yes it is but it is still a poor excuse for a mid range card. The people who will be buying this won't care for priceerformance, the rest of the people using this will be top benchers who get it for free... I wish people (reviewers and consumers) would be a lot harder on this industry than they are. If we continue to accept and praise half arsed developments then manufacturers will continue to sell them.
i think you're right in some respects, but i think nvidia really do want to release the full potential of tri SLI. it outperforms anything out there which is why it HAS to have a good performance score and award. the fact that it isn't an economically viable solution is reflected in the price score.

it' not perfect but it's a lot better than any other solution right now snd will improve with driver revisions

25-02-2008, 09:06:12

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'

I wish people (reviewers and consumers) would be a lot harder on this industry than they are. If we continue to accept and praise half arsed developments then manufacturers will continue to sell them.
That`s the norm, that`s how PC dev is. Every now and again there is a blip of good progress tho.

Nothing anyone can do about it, it`s cash driven. Not good tho.

Who know`s nVidia maywell be holding back BIGTIME with their gfx gpus, just cos they can. It`s been.. since Nov/Dec 2006, and no1 in the freeworld has broken the 8800GTX/Ultra as a single card. They get their wedge each time they beat their last card by some %. The big deal IS to realize that in their mind the 9600 has to beat the 8600, nothing else, no great leaps.

25-02-2008, 09:29:14

FarFarAway
Yes it does feel like nvidia are playing it safe a bit, but then who can blame them? Release a card with minimal tweaks and rake in the cash, it's good business. Tri SLI is a step in the right direction tho so that deserves recognition.

Soz for missing the oc'ing que - am on mobile. I did OC a bit before hols but when i actually did the benchies i didn't get time for conclusive resluts.

In all fairness it didn't seem to make much of a muchness as the power is still not being used to full potential as it is.

Hope that answers y'all!

25-02-2008, 09:33:53

SuB
i love how there are more pictures of all 3 cards

i can see you stood there with the camera talking to them lol

'work it baby'

'yeah growl at me baby'

lol

sorry. that aside its insane money, and i think the scores are fair, the fps output is mad, but not earth shattering like the price tbh

still.. its a step in the right direction i guess

25-02-2008, 10:10:24

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
Yes it does feel like nvidia are playing it safe a bit, but then who can blame them? Release a card with minimal tweaks and rake in the cash, it's good business.
Yeah you can`t put aside the financial benefits to them of them doing that, it`s the whole lean of the tech market once you get big enough to do it.

Pishes me off tbh, cos it means tech isn`t advancing as quick as it should be. It`s not just them tho, it`s most companies surrounding the pc that don`t have more than 2 or 3 competitors. It takes some1 outside of the pc market to show-off something outstanding, then suddenly the pc has something very very similar almost immediately.

You just know that Ati could bring out a 8800GTX busting card... then suddenly a 9850UltraXXX appears that doubles it.

Cash over tech. It`s one of the things that will be the end of mankind. I have zero doubt that we have the tech to install sustainable habitats on other planets - but u know damn well that when that meteor is a few thousand miles from hitting the Earth, some company will hold things up cos of the pricing.

25-02-2008, 11:28:31

Mr. Smith
This is not a step in the right direction.

Multi cards = inefficient in terms of performance, power usage and cost. Driver issues, micro-stuttering etc, etc.

It is lazy and about as innovative as a car company sticking another engine into a chassis and saying ‘yep, we are awesome, we have the fastest car ever. Ok, so it uses twice the fuel, spits out twice the pollution and yes twice the price, but dude, it’s the fastest ever…’ They should be completely reworking the engine, adding turbos and intercoolers, getting 600bhp from the same sized engine that previously pushed 300bhp for less mpg… Perhaps a weak analogy but swap engines for core and bhp for mhz and you see where I am coming from? Maybe not.

I mean the middle card overheats and shuts down! How is that a good design?

Perhaps a mixture of a stressful day and too much caffeine has nvidia taking the brunt of my frustrations at the industry but this is just exactly what infuriates me; garbage being given accolades regardless.

I understand tri-sli outperforms everything out there (hence the perf award), but it should. Just like every new gen should beat the last gen. I mean this X2 is the same, ‘dude, lets put 2 cores on one pcb and sell it as one super card. Yeah… Where’s the pipe man?’ Bah, I could go on but I won’t.

No, for me this is a step backwards. Single cards, with new architecture is what should be developed and released and these half arsed solutions should be ignored and criticised at best.

/rant.

25-02-2008, 12:48:00

ali_james
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Mr. Smith'
This is not a step in the right direction.
I have to agree. Rubbish isn't it. It seems they've spent so much more time, effort and money marketing this idea than actually making it work.

What do we have here?

Perfect idea then, and still now, or are they just too lazy to come up with an alternative?

EDIT: Very good review all the same. It's refreshing to read your reviews with all the stats and being able to form ones own opinions.

25-02-2008, 13:23:01

Pat123
All seems abit daft to me unless they are going to let it run on cards like the 9600gt in which 3 of them give better performance than a single 8800ultra.

Perhaps current tech is reaching a point at which it cannot progress much further and next gen tech is never going to be as big of a leap as it has been the past.

Nice review kemp, made for a good read

26-02-2008, 04:34:26

FarFarAway
Thanks lads and glad it's brought up a debate, it needs a debate

26-02-2008, 08:21:50

ionicle
single cards FTW

whats the point in getting multiple cards....it does seem stupid...

if you have one giant single card, it will do everything you want, and there's only one card, it will only pump out one set of heat...

multiple cards draw wayy too much power and just dump too much heat into your system

just keep reworking graphics cards til you get to 2GHz versions, with 2 gig of memory, and a helova lot of those shader things

THEN it wont be a problem, aside from the massive heatsink needed for a card that powerful...

26-02-2008, 08:34:46

FarFarAway
In fairness the 2 x 9600 GTs draw less power than an 8800 GTX

26-02-2008, 08:57:02

Toxcity
Very nice review Kemp!

Personally I don't see the point in SLI. Oh yeah you may get some better FPS but it doesn't have a very good Price/Performance ratio.

I have SLIed once. 2x6800s. Was nice but the amount of problems and driver errors that you can get is just a pain.

And some games don't even support SLI properly and so you can get pants performance.

But it is still good fun. I do still prefer single cards.

26-02-2008, 09:37:54

Rastalovich
It`s another few arguements I have. The drivers are getting better time after time. I imagine a time when there will be drivers that a solid - but then there`s who`s version of solid works best for who.

And this other thing about games having to be sli `suitable` to get a real advantage from them - well why don`t they emphasis the cards looking like 1 graphics card to the system so that this is entirely unnecessary ? Kinda like a raid harddrive system.

26-02-2008, 14:22:48

iv:xx
As I see it, SLI never been about being cost effective or rational. It's for those who are willing to shell out big coin for top performance, regardless of whether or not they're getting 50% or 5% improvements.

You've gotta pay to play, and though the edge is often minimal, it's there, and for those who want to spend, they can have it.

26-02-2008, 14:37:54

FarFarAway
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='iv:xx'
As I see it, SLI never been about being cost effective or rational. It's for those who are willing to shell out big coin for top performance, regardless of whether or not they're getting 50% or 5% improvements.

You've gotta pay to play, and though the edge is often minimal, it's there, and for those who want to spend, they can have it.
Well summed up and welcome to OC3D

26-02-2008, 15:01:18

Hatman
Until possibly 9series all comes out

Super SLI scaling ftw. I keep going ona bout that but am just hoping 9800GX2 scales as well as the 9600gt's...

Anyway, its not as bad as a lot of people think. People just use it in the wrong situation.

http://www.expreview.com/img/review/...96sli_96gt.png

27-02-2008, 06:08:00

Azza
Nice review guys.

I could have done this months ago if there just would have been drivers out.

27-02-2008, 06:48:31

FarFarAway
And a Tri SLI bridge

27-02-2008, 11:00:10

Azza
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
And a Tri SLI bridge
Could have just made one out of 3 bridges.

27-02-2008, 11:17:10

Rastalovich
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Azza'
Could have just made one out of 3 bridges.
Hardcore.

27-02-2008, 11:18:34

Hatman
lol.

08-03-2008, 21:00:24

jperu29
great review kempez!! only question is about the voltages u used

Vcore?

northbridge?

thanxs
Reply
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