Our testbed has been configured such to avoid any potential limiting factors that may otherwise stunt the performance of the graphics cards being tested. This in turn may produce an artificial result that implies that CrossfireX offers minimal performance gains when infact it might be quite the opposite. With an Intel Core i7, cycling at a rather frisky 3400MHz we are not particularly worried about a potential bottleneck. All games are tested at a resolution of 1920x1080 .
Intel Core i7 920 @ 3.40GHz
Gigabyte EX58 UD3R LGA1366 Motherboard
6GB Corsair PC3-12800 DDR3 RAM
2x Sapphire HD Radeon HD 5850 1GB GDDR5
Antec Nine Hundred Two Gaming Case
Corsair HX750W ATX2.0 Power Supply Unit
500GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 SATA II HDD
LG 22x DVD+/-RW
Windows Vista Home Premium
During full GPU load, our Radeon HD 5850's had reached temperatures of 80*c. While this may seem high, it is well within operating temperatures. Furthermore, we are once again happy to report another quiet cooling solution on an ATi reference heatsink with Catalyst Control Center reporting Fan Duty speeds of just 33%.
3DMark Vantage is an updated and more demanding evolution over the package that it succeeded. Our tests cover the "Performance" setting of the benchmark. The application will output three scores. The first two are CPU and GPU scores, which are formed from various tests that will focus on either of the two (or both). On the basis of those scores, a final "Overall" score is then outputted with a "P" prefix beforehand to denote that the "Performance" setting was applied.