To ensure we had a broad range of results at different resolutions and quality settings we ran the included Far Cry 2 Benchmark on a Ultra High end setup.
Processor: Intel Core2Quad Extreme QX9770
Motherboard: EVGA 790i Ultra
Memory: Patriot Viper DDR3 2000mhz 8-8-8-21
Graphics Card: XFX GTX280 XXX SLI
CPU Cooling: Custom watercooling
Power Supply: Silverstone Strider 1000w
Hard Disk: 2 x 150GB Raptor Raid 0 32kb stripe size
Display: Dell 3007 WFP-HC 30" LCD
Chipset Drivers: Forceware 15.23
Graphics Drivers: Geforce 180.43
Operating System: Windows Vista 64bit SP1
For the following benchmarks we utilised the inbuilt Far Cry 2 benchmarking tool and used a variety of settings to put the Far Cry 2 engine to the test. Here are the settings we used:
Starting from the top graph, we see that a 1GHz increase in CPU speed, from the stock 3.2Ghz to 4.2Ghz, had little effect on the results. There was a slight increase to be had but nothing worth risking stability and heat for. Bigger gains were evident once the GPU had been overclocked from a stock 670/2500/1458 to 770/2650/1570, especially once the resolution and settings were increased.
The biggest differences though, were between DirectX9 and DirectX10. Applying DirectX10 almost halved the FPS which, unless you have a top-end setup, could be a problem if you like all the trimmings applied at high resolutions. DX10 visuals, while being noticeable, were not SO noticeable that I would take a 50% hit in FPS.
The final test was with SLI. I was shocked and impressed at the way a dual card setup scaled. Adding a second card doubled the FPS on the highest settings, transforming jerky unplayability to smooth game play. An amazing feat from Nvidia, which goes to prove SLI is far from dead. A continuation of results such as these will no doubt boost sales, as reports are that ATI are struggling with DX10. Even the mighty 4870x2, which normally beats the GTX280 hands down, cannot, for the time being at least, keep pace with Nvidia GTX280 in DX10.
Let's head over to the conclusion to summarise this review.