Catalyst 10.1 CrossFire: New Year New Rig
George Ross, February 7, 2010
ATI has released the first Catalyst of the new year with its 10.1 release. Since both the test bed and test system have changed I will not be comparing the 10.1 Catalyst to the 9.12, but rather focusing on this new setup's performance.
Finally I have started using a Core i7 setup to test CrossFire performance. Plus I boosted the HD 4890's that were used in testing a meager 20MHz over then when they were used on the old test system. Here are the particulars.
||Intel Core i7-920 @ 3.0GHz
||Jetway BI-600 "Kuroshio"
||G.SKILL Trident 6GB DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) @ 602 MHz (DDR 1204) 8-8-8-20 Triple Channel Mode
||Seagate Barracuda ES.2 ST3250310NS 250GB 7200 RPM 32MB cache SATA 3.0Gb/s
||Radeon HD 4890 @ 900 MHz core 1,000 MHz (4,000 Gb/s) memory
|Radeon HD 4890 @ 900 MHz core 1,000 MHz (4,000 Gb/s) memory
Radeon HD 4890 @ 900 MHz core 1,000 MHz (4,000 Gb/s) memory
|Optical Disk Drive
||Seventeam ST-850PAF 850W
||Windows Vista Ultimate x64 SP1
3D Mark 06 gets a 15% improvement in scores.
3D Mark Vantage sees a 58% boost to scores.
Using CrossFire for playing S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat has some real world benefits giving you a 70% increase in overall average frames per second. It is so nice to see a newer game make use of multi-GPU efforts.
Crysis likes the new test setup as there is a 30% jump in overall average frames per second when using the second HD 4890.
Even World in Conflict benefits from CrossFire to the tune of a 24% rise in overall average frames per second.
Devil May Cry 4 has always reacted well with any improvement you give it and it is no different with this new setup giving you a 93% increase in overall average frames per second. That is the kind of return I like to see for twice the investment.
Since I have started using Resident Evil 5 in the test bed it has always showed no benefit from using CrossFire. The new setup gets a 14% performance boost in overall average frames per second.
It is apparent that the Core i7 setup is very agreeable with CrossFire. The overall average frames per second rose 50% when taking all tests into consideration.
CrossFire increases your idle power usage by 48%. When gaming with CrossFire the power usage goes up 71%. So you use 71% more power for 50% overall better gaming performance.
CrossFire is looking a whole lot better when used with a Core i7 setup than it did with the older Phenom II DDR2 combo. It made a positive difference in every game tested without taxing you too hard at the expense of power consumption.