by Rob Williams on May 17, 2010 in Graphics & Displays
When AMD launched its ATI Eyefinity technology, it helped redefine high-end gaming, and effectively made 2560×1600 look like child’s play. In this article, we put the technology to a good test across 18 different games and on both 3×1 (5760×1080) and 3×2 (5760×2160) display configurations to see just how worthy Eyefinity is.
At Techgage, we strive to make sure our results are as accurate as possible. Our testing is rigorous and time-consuming, but we feel the effort is worth it. In an attempt to leave no question unanswered, this page contains not only our testbed specifications, but also a fully-detailed look at how we conduct our testing. For an exhaustive look at our methodologies, even down to the Windows Vista installation, please refer to this article.
The below table lists our testing machine’s hardware, which remains unchanged throughout all GPU testing, minus the graphics card. Each card used for comparison is also listed here, along with the driver version used. Each one of the URLs in this table can be clicked to view the respective review of that product, or if a review doesn’t exist, it will bring you to the product on the manufacturer’s website.
When preparing our testbeds for any type of performance testing, we follow these guidelines:
- No power-saving options are enabled in the motherboard’s BIOS.
- Internet is disabled.
- No Virus Scanner or Firewall is installed.
- The OS is kept clean; no scrap files are left in between runs.
- Hard drives affected are defragged with PerfectDisk 10 prior to a fresh benchmarking run.
- Machine has proper airflow and the room temperature is 80°F (27°C) or less.
To aide with the goal of keeping accurate and repeatable results, we alter certain services in Windows Vista from starting up at boot. This is due to the fact that these services have the tendency to start up in the background without notice, potentially causing slightly inaccurate results. Disabling “Windows Search” turns off the OS’ indexing which can at times utilize the hard drive and memory more than we’d like.
Services Disabled Prior to Benchmarking
- PerfectDisk 10
- Windows Defender
- Windows Error Reporting Service
- Windows Event Log
- Windows Firewall
- Windows Search
- Windows Update
For more robust information on how we tweak Windows, please refer once again to this article.
Due to the special nature of this article, performance results are going to be delivered a little bit differently than usual. Because we already have full-fledged pages prepared for the six games listed below, we have kept them in-tact and also include a single non-Eyefinity graph for the 2560×1600 resolution from cards we’ve tested previously, so that you can gauge the performance for both configurations.
For this article, we have tested out Eyefinity with 11 games (and also Unigine’s Heaven), and for the sake of space and time, we’re not going to delve too deep into the in-game configurations we used for each one, but will be more specific for our “Best Playable” tables. Below, the screenshots are representative of the settings we used for our Eyefinity testing in each title, aside from the resolution of course.
In addition to benchmarking our fleet of games at 5760×2160, we’ve also benched them at 5760×1080, since we believe that to be a much more realistic configuration for most people. As always, we don’t utilize timedemos, so all of our results are gained via manual playthroughs. The exception is Unigine’s Heaven benchmark, which we’ve included just for the sake of interest. Futuremark’s 3DMark Vantage could not be run, as the application’s detected max resolution was 1920×1080, not 5760×2160.
Lastly, for all of the games we’ve tested, we’ve included screenshots for both resolutions used so as to provide a real look at just how the games looks at such huge resolutions. Please note that as a result of these resolutions, the images are large, ranging in byte sizes between 1MB – 6MB.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin
Race Driver: GRID
World in Conflict: Soviet Assault