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ATI’s Eyefinity: 18 Games Benched on 3 and 6 Displays
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by Rob Williams on May 17, 2010 in AMD-Based GPU

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.

Crysis Warhead

Like Call of Duty, Crysis is another series that doesn’t need much of an introduction. Thanks to the fact that almost any comments section for a PC performance-related article asks, “Can it run Crysis?”, even those who don’t play computer games no doubt know what Crysis is. When Crytek first released Far Cry, it delivered an incredible game engine with huge capabilities, and Crysis simply took things to the next level.

Although the sequel, Warhead, has been available for just about a year, it still manages to push the highest-end systems to their breaking-point. It wasn’t until this past January that we finally found a graphics solution to handle the game at 2560×1600 at its Enthusiast level, but even that was without AA! Something tells me Crysis will be de facto for GPU benchmarking for the next while.

Crysis Warhead - 5760x2160

Crysis Warhead - 5760x1080

Regardless of the GPU we’re testing, Crysis Warhead is -the- game that brings even today’s highest-end graphics cards to a crawl at good detail settings, so I really had no idea of what to expect with Eyefinity. I was quite surprised, though. Not only with performance either, but how good the game looked with both configurations. The menu screen is less-than-ideal, but the in-game UI in my experience has been perfect.

Manual Run-through: Whenever we have a new game in-hand for benchmarking, we make every attempt to explore each level of the game to find out which is the most brutal towards our hardware. Ironically, after spending hours exploring this game’s levels, we found the first level in the game, “Ambush”, to be the hardest on the GPU, so we stuck with it for our testing. Our run starts from the beginning of the level and stops shortly after we reach the first bridge.

ATI Eyefinity 3 and 6 Displays

ATI Eyefinity 3 and 6 Displays

Please note that for our usual GPU reviews, we test this game with the Gamer profile, but because that proved a bit too much to handle here, we dropped all of our base Eyefinity tests to the Mainstream profile.

As you can probably tell by the performance above, CrossFireX proved to be ultimately useless, showing no difference in frame rates whatsoever across our testing. There is an exception, though, seen in the table below. There, CrossFireX did make a difference when we increased the detail level at 5760×1080.

For for whatever reason, Mainstream doesn’t seem to require enough GPU brawn to push CrossFireX, but on the other end of the stick, we were only able to increase the detail on that one configuration. Because the GPU driver is still considered a work-in-progress, I’m willing to push the blame there, and hope that a future driver release will patch up the strange issue.

Graphics Card
Best Playable
Min FPS
Avg. FPS
5760×1080 – Single GPU
Mainstream Detail
24
43.434
5760×1080 – Dual GPU
Gamer Detail
18
37.146
5760×2160 – Single GPU
Mainstream textures, objects, shaders, volumetric effects. Minimum detail for the rest.
17
35.735
5760×2160 – Dual GPU
Mainstream textures, objects, shaders, volumetric effects. Minimum detail for the rest.
16
35.168
CrossFireX had no noticeable affect on the framerates in this title due to a driver bug.

Because CrossFireX didn’t bode too well for our 5760×2160 testing, we had to mix our detail settings up a bit at 5760×2160 in order to achieve playable frame rates and not have to stick Minimum detail settings across the board. For 5760×1080, two cards allowed us to hit the Gamer profile and see some great performance.