Summary Charts & Conclusion
The Summary Chart
Below is the summary chart of 25 games and 1 synthetic test. The highest settings are always chosen and it is DX11 when there is a choice (except for Ashes of the Singularity, Hitman, & Rise of the Tomb Raider which are always run in DX12), and the settings are ultra. Specific in-game settings are listed on the charts.
The benches are run at 1920×1080, 2560×1440, and 3840×2160. All results, except for Firestrike, show average framerates, and higher is always better. In-game settings are fully maxed out and they are identically high or ultra across all platforms. “NA” means the game would not run at the settings chosen, and an asterisk (*) means that there were issues with running the benchmark, usually visual artifacting. “X” means the benchmark was not run.
First we look at our main summary chart which looks at a single GTX 980 versus GTX 980 SLI, and at single GTX 980 Ti performance versus using GTX 980 Ti SLI scaling. We also show a single 290X compared with 290X CrossFire scaling. Where scaling is poor or negative on the multi-GPU side, the background color is darkened. Where multi-GPU scaling is fair, only the number results are given in light blue.
The multi-GPU performance scaling results are excellent for most older games. However, once we move into 2015 games, the picture for both SLI and CrossFire change for the worse. 8 out of 25 games do not scale well for SLI, and one game has just fair results. With 290X CrossFire, 9/25 games do not scale well, and with one fair result, although they are not necessarily the same games.
In addition to poor scaling, GTA 5 ran very poorly with 290X CrossFire although technically it did scale, and Dying Light had some artifacting and blurriness with 290X CrossFire that it did not have with a single 290X.
All three of our tested DX12 games scale poorly with multi-GPU, and we also note that often it is the latest DX11 games that do not scale well either. In the case of DOOM, our most recent game, the game scales very poorly with GTX 980 Ti SLI, or negatively with 290X CrossFire or with GTX 980 SLI.
Let’s compare SLI and CrossFire with top card single GPU performance.
In many cases, it is far preferable to use a single top card versus using lesser cards in either SLI or in CrossFire.
Now let’s give our Big Picture to see how AMD and Nvidia’s performance compares with each other across 12 video card configurations
Let’s head for our conclusion on the next page.