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Core i7 3960X with 4-Way CrossFireX HD 6970 Performance Analysis - Test System Setup

We find another HD 6970 lying around and throw it into the fray. How's 4-Way CrossFireX traveling these days?

| Intel CPUs in CPUs, Chipsets & SoCs | Posted: Nov 24, 2011 5:43 pm

TweakTown image content/4/4/4438_99_core_i7_3960x_with_4_way_crossfirex_hd_6970_performance_analysis.png

 

We would like to thank the following companies for supplying and supporting us with our test system hardware and equipment: Intel, ASUS, Sapphire and Corsair.

 

Today we've thrown four HD 6970s into the mix to see just what kind of performance we get over the three card setup on the same X79 platform with our i7 3960X running at 5GHz. We've also included the 3x HD 6970 setup on our Z68 setup, although the results from that one aren't so relevant.

 

In our last CrossFireX coverage we also had the results from our Bulldozer platform. Today we've chosen not to include them, though, as the main information we'll find ourselves looking at is the performance of the extra card when comparing the 4-Way setup to the 3-Way one.

 

There's not much else that really needs to be said; we'll get into our benchmarks and like our other Eyefinity coverage, we'll be ignoring 1680 x 1050 for the most part and instead be concentrating on just 1920 x 1200 and 2560 x 1600.

 

Let's get started!

 

 

The FPS Numbers Explained

 

When we benchmark our video cards and look at the graphs, we aim to get to a certain level of FPS which we consider playable. While many may argue that the human eye can't see over 24 FPS or 30 FPS, any true gamer will tell you that as we climb higher in Frames Per Seconds (FPS), the overall gameplay feels smoother. There are three numbers we're looking out for when it comes to our benchmarks.

 

30 FPS - It's the minimum number we aim for when it comes to games. If you're not dropping below 30 FPS during games, you're going to have a nice and smooth gaming experience. The ideal situation is that even in a heavy fire fight, the minimum stays above 30 FPS making sure that you can continue to aim easily or turn the corner with no dramas.

 

60 FPS - It's the average we look for when we don't have a minimum coming at us. If we're getting an average of 60 FPS, we should have a minimum of 30 FPS or better and as mentioned above, it means we've got some smooth game play happening.

 

120 FPS - The new number that we've been hunting down over recent months. If you're the owner of a 120 Hz monitor, to get the most out of it you want to get around the 120 FPS mark. Moving from 60 FPS / 60 Hz to 120 FPS / 120 Hz brings with it a certain fluidity that can't really be explained, but instead has to be experienced. Of course, if you're buying a 120 Hz monitor to take advantage of 3D, an average of 120 FPS in our benchmark means that in 3D you will have an average of 60 FPS, which again means you should expect some smooth gameplay.

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