Our fourth adventure in EyeFinity testing is with Irrational Games' BioShock Infinite. As a big fan of the original BioShock, and their spiritual predecessor System Shock, I was ecstatic to hear about BioShock Infinite. The game has been optimized well on PC, with multi-monitor support built directly into the game.
Also included within the game is a built-in benchmark, which is quite amazing to use. This is something all games should have, so shame on you developers for not following in Irrational Games' direction. First off we'll actually show you the benchmarking system Irrational Games have opted for, which is an old school command prompt tool.
You can choose from a multitude of settings - from Ultra down to Very Low, custom resolutions, your aspect ratio and more.
Let's get into it shall we? For your information, I'm running:
- Intel Core i7 3770K @ 4.8GHz
- Corsair H100 Hydro Cooler
- Corsair Force Series GT 240GB SSD
- ASRock Z77 Extreme 9 motherboard
- Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 7970 Dual-X OC Edition (x2)
- Lian Li PC-T60 Pitstop
- Corsair Dominator Platinum - 16GB kit of 2133MHz DDR3 RAM
- Windows 7 Ultimate Edition x64
- AMD Catalyst 13.2 beta 7 drivers
I'd like to extend a big thank you to Sapphire, Corsair and ASRock for supplying the parts for this machine, I couldn't write this article or any future articles without this hardware!
It's a seriously nice machine, and really powers through what I do each day. I've got the CPU clocked up to remove any potential CPU-based bottlenecks, the RAM is at stock speeds and everything else is at out-of-the-box settings.
What we've done with BioShock Infinite is run it at two different graphic presets. The first of which is the Ultra preset with Diffusion Depth of Field - this is a little more stressful on the GPU. We've run the same Ultra preset, but without the DDoF and then both of these tests with CrossFire. These tests were then run once more, but with two more monitors hooked up for some EyeFinity action - and then once more with CrossFire with EyeFinity.
In between, we offer a look at overclocking - where we run all of the above benchmarks and presets with our GPUs overclocked. You'll see below, our results:
As you can see, a single Radeon HD 7970 provides stellar performance in BioShock Infinite at 1080p. We are seeing 95 FPS with the Ultra preset on a soft overclock. Enabling Diffusion Depth of Field knocks this down to 73 FPS, which is still above the fluidity of 60 FPS. Even at stock clocks, we're seeing 84 FPS and 64 FPS for Ultra and Ultra w/DDoF.
The single card doesn't do too well with EyeFinity at 5760x1080, where we see the overclocked HD 7970 pushing out just 37 FPS at Ultra on our overclock, and just 27 FPS with DDoF enabled. At stock settings, the performance isn't too much worse, dropping down to 32 FPS and 24 FPS for Ultra and Ultras w/DDoF enabled.
Overclocking your GPU seems to provide BioShock Infinite with some decent gains, where we see around 10% across the board in each scenario (with and without DDoF and single monitor/EyeFinity). Let's move onto some CrossFire results.
CrossFire really helps with BioShock Infinite, providing nearly double the frame rate over the single HD 7970. With two overclocked Radeon HD 7970s, we're seeing 151 FPS at 1080p, which is amazing. Enabling DDoF knocks this down to 126 FPS, but we're still over that magic 120 FPS number. EyeFinity with the overclocked HD 7970s in CrossFire is great, where we see 68 FPS with the Ultra preset and 52 FPS with the DDoF enabled.
The stock HD 7970s in CrossFire are still great, giving us a little under 10% the performance of the overclocked HD 7970s. 60 FPS can still be enjoyed at 5760x1080 at Ultra detail on CrossFire HD 7970s.
Overall, CrossFire provides some great performance improvements - especially for those who want to enjoy the most eye candy at 120 FPS on their 120Hz-capable monitors, like myself. If you wanted to have 120 FPS at 5760x1080, you would need to start thinking of four-way CrossFire, which is much more expensive.
60 FPS at 5760x1080 with two HD 7970s is still good in my book, and 151 FPS at 1080p is a great achievement. Now if I only had time to play the game!
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