NVIDIA 3D Vision Surround is Here

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Test System

HOW WE CONFIGURED THE TEST SYSTEM: In order to provide comparable results, the graphics cards were installed on the same, high end X58 based test system. The components we used consisted of an EVGA Classified motherboard, Core i7 980X Extreme Edition processor, and 6GB of OCZ Blade memory. Within the BIOS, we configured the processor to an overclocked speed of 4.38GHz and memory to 1857MHz. These settings will minimize the occurrences of performance bottlenecks during benchmark runs and allow the graphics cards to show their true potential. Furthermore, our Crucial M225 solid state drive entered the testing process with a clean copy of Windows 7 Professional 64-bit installed. Once installation was complete, we fully updated the OS and installed the latest drivers and applications relevant to the review article.

HotHardware's Test System
Core i7 Powered

Hardware Used:
Intel Core i7 980X Extreme Edition
Overclocked 4.38GHz

EVGA Classified 760 Motherboard
X58 Express Chipset

Gigabyte Super Overclock HD 5870 1GB CrossFire

6GB OCZ Blade DDR3-1857
(3 X 2GB) 7-8-7-20 1T

Crucial M225 128GB SSD
Firmware 1916

Three Dell 3008WFP LCD Monitors
7680 x 1600 Resolution

Relevant Software:
Windows 7 Professional 64bit
NVIDIA GeForce Driver Release 258.69 Beta
ATI Catalyst Display Driver 10.6 (6/16/2010)
ATI Catalyst CrossFireX Profiles 10.6 (6/18/2010)

Benchmarks Used:

Dirt 2 DX9
Just Cause 2
Batman: Arkham Asylum
FarCry2 DX10
H.A.W.X. DX10

For clarification, this test system was used for 2D gaming benchmarks only. We wanted to see how well the SLI and CrossFire configurations performed with an overclocked Intel 980X Extreme Edition processor and three 30" monitors offering a 7680 x 1600 resolution. A different configuration was used during our subjective 3D Vision Surround testing shown in the videos on the following pages, which maxed out at a resolution of 5760 x 1080. 

GTX 480 SLI vs HD 5870 CrossFireX
Toe to Toe

2 X Gigabyte Super Overclock HD 5870 In Crossfire

In order to compare the performance of two GTX 480s, we wanted to find suitable competitors. A pair of ATI HD 5870s would easily be up for the challenge, but we raised the ante by using two Gigabyte Super Overclock models. These cards come factory modified to 950MHz core clock with a 1250MHz memory frequency. As a result, they command a higher price point than reference models, and match the $500 asking price of the GTX 480.


The GTX 480 is NVIDIA's flagship videocard. It features a 700MHz core clock with 1.5GB of GDDR5 rated at 924MHz. Alone, its widely regarded as the fastest single GPU on the market. Pairing two of these cards in SLI gives you an enormous amount of pixel pushing power. Let's find out how they compare to the overclocked HD 5870s when run in 2D at maximum resolutions.

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