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Testing Radeon HD 7970 Crossfire Scaling Performance in Stereo 3D

March 24th, 2012 · 9 Comments · Other S3D Tech

With the release of the Catalyst 12.2 WHQL drivers AMD has made available the official support for Crossfire in stereo 3D mode (previously only available in beta drivers) and as I’ve promised I did some testing to see how the Radeon HD 7970 will scale its performance in stereo 3D mode with a single and dual cards in Crossfire. I’ve used the 23-inch LG D2342P passive 3D monitor along with the TriDef 3D software as a middle-ware providing the stereo 3D support in games. Then a few more demanding in terms of performance games were ran with a single Radeon HD 7970 and with a dual HD 7970s in Crossfire in stereoscopic 3D mode and you can find the average framerate that was achieved below.

Test setup:

– Motherboard: Gigabyte X79-UD3
– Processor: Intel Core i7 3960X @ 4.6 GHz
– Memory: 8 GB Exceleram DDR3-1600
– Storage: 120 GB Intel X25-M SSD
– OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
– Video card: Radeon HD7970s with Catalyst 12.2 driver
– 3D Monitor: 23″ LG D2342P-PN (Passive 3D)
– 3D Middleware: DDD TriDef 3D 5.1 software

Games were tested on 1920×1080 resolution with maximum detail settings and 4xAA enabled where available (AAA for Metro 2033 with DOF disabled), unless AA gets forced to disabled from the software in order to get better performance. Have in mind that the framerate in the table and graph is per eye, the graphics card actually needs to render twice that number of frames, so each eye gets a slightly different perspective in order to create the 3D image.

As you can see from the results when the Crossfire is working as it should in stereo 3D mode there is quite nice scaling in terms of performance when you add in a second video card. But considering the fact that the games used for testing are all popular titles and have been available for a while already there were some surprises. For example there was no scaling in terms of performance at all in Skyrim, Mafia II did not run in Crossfire by default, but when forced it worked just fine and scaled well, and F1 2011 was just crashing with Crossfire enabled. Also take a look at the average framerate achieved with a single card in stereo 3D mode, a bit on the edge for comfortable gaming… meaning that you should compromise a bit on detail levels or extra filtering settings and that is the current flagship GPU from AMD. But still the addition of Crossfire support in stereo 3D mode is a good thing finally happening after a long wait, so now you can actually add a second card and get a performance boost over the not so good framerate you may be getting in stereo 3D mode, and up until a few months you could not do that. Now, another interesting question is how does the Radeon HD 7970 compare to the newly released GeForce GTX 680 in stereo 3D mode and I’m sure that there are a lot of people wondering about that already…

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9 responses so far ↓

  • 1 parkyk // Mar 24, 2012 at 13:53

    does amd 7970 support 120hz shutter 3d?
    or only 60hz?
    and if support 120hz then via Dual_DVI orDP port?

  • 2 massaker // Mar 24, 2012 at 18:43

    LG D2342P is a polfilter monitor, so is the resolution 1920*540 only! You can not make a direct comparison to 3DVision!

  • 3 Badelhas // Mar 24, 2012 at 19:44


    first let me tell you I am a big fan of your work, cheers. I fell in love with the 3D Vision tech and this is my favorite site/blog/forum of the subject. I am also a hardware geek and follow benchmarks in sites like Toms Hardware, Anandtech, Tweaktown, guru of 3D, etc, but they dont seem to approche the subject that often. Tweaktown, for instance, dosent even talk about it when reviewing games, etc. That said, I understand that you dont have that much time to do benchmarks, but I would really love it if you could benchmark 3D Vision performance in 720p resolution since there isnt one site in the world that has done it yet, at least that I am aware of. I say this because I believe there is already a lot of people who use 3D Vision in big Projection Screens like myself. The problem is that there arent any consumer priced 3D Vision Projectors in 1080p, has you know, but the anti alising and the fact that 3D tech doubles the images projected in screen seems to diminish the effects of low resolution. I havent really tried to play in 3D Vision on in a 27´´ Monitor so I dont know the difference.
    Is it possible for you do do this benchmarks? If not, I will fully understand it, so I ask for your help so that I can do it and then post them here in your forum. You did some benchmarks a while back of your system with gtx580 in sli at 1080p on a couple of games, how did you do it, with FRAPS? The games I have installed at the moment are: Battlefield 3, Batman Arkham City, Skyrim, L.A. Noir and Modern Warfare 3. Do there games need fraps or do they have some kind of internal benchmark?
    Thanks for your help.


  • 4 lionel // Mar 25, 2012 at 00:43

    which system has better s3d quality,,, 3dvision or ddd?

  • 5 Bloody // Mar 25, 2012 at 02:57

    parkyk , the AMD Radeon HD 7970 does support 120Hz active 3D displays (trough DP and DL-DVI), the models however are not that much and I’ve had trouble finding one, so I had to test with a passive 3D display.

    massaker, I’m not comparing it to 3D Vision here, although Nvidia also has the Optimized for GeForce passive 3D solutions. But regardless the rendering for both passive and active 3D is supposedly done at 1080p and the difference is in what is being displayed, so in the end the render load on the GPU is the same.

    Badelhas, I’ll have to do some testing at 720p as well. Just have to find the time for that, I’ll benchmark on the 580s… although SLI for 720p sounds a bit pointless ;)

    lionel, 3D Vision works better for some games, TriDef 3D works better on others… so it is hard to tell. You can say that the 3D Vision is more user friendly, but not as feature rich and with as many options available to the user to play with as the TriDef 3D.

  • 6 massaker // Mar 25, 2012 at 03:40

    thanks Bloody, haven’t know that, thought there was a half load on GPU for passive solutions. 720p 3D Benches are very useful for people with Sony HMD (Head Mounted Display) too, please do some comparison with high AA modes ;)

  • 7 Badelhas // Mar 26, 2012 at 00:56

    Thanks Bloody, we will appreciate it. :)
    But if I want to do the benchs also, should I use FRAPS for the games mentioned?


  • 8 Mr Latte // Mar 26, 2012 at 01:16

    Great work , it is appreciated. Follow the news on this site every week.

    I too would love to know more on performance with 3D.
    I am looking to use my 7970 with 3x Optoma GT750 for triple 60″ screens.

    Wondering if using 3x units in portrait rather than landscape to provide 2160×1080 would give not only a great resolution, nice FOV and minimise the load compared to say triple 1080p displays.

  • 9 ZEED // Mar 26, 2013 at 14:13

    Ok. Where are CPU usage graphs ???
    Can you upload them so we can see in what games you are CPU bound.
    And yes i do know you are cpu bound in some games since TriDef software basically runs on 2 cores.

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