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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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