Crysis 3 – GTX 660 vs HD 7870

Crysis 3 (DirectX 11)


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Frame Rating: GTX 660 vs HD 7870, plus HD 7790, HD 7850, GTX 650 Ti BOOST - Graphics Cards 41

Frame Rating: GTX 660 vs HD 7870, plus HD 7790, HD 7850, GTX 650 Ti BOOST - Graphics Cards 42


Crysis 3, just like we saw in Battlefield 3, sees significant frame rate drops when we take away the runt frames from the CrossFire HD 7870s.  Both of the single cards perform pretty closely with a slight edge going to the HD 7870.

The mass of orange is our result from the CrossFire HD 7870 testing and obviously the runts are strong with this one.  The SLI results (in the blue line) are much better though we still see some problems spike up with high variance. 

Our minimum FPS percentile graph shows the problems with CrossFire and the lack of any true scaling from the single HD 7870.  Interestingly, the GTX 660s in SLI are very consistent (nearly flat line) until we hit the 90th percentile where it takes a pretty sudden drop. 

Frame time variance is constant throughout the CrossFire run but SLI only spikes up at the 95th percentile and beyond.


As we increase the resolution here, all frame rates drop noticeably but again only SLI scales correctly.  CrossFire presents a lot of runt frames that don't improve perceived performance.

AMD's HD 7870s in CrossFire show the same kind of results at 25×14 as above at 19×12 and even SLI is showing more frame rate variance.  Obviously our high settings in Crysis 3 with this class of cards are putting some substantial strain on the GPU system!  Both single cards, despite running at low frame rates (15-20 FPS) are pretty consistent and smooth.

CrossFire is actually running slower than the single HD 7870 in terms of observed performance but the average frame rate on the GTX 660 does go from 14 FPS to 24 FPS by adding a second card.  That frame rate does gradually drop on SLI until it basically matches performance of a single card at the 99th percentile.

HD 7870s in CrossFire are showing the same high frame variance and potential stutter rates we have seen from many other CrossFire configurations over the last couple of weeks.  The other results point towards the higher frame time variance on the SLI config and also the advantage of the single Radeon HD 7870 over the GTX 660 in variance.

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