DiRT 3 – SLI

DiRT 3 (DirectX 11)


 

A continuation of the Colin McRae series, but without his name, DiRT 3 is one of the top racing games in the world and offers stunning imagery along with support for features of DirectX 11. 

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Graphics Card Review - GK110 Mini - Graphics Cards  1

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Graphics Card Review - GK110 Mini - Graphics Cards  2

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 3GB Graphics Card Review - GK110 Mini - Graphics Cards  3

Our settings for DiRT 3

If the single card solutions had some problems with DiRT 3 at 1920×1080, the SLI configurations and CrossFire setup with the HD 7970 are even worse.  With the overhead of SLI and CrossFire, and the even more consistent CPU bottleneck caused by the abundance of GPU resources, we do see more frame variance than I would like to see, on both AMD and NVIDIA setups.  As we learn more about these issues we are finding that the HIGH frame times (lower frame rates) are being caused by CPU bottlenecks while the LOW frame times (higher frame rates) are being caused by the GPU bottleneck.  This back and forth pattern with some games at some resolutions is starting its own, unique issue it seems.

 

Look at that – the GTX 780 is actually seeing problems with DiRT 3 at 2560×1440 in relation to frame time variance.  Yes, it does scale in the average frame rate, from 80-ish to 130-ish FPS, but the frame time variance level does creep up to the 4 ms level, something that might be visible to the gamer.

 

At 5760×1080, the GTX 780 SLI config is actually being utilized and we see a performance boost from 57 FPS average to nearly 90 FPS; a solid 58% SLI increase.

 

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