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Editor: Julio Franco

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Testing Methodology

In total we tested 21 graphics card configurations using both ATI and Nvidia chips that ranged from the uber expensive models to budget-minded offerings. As mentioned previously, we tested using the high, medium and low quality presets.

The latest official drivers were used for all graphics cards, which saw both Crossfire and SLI working. However Crossfire was full of graphical glitches and although we did not experience any crashing, there were a number of rendering issues that still need to be solved.

For measuring frame rates we relied on Fraps, where we recorded a minute of gameplay from the second level. The Intel Core i7 920 processor was overclocked to 3.7GHz in an attempt to remove any CPU bottlenecks that could influence high-end graphics cards scores.

Update: We have updated our preset screenshots below noting that all our tests we performed with the HBAO (Horizon-Based Ambient Occlusion) setting disabled.

Finally, we know that many of you will be interested in CPU scaling performance as well, and therefore we down-clocked the Core i7 920 to see what kind of impact this has on performance when using a pair of Radeon HD 5870 graphics cards in Crossfire.

We will be looking for an average of 60fps for stutter-free gameplay.

Test System Specs
- Intel Core i7 920 (Overclocked @ 3.70GHz)
- x3 2GB G.Skill DDR3 PC3-12800 (CAS 9-9-9-24)
- Asus P6T Deluxe (Intel X58)
- OCZ GameXStream (700 watt)
- Seagate 500GB 7200-RPM (Serial ATA300)
- Radeon HD 5870 (1GB) Crossfire
- Radeon HD 5870 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 5850 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 5770 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 5750 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 5670 (512MB)
- Radeon HD 5570 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 5450 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 4890 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 4870 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 4850 (1GB)
- Radeon HD 4830 (512MB)
- Radeon HD 4770 (512MB)
- Radeon HD 3850 (512MB)
- GeForce GTX 285 (1GB)
- GeForce GTX 275 (896MB)
- GeForce GTX 260 (896MB)
- GeForce GT 240 (512MB)
- GeForce 9800 GT (512MB)
- GeForce 9600 GT (512MB)
- GeForce 8600 GTS (256MB)
Software
- Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
- Nvidia Forceware 196.21
- ATI Catalyst 10.2