3DMark Fire Strike Ultra
We start with 3DMark as always to provide a baseline for our analysis. Fire Strike Ultra runs natively in 4K, and is quite challenging for any modern system. We're reporting the Overall, Graphics, and Combined Scores here, dropping the Physics Score, as it's determined only by the platform, which remained a constant throughout our testing. We've provided a scaling number with the Graphics Score for our two SLI systems, as we'll be doing in all of our other tables in this article. As you can see, GTX 1070 cards in SLI scale at 86%, which is quite good, but the GTX 1080 in SLI hits 93% scaling, which is simply phenomenal. These results put 1070 SLI 14% ahead of the Titan X Pascal, while the 1080 SLI setup is 43% ahead. We'll soon see if that kind of advantage holds!
Crysis is as close to a universal PC benchmark as we've ever seen in an actual PC game. That's why we keep it around, even though it was released way back in 2013. The fact that it can still bring systems to their knees is a testament to the skill of Crytek engineers, who were able to provide a view of the future of PC gaming with their advanced game engine. A shame, then that it looks as if Crytek may be at the end of its rope, with rumors swirling regarding its imminent demise....
In any event, yes, all of our systems can play Crysis in 4K, although the GTX 1070 suffers badly, and it really takes a single GTX 1080 to make this game feel decent. Luckily, SLI scaling was excellent in this well-tuned game, and our SLI setups had no trouble delivering fantastic performance, with the 1070 SLI system 16% ahead of the Titan X Pascal, and the 1080 SLI system 45% ahead. Note that we used minimal anti-aliasing in these benchmarks for two reasons: first, at 4K, it's really not all that helpful to have extreme anti-aliasing, since there's little aliasing to begin with, and second, adding a whole lot more AA makes the game unplayable on all of our setups.
Far Cry 4
Eagle-eyed readers will probably scratch their heads at the results in Far Cry 4, thinking we've made some kind of mistake. Indeed, SLI scaling above 100% doesn't sound possible, but we've tested Far Cry 4 in SLI numerous times and always found such "impossible" scaling to occur. There are two potential explanations: SLI eliminates a particular bottleneck that holds back single card performance, or else some graphical setting isn't actually being applied in SLI. We'll leave it to you to decide which is more likely, but don't expect this kind of scaling in any other game! The GTX 1080 SLI system is an absurd 63% faster than the Titan here.
On the next page, we'll move on to a number of more recent games, all of which pushed the limits of PC performance while also advancing the state of PC gaming generally.