Before we start of our regular benchmark run with the EVGA card, we recently decided to try the GeForce GTX 690 on a couple of different platforms. The results shown below originate from the reference review so they might differ marginally from the EVGA review results, but it's just too handy to not include on the EVGA review (both cards are 100% the same).
So in our recent GeForce GTX 680 SLI article we already mentioned that as long as you have a modern age processor, preferably Intel Core i7 based, then it really doesn't matter that much what kind of processor you have and how high it's overclocked, unless you want an influence on the 3DMark series.
So in this chapter of the review I ran four benchmark tests on four different processor configurations. We start off with Far Cry 2 at 8xAA and 16xAF in Very High quality mode.
Now I deliberately included an AMD FX 8150 processor as AMD's current offerings are just not well suited for high-end SLI.
The Core i7 965 @ 3.75 GHz shown, is our standard test system. It actually performs equal to a default Core i7 2600K (not included in these results), and as you can see, also a Core i7 3960X will perform roughly the same. Here's why; all these processors are based on nearly the same Nehalem cores and they all run at roughly 3.8~3.9 GHz, hence the performance is roughly equal. So yes, our two year old test setup slightly overclocked is equally fast as Sandy Bridge and even Ivy Bridge.
Obviously with the more dated titles overclocking helps a little as well, hence I threw a test at 4600 MHz with the six-core Core i7 3960X. And the bump in clock frequency helps out, until you run into GPU limitation. The result? Well look for yourself.
When we look at Anno 2070 at the very best image quality settings and 4xAA we again see the AMD FX 8150 platform drown. Nehalem core based processors at 3800~3900 MHz like our test system or a Core i7 2500/2600K/3770K and yeah, again that 1000 USD 3960X will give you roughly the same performance.
Overclocked we again do see a little bump in performance.
Let's have a look at the four processor configurations, this time with Battlefield 3 -- ultra quality mode and 4xAA. Again very similar behavior. I did have better hopes for the FX processor as the title is so massively threaded, unfortunately that's not the case. The per core performance of the FX processor is simply not fast enough for this dual-GPU graphics violence.
As stated, the 3DMark series likes more cores and is very savvy on per core performance. The results you see above are based on the same operating system image, meaning all drivers/OS/updates etc... it's all the same. With an 8-core AMD FX you'll see almost 12K points, with four core processors at the 3800~3900 MHz threshold like the Core i7 2500/2600K/3770K you'll see roughly 14K points. And once you have six core based Intel Core i7 processors you'll close in at 15.5K in 3DMark 11.
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