Gaming Performance

Given what we've seen on the last page of the pair of GeForce GTX 680's in the iBUYPOWER Erebus GT, it's reasonable to assume we'll see them pretty much at the top of every chart. Thankfully we're starting to accumulate a decent amount of data to draw comparisons from with our new gaming suite.

Batman: Arkham City

Battlefield 3

Civilization V

DiRT 3

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Portal 2

Total War: Shogun 2

Bottom line, two GTX 680s is essentially excessive for 1080p. That's to be expected, but I was so stunned by the performance in Battlefield 3 that I actually had to double-check my results. Battlefield 3 has been fairly punishing on most of the systems I've tested, but the GTX 680s just brush it off. In other titles, we clearly hit CPU limits before the GPUs can reach their stride—Civilization V, Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and Total War: Shogun 2 are clearly CPU limited at this point, and Portal 2 is only somewhat less so.

At the same time, everything isn't quite sunny for SLI right now. Since the GTX 680 is fairly new, each driver release from NVIDIA is going to become that much more important. The 301.10 drivers, for example, weren't entirely stable compared to the 301.24 betas, which could run DiRT 3 in surround without issue. I also had trouble actually configuring surround in the first place on the 301.10s, problems that didn't resurface in the 301.24s. The 301.10s also produced substantially lower SLI performance in Portal 2 (still 130+ fps) than the 301.24s.

Batman: Arkham City

Battlefield 3

DiRT 3

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Portal 2

Total War: Shogun 2

I'm sure it surprises no one that the pair of GTX 680s is able to provide playable experiences across every game at our highest resolution and settings. Battlefield 3 does bring the hammer down, though; triple the resolution and the performance is sliced pretty linearly down to about a third of what it was. If you want to run at surround resolutions with anti-aliasing enabled, though, the GTX 680s can do it. Interestingly, Skyrim is still apparently hitting CPU bottlenecks even at 5760x1200.

Application and Futuremark Performance An Update on Build, and Power Consumption
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  • fastman696 - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    A single 680 to compair to the 7970 would have been nice to see! Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    I agree that it would have been interesting, but I understand too why we didn't see it in this review, which was about systems built by iBUYPOWER and others, and not a direct GPU to GPU comparison test.

    ;)
    Reply
  • Wreckage - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    680 is upwards of 20% faster than a 7970. Reply
  • CherryBOMB - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    or at least 2x 7970's in crossfire. Reply
  • Stabgotham - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    Curious how the temps fared with the custom setup... Reply
  • Stabgotham - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    At full load, I mean.... Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    They're there. Look at the max in the HWMonitor caps. Reply
  • seanleeforever - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    hi Dustin
    is there a reason why you guys review this machine as oppose to, say HP Z1, you know, something every one can buy instead of IBuyPower which only servers US market to the best of my knowledge. is there something so special about iBuyPower systems that you guys just feel the need to cover all of their products?
    Reply
  • Hourglasss - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    Ibuypower probably sends them the machines to review, HP probably doesn't. That simple. It's not a conspiracy. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, April 28, 2012 - link

    Basically. Reply

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