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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  • Kimbernator - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    1200w for 2 680s? that's probably not wasteful.

    Never buy prebuilt gaming computers, building is cheaper and you'll get better performance.
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    Well, Nvidia's recommendations would put the PSU at 750W for 2 680s in SLI.

    You need some headroom if you plan to overclock the video cards, but I don't see that requiring another 450W. An 850W PSU should be more than plenty, unless you want room for installing 2 more cards, or 1 more card and plenty of room to OC the 3.

    You did read the test results showing max draw to be less than 500W, right?

    It's all good to say "never buy pre-built" when you personally have the time and inclination, and I more or less agree with the sentiment, but rigs like this one from iBUYPOWER are very much known quantities - everything in it is name-brand, and the unit itself has been tested here at Anandtech favorably. I wouldn't fault anyone for buying this rig over building his own.

  • DigitalWolf - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    "We've heard that Ivy Bridge runs hotter than Sandy Bridge does, and I can confirm those findings by comparing the thermal readings from our Sandy Bridge-based Erebus GT against our Ivy Bridge-based Erebus GT."

    The images that you have to compare the two systems... show the 2700k system with a maximum vcore of 1.06v and the 3770k with a maximum of 1.36v.

    I would expect the system with .3 higher vcore to run "hotter" even if they were the same chip...
  • Nickel020 - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    The same screenshot show that +12V is at a maximum of 7.03V... Don't put too much faith into software readings, especially with very hardware there are often errors. Given that the current value is 1.10V during idle, that 1.36V is likely just a freak reading, the VCore will not vary that much.
  • Nickel020 - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    *with very new hardware there are often errors.
  • leonzio666 - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    Where are Metro 2033, Mafia II, Witcher II with ubersampling and Crysis or Starcraft II MP benchmarks ??? No one, and I mean absolutely no one in their right mind would buy such a beast only to play the games tested.
  • imaheadcase - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    No one buys a system for just the games YOU listed to. Games are subject to the user, the games they used are POPULAR games so they went with them.

    Starcraft MP does not stress a GPU/CPU much. Metro 2033 is not a game many play, Mafia 2 not many play, etc.
  • jonbanh - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    hmm, i would say starcraft 2 is pretty POPULAR. and if you say it doesnt stress the CPU/GPU enough, well you also have portal 2 up there hitting almost 300 fps. i would've liked to see metro 2033 also just because it's been one of the most demanding games so far. as well as crysis 2

    i always figured when systems are given to sites for reviews, the manufacturer provides "guidelines" for what benchmarks they want or dont want shown
  • Sabresiberian - Saturday, April 28, 2012 - link

    Oh yeah, popularity is always the top reason a game should be included in a benchmark suite.

    Dustin should have included "Angry Birds".

  • Tchamber - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    When do you expect to get the chance to compare 7970s in CF to the 680s in SLI?

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