Red vs Green vs Blue - Game Benchmarks

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The first thing I wanted to test was the anomaly that I saw during benchmarking, where the Nvidia rig performed poorly when running a single-monitor fullscreen application while in Nvidia Surround.

I ran benchmarks on DiRT3 using both High and Ultra presets, and HAWX2 both with and without Terrain Tessellation. I tried running from a single monitor desktop, a 3-screen Nvidia Surround desktop, and also a 3-screen Extended Desktop.

You can clearly see that the system does not perform the same when launching a game at 1680x1050 from Nvidia Surround as a single-monitor desktop. This is a major flaw for Nvidia Surround as it means you need to change to a single monitor desktop every time you want to run a single monitor fullscreen application at full performance. While I cannot explain this anomaly, I can explain that the extended desktop performs much worse because you cannot have SLI enabled with an extended desktop. I was just curious to see how the three options performed.


From there, I ran the same benchmarks across all 3 systems (remembering that the TH2G with the AMD card was eliminated from this comparison as it cannot support a resolution of 5040x1050). DiRT3 was run in both the High and Ultra presets, and HAWX2 was run at max everything both with and without Terrain Tessellation.


I find it fascinating that the Triplehead2Go on the Nvidia rig performs better than Nvidia Surround does. I can't explain that one, as MSI Afterburner reported both were running DirectX11. It's a fairly noticeable gain at the 5040x1050 resolution.

It's not a huge surprise to me to see that the Eyefinity system performs worse than the Nvidia Surround system because it was cheaper to buy. But does it perform worse than the difference in cost compared to the Nvidia Surround rig?

I did some cost-per-performance-indicator comparisons to see how much money you need to spend to get the same thing - in other words, the value you get.


So in the graphs above, you can see how much money it costs to get 500 P-scores in benchmarking, or how much each Frame Per Second in DiRT3 and HAWX2 costs.

Despite being the cheapest system to setup, the Eyefinity solution tested here is actually less cost-effective in games than the Nvidia rig. This means that the Nvidia rig performed better than the increase in cost, meaning it is a better value-for-money system. In fact, despite costing twice as much as the Eyefinity rig, the Triplehead2Go performed so well that they were on par for value, but only in regards to the HAWX2 benchmark.

I want to stress that these results would change depending on how video card prices change and what your local market has to offer.

So from the comparison so far, the things that have stood out to me are:
- Nvidia Surround's lack of performance when running single monitor fullscreen applications
- The Triplehead2Go outperformed Nvidia Surround on the same video cards, most notably at larger resolutions

Now I want to take a look at how easy it is to live with each system, what flaws they have, and where they shine.

This article has been superseded by Red vs Green vs Blue V2! Please refer to Version 2 for the latest information available.