Futuremark's 3DMark06 is an outdated benchmark at this point, although it remains one of the world's most popular and often downloaded. Supporting DirectX 9.0c and advanced Shader Model 2.0 and 3.0 tests, 3DMark06 runs at a default 1280x1024 resolution, so even video cards and monitors that are several years old can use it. However when using this benchmark to compare modern hardware it is important to remember that scores will be affected to a greater extent by CPU processing power rather than GPU capability. This is reflected in our test results, where we see only a 15% difference between the single card and SLI scores.
Futuremark's latest 3DMark benchmark Vantage is more heavily dependent on raw graphical processing power. Requiring DirectX 10, and thus Windows Vista in order to run, Vantage uses advanced Shader Model 4.0 in its GPU tests. While still running at a low 1280x1024 resolution at the Performance level default, Vantage takes advantage of new texture filtering and physics processing capabilities in modern graphics cards. Here we see the SLI configuration score 35% better than the single card, in large part due to the near double GPU rating. PPU was disabled during the runs to prevent PhysX from skewing the CPU scores.
Now let's try some gaming, starting with Crysis.