The benchmarks on this page were all collected in actual runs through the game world, as none of these games has a built-in benchmark. For each of the games, we chose a specific 30-second scene to repeat in identical fashion, collecting three samples at each setting. We found these to be remarkably consistent, even more so than the built-in benchmarks on the previous page, so we simply averaged all three to arrive at a final number.
So, will it run Crysis? Yes, it will, and at 4K, a single card just barely passes the playability test. Sure, 31.7fps is pretty low, but CryEngine3, the engine behind Crysis 3, is truly exceptional in its ability to provide a great gaming experience despite demanding a lot from hardware. The secret? Well, we don't know how Crytek did it, but it comes down to minimums. Look at how amazingly consistent these benchmarks are. There's barely any spread between the average and mimimum. It's just a model of fluidity.
Unfortunately, not all is perfect here, and one look at the sub-40% SLI scaling will tell you that this is not the game to add a second card to your system for. Curious about what was going on, we took a look at the CPU usage in this game. We think you'll pick up some clues right away:
Oh, so this is what they mean by a CPU bottleneck! Sure enough, this game absolutely slams our CPU against the wall and won't let go. Remember we have six cores running at 4.4GHz (note that Windows 10 misreports this as a stock 3.3GHz CPU). But even that, plus six more virtual cores, isn't enough once we go to SLI. That's just throwing way more GPU power at the game than the CPU can support. This is a very finely-balanced game, probably the ideal situation, really, but for anyone who just wants to throw a lot of GPU at a game to boost performance, this is not the one.
We are testing the single-player mode of this game, as the multi-player mode does not allow for the collection of repeatable results. Going SLI achieves 73% scaling at 1440p and 75% scaling at 4K, not bad at all, and definitely more than enough to push performance to the playable level, even at 4K. Unfortunately, the performance of a single card at 4K just isn't good enough. The Frostbite game engine used here, in contrast to CryEngine3, performs very poorly at low framerates. It feels downright choppy, and because the game really requires quick reflexes to enjoy to the fullest, you need framerates above 60fps.
Far Cry 4
This game exhibits fantastic SLI scaling, about 84% at 1440p and 89% at 4K. In other words, the game makes great use out of multiple GPUs, in part because it doesn't require much from CPUs (as long as you have at least four cores!). But like Battlefield 4, it requires pretty high framerates to feel good. At 4K, the single 980 Ti is passable, but it's not what we'd call smooth. And this is without Nvidia Gameworks enabled, which dropped framerates by another 40% - honestly a bit too much given the visual fidelity boost it provides.
The Witcher 3
The newest game in our suite, this is a great example of how to produce a top-quality PC gaming experience, both in terms of graphics and gameplay. It is demanding, however, and it all comes down to GPU power, as this game requires almost nothing from a CPU. While this would typically be a recipe for SLI success, we achieved downright terrible SLI scaling in this game (35% at 1440p, 19% at 4K). Given that GPU usage was around 60% in this test with SLI enabled and that 4K scaling was worse than 1440p, we're guessing that the SLI profile just isn't working right. In other words, The Witcher 3 certainly isn't a game that makes the investment in SLI worthwhile. As for playability at 4K, we found that it just wasn't quite smooth enough with a single GPU, although with dual GPUs it was passable, despite the bad scaling. And keep in mind that we had Nvidia Gameworks disabled here, the primary component of which is Hairworks. The impact on performance is just too great at high resolutions for any video card configuration to take on Hairworks at 4K today.