A true multi-GPU utopia has for long eluded us. While railroad companies can get locomotives of different make and horsepower to haul their trains around in perfect harmony, the idea of combining two or more GPUs of any brand, model, or architecture (as long as they support the same API or the feature-level the app is rendering on) has seemed impossible.
There have been efforts to make them work through GPU virtualization in the past, such as Lucid Hydra, but while the idea was noble, its implementation didn't really take off. Microsoft has now taken a bold step towards doing so by implementing an API-level multi-GPU tech of the kind we have dreamed of with DirectX 12, an API that made its debut with Windows 10.
Ashes of the Singularity, developed by Stardock, is a real-time, large-scale strategy game similar to Supreme Commander or Total Annihilation. The game created quite some buzz in enthusiast circles during its development because it was one of the first titles to take advantage of DirectX 12. This also makes it an interesting GPU benchmark for DirectX 12 capable hardware, hardware that has been on the market for over the past 18 months.
In this review, we'll be making a guacamole with video cards. We will compare the single-GPU performance of performance-thru-enthusiast segment cards to their respective SLI or CrossFire configurations, their DirectX 12 multi-GPU configuration, and several multi-GPU configurations that are a mix-and-match of various GPUs.