As always, we start with 3DMark 11, our trusty synthetic benchmark designed to test a GPU's performance at various aspects of DirectX 11 such as tessellation and DirectCompute.
We were immediately impressed by how much better the ARES II performed compared to the Devil 13, outscoring it by 13% on the Performance Preset and by 16% on the Extreme Preset. It also outscored our HD 7970 CrossFireX setup by 6% on Performance and an impressive 10% at Extreme - bear in mind that this is considering the speedier GHz edition cards in CrossFire. NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 690 was the ARES II's closest competitor, but still trailed by about 5% on Performance and 7% on Extreme. All in all, the ARES II is looking really good right from the start, but will it sustain this lead?
On the synthetic Unigine 3.0 benchmark, the ARES II again scored well, out performing the Devil 13 by between 12-15% across all settings and the HD Radeon 7970 GHz Edition CrossFireX setup by about 7-10%. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 690 did not fare as well on this benchmark, possibly due to the heavy skew towards tessellation performance. Also note that the ARES II is well over twice the performance of a single Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition card, which is quite a tall order considering the scaling of dual GPU cards at times.