Finally, the clash of the graphic card giants has gained momentum in the form of Nvidia's GTX 480 (3-way SLI) pitted against the formidable Radeon HD5870 (3-way Crossfire) and the monstrous Radeon HD5970 (2-way Crossfire). It is not a question of one man's guess to pick the right choice among these power hungry monsters. Rather, it is a question of who came out trumps in the Clash of the Titans that would matter for most users (though looking at how much the required processor, 3 GPUs, and power supply would cost, this is almost in the realm of abstraction, or only relevant to those with very deep pockets).
In the preliminary rounds of qualification, it is reported that a 1 Kilowatt power supply provided insufficient power for Nvidia's hardware while the mighty Core i7-965 test bench CPU caused a bottleneck in some cases. The testers then suitably upgraded their test systems with a six-core Core i7-980X processor and a 1,200W power supply for benchmarking these power hungry monsters.
With all the setup in place, it is reported that the benchmarking yielded a mixed bag of results indicating insurmountable wins on either sides in particular games and tests. However, the Nvidia Geforce GTX 480's (3-way SLI) TDP ratings were still through the roof when compared to its Radeon counterparts, even when you consider that the HD5970 in 2-way Crossfire is actually 4 GPUs, as opposed to the 3 GPUs of the GTX 480 (3-way SLI). But as mentioned before, power consumption would not be factor to those who can afford the setup in the first place.