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Our testing methods
To put each codec's EAX implementation to the test, we assembled a couple of similar nForce 590 SLI motherboards from Asus and Foxconn, one with Analog Devices AD1988B codec, the other with Realtek's ALC882D. Both chips claim to support EAX 2.0, and each was configured with the latest version of its drivers. Nvidia actually used to provide its own 3D audio drivers for nForce chipsets, but the company is now relying solely on codec makers for 3D audio support and has removed the 3D audio drivers from its ForceWare driver package.

We used the following test systems.

Processor Athlon 64 X2 5000+ 2.6GHz
System busHyperTransport 16-bit/1GHz
Motherboard Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe Wireless Edition Foxconn C51XEM2AA-8EKRS2H
Bios revision603612W1P20
North bridgenForce 590 SLI SPPnForce 590 SLI SPP
South bridgenForce 590 SLI MCPnForce 590 SLI MCP
Chipset driversForceWare 9.35ForceWare 9.35
Memory size2GB (2 DIMMs)2GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400PRO DDR2 SDRAM at 742MHz
CAS latency (CL)55
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)55
RAS precharge (tRP)55
Cycle time (tRAS)1212
Command rate1T1T
Audio codecIntegrated nForce 590 SLI MCP/AD1988B with 5.10.1.4530 driversIntegrated nForce 590 SLI/ALC882D with Realtek HD 1.47 drivers
Graphics GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB PCI-E with ForceWare 91.31 drivers
Hard drive Western Digital Caviar RE2 400GB
OS Windows XP Professional
OS updatesService Pack 2

Our test systems were hooked up to 5.1-channel Logitech Z680 speakers using each motherboard's analog audio outputs. The audio drivers were set to use 5.1-channel output.

Thanks to Corsair for providing us with memory for our testing. 2GB of RAM seems to be the new standard for most folks, and Corsair hooked us up with some of its 1GB DIMMs for testing.

Also, all of our test systems were powered by OCZ GameXStream 700W power supply units. Thanks to OCZ for providing these units for our use in testing.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The test systems' Windows desktop was set at 1280x1024 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate.

All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.