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Our testing methods
As ever, we did our best to deliver clean benchmark numbers. Tests were run at least three times, and the results were averaged.

Please note that our Core 2 Duo E6700 is actually a Core 2 Extreme X6800 processor clocked down to the appropriate speed. Its performance should be identical to that of the real thing, although its power consumption may vary slightly. Then again, power consumption tends to vary from older chips to newer and from one chip to the next.

Our test systems were configured like so:

Processor Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66GHz Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3.0GHz (90nm)
System bus 1066MHz (266MHz quad-pumped) 1GHz HyperTransport
Motherboard Intel D975XBX2 Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe
BIOS revision BX97520J.86A.2618.2007.0212.0954 0903
North bridge 975X MCH nForce 590 SLI SPP
South bridge ICH7R nForce 590 SLI MCP
Chipset drivers INF Update 8.1.1.1010
Intel Matrix Storage Manager 6.21
ForceWare 15.00
Memory size 2GB (2 DIMMs) 2GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type Corsair TWIN2X2048-6400C4
DDR2 SDRAM
at 800MHz
Corsair TWIN2X2048-8500C5
DDR2 SDRAM
at 800MHz
CAS latency (CL) 4 4
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD) 4 4
RAS precharge (tRP) 4 4
Cycle time (tRAS) 12 12
Audio Integrated ICH7R/STAC9274D5 with
Sigmatel 6.10.0.5274 drivers
Integrated nForce 590 MCP/AD1988B with
Soundmax 6.10.2.6100 drivers
Hard drive Maxtor DiamondMax 10 250GB SATA 150
Graphics GeForce 7900 GTX 512MB PCIe with ForceWare 100.64 drivers
OS Windows Vista Ultimate x64 Edition
OS updates -

Thanks to Corsair for providing us with memory for our testing. Their products and support are far and away superior to generic, no-name memory.

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.

The test systems' Windows desktops were set at 1280x1024 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The tests and methods we employ are generally publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.