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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.

Our test systems were configured like so:

ProcessorCore 2 Extreme X6800 2.93GHzCore 2 Extreme X6800 2.93GHz
System bus1066MHz (266MHz quad-pumped)1066MHz (266MHz quad-pumped)
MotherboardXFX nForce 680i SLIAsus P5W DH Deluxe
BIOS revisionP261901
North bridgenForce 680i SLI SPP975X MCH
South bridgenForce 680i SLI MCPICH7R
Chipset driversForceWare 15.00INF update 8.1.1.1010
Matrix Storage Manager 6.21
Memory size4GB (4 DIMMs)4GB (4 DIMMs)
Memory type2 x Corsair TWIN2X20488500C5D
DDR2 SDRAM
at 800MHz
2 x Corsair TWIN2X20488500C5D
DDR2 SDRAM
at 800MHz
CAS latency (CL)44
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)44
RAS precharge (tRP)44
Cycle time (tRAS)1818
Command rate2T2T
Hard driveMaxtor DiamondMax 10 250GB SATA 150Maxtor DiamondMax 10 250GB SATA 150
AudioIntegrated nForce 680i SLI/ALC850
with Microsoft drivers
Integrated ICH7R/ALC882M
with Microsoft drivers
GraphicsGeForce 8800 Ultra 768MB PCIe
with ForceWare 158.18 drivers
Radeon X1950 XTX512MB PCIe
+ Radeon X1950 CrossFire
with Catalyst 7.4 drivers
GeForce 8800 GTX 768MB PCIe
with ForceWare 158.18 drivers
 
Dual BFG GeForce 8800 GTS SLI 640MB PCIe
with ForceWare 158.18 drivers
 
OSWindows Vista Ultimate x86 EditionWindows Vista Ultimate x86 Edition
OS updates--

Thanks to Corsair for providing us with memory for our testing. Their quality, service, and support are easily superior to no-name DIMMs.

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

Unless otherwise specified, image quality settings for the graphics cards were left at the control panel defaults.

The test systems' Windows desktops were set at 1600x1200 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.

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.