Our testing methods
Astute readers will note that the components used in this build differ slightly from those that Cyril uses in his case reviews. The table below shows the specifics of the hardware we'll be using for our test bed.
|| AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition (140W)
||Thermaltake Frio (single fan in a pull configuration)
||4GB (4 DIMMs)
||Corsair XMS3 at 1333MHz
||Realtek ALC889 with default Windows drivers
||XFX Radeon HD 6870 1GB GDDR5 with Catalyst 11.5 drivers
||Seagate NL35.2 500GB 7,200 RPM
||OCZ GameXStream 700W
||Microsoft Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
In an attempt to promote some consistency, the chosen parts for this system use roughly the same amount of power as Cyril's at full load. Using a Kill-a-watt P3 meter, I measured the following peak power utilization numbers (at the wall) to use as a reference.
|CPU load only
|GPU load only
|CPU & GPU loads
Due to the similar energy usage, you can compare these test results to Cyril's with the requisite salt shaker in hand. To make things scientific, however, I will be maintaining a separate data set going forward, representing only the cases I've tested using these parts in the same environmental conditions. The components used may not be the newest kids on the block, but they do represent approximately the same power and thermal characteristics associated with today's high-end hardware.
Most of the tests and methods employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have any questions about our methods, hit up our forums to talk with us about them. Below is a list of the relevant software pieces used in this review.