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

Our test systems were configured like so:

Processor Athlon XP-M 'Barton' 2500+ 2.4GHz Athlon XP 'Barton' 3200+ 2.2GHz Athlon XP 'Barton' 3000+ 2.167GHzAthlon 64 3000+ 2.0GHz
Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0GHz
Athlon 64 3400+ 2.2GHz
Opteron 146 2.0GHz
Opteron 148 2.2GHz
Opteron 150 2.4GHz
Dual Opteron 246 2.0GHz
Dual Opteron 248 2.2GHz
Dual Opteron 250 2.4GHz
Xeon 3.06GHz 1MB L3
Xeon 3.2GHz 1MB L3
Dual Xeon 3.2GHz 1MB L3
Pentium 4 2.8'C'GHz
Pentium 4 3.2GHz
Pentium 4 3.4GHz
Pentium 4 3.2GHz Extreme Edition
Pentium 4 3.4GHz Extreme Edition
Pentium 4 2.8'E'GHz
Pentium 4 3.0'E'GHz
Pentium 4 3.2'E'GHz
Pentium 4 3.4'E'GHz
Front-side bus400MHz (200MHz DDR)400MHz (200MHz DDR)333MHz (166MHz DDR)HT 16-bit/800MHz downstream
HT 16-bit/800MHz upstream
HT 16-bit/800MHz downstream
HT 16-bit/800MHz upstream
533MHz (133MHz quad-pumped)800MHz (200MHz quad-pumped)
MotherboardAbit AN7Asus A7N8X Deluxe v2.0Asus A7N8X Deluxe v2.0MSI K8T NeoMSI 9130Tyan Tiger i7505Abit IC7-G
BIOS revision1.4C1007C10071.11.311.3IC7_21.B00
North bridgenForce2 SPPnForce2 SPPnForce2 SPPK8T800K8T800E7505 MCH82875P MCH
South bridgenForce2 MCP-TnForce2 MCP-TnForce2 MCP-TVT8237VT823782801DB ICH482801ER ICH5R
Chipset driversForceWare 3.13ForceWare 3.13ForceWare 3.134-in-1 v.4.51
ATA 5.1.2600.220
4-in-1 v.4.51
ATA 5.1.2600.220
INF Update 5.1.1002INF Update 5.1.1002
Memory size1GB (2 DIMMs)1GB (2 DIMMs)1GB (2 DIMMs)1GB (2 DIMMs)1GB (2 DIMMs)1GB (2 DIMMs)1GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory typeCorsair TwinX XMS4000 DDR SDRAM at 400MHzCorsair TwinX XMS4000 DDR SDRAM at 400MHzCorsair TwinX XMS4000 DDR SDRAM at 333MHzCorsair TwinX XMS4000 DDR SDRAM at 400MHzCorsair CMX512RE-3200LL PC3200 registered DDR SDRAM at 400MHzCorsair TwinX XMS3200LL DDR SDRAM at 266MHzCorsair TwinX XMS4000 DDR SDRAM at 400MHz
CAS latency2222222
Cycle time6655656
RAS to CAS delay3333324
RAS precharge3223224
Hard driveSeagate Barracuda V 120GB ATA/100Seagate Barracuda V 120GB ATA/100Seagate Barracuda V 120GB ATA/100Seagate Barracuda V 120GB SATA 150Seagate Barracuda V 120GB SATA 150Seagate Barracuda V 120GB ATA/100Seagate Barracuda V 120GB SATA 150
AudioCreative SoundBlaster Live!
GraphicsRadeon 9800 Pro 256MB with CATALYST 4.1 drivers
OSMicrosoft Windows XP Professional
OS updatesService Pack 1, DirectX 9.0b

All tests on the Intel systems were run with Hyper-Threading enabled.

Thanks to Corsair for providing us with memory for our testing. If you're looking to tweak out your system to the max and maybe overclock it a little, Corsair's RAM is definitely worth considering.

The test systems' Windows desktops were set at 1152x864 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.