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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:

Processor Athlon 64 4000+ 2.4GHz Athlon 64 4000+ 2.4GHz Pentium 4 660 3.6GHz Pentium 4 660 3.6GHz
System bus1GHz HyperTransport1GHz HyperTransport800MHz (200MHz quad-pumped)800MHz (200MHz quad-pumped)
MotherboardDFI LANParty nF4 SLI-DRDFI LANParty nF4 SLI-DRIntel D925XECV2Intel D925XECV2
BIOS revisionNF4D310NF4D310CV92510A.86A.0404.EBCV92510A.86A.0404.EB
North bridgenForce4 SLInForce4 SLI925XE MCH925XE MCH
South bridgeICH6RICH6R
Chipset driversSMBus driver 4.45
IDE driver 5.18
OS integratedINF Update 6.3.0.1007OS integrated
Memory size1GB (2 DIMMs)1GB (2 DIMMs)1GB (2 DIMMs)1GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory typeOCZ PC3200 EL DDR SDRAM at 400MHzOCZ PC3200 EL DDR SDRAM at 400MHzOCZ PC2 5300 DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHzOCZ PC2 5300 DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz
CAS latency (CL)2233
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)2233
RAS precharge (tRP)2233
Cycle time (tRAS)551010
Hard driveMaxtor DiamondMax 10 250GB SATA 150
AudioIntegrated nForce/ALC850
with Realtek 5.10.0.5780 drivers
Integrated nForce/ALC850
with Realtek 5.10.0.5780 drivers
Integrated ICH6R/ALC880
with Realtek 5.10.0.5034 drivers
OS integrated
Graphics GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB PCI-E
with ForceWare 71.84 drivers
GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB PCI-E
with ForceWare 71.84 drivers
GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB PCI-E
with ForceWare 71.84 drivers
GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB PCI-E
with ForceWare 71.84 drivers
OSMicrosoft Windows XP ProfessionalWindows XP Professional x64 Edition v.1433 (RC2)Microsoft Windows XP ProfessionalWindows XP Professional x64 Edition v.1433 (RC2)
OS updatesService Pack 2, DirectX 9.0c Service Pack 2, DirectX 9.0c 

All tests on the Pentium 4 systems were run with Hyper-Threading enabled.

Thanks to OCZ 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, OCZ's RAM is definitely worth considering.

Also, all of our test systems were powered by OCZ PowerStream power supply units. The PowerStream was one of our Editor's Choice winners in our latest PSU round-up.

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.