Our testing methods
All tests were run three times, and their results were averaged, using the following test systems.
|Processor||Athlon 64 3500+ 2.2GHz|
|System bus||HT 16-bit/1GHz downstream|
|Motherboard||Shuttle XPC ST20G5||SiS 756 reference||DFI LANParty NF4 Ultra-D||Gigabyte GA-K8VT890-9 939|
|North bridge||ATI RS480||SiS SiS756||NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra||VIA K8T890|
|South bridge||ULi M1573||SiS SiS965||VIA VT8237|
|Chipset drivers||ULi 2095 integrated||IDE: 204a
|ForceWare 6.53||Chipset: Hyperion 4.56
|Memory size||1GB (2 DIMMs)||1GB (2 DIMMs)||1GB (2 DIMMs)||1GB (2 DIMMs)|
|Memory type||OCZ PC3200 EL Platinum Rev 2 DDR SDRAM at 400MHz|
|CAS latency (CL)||2||2||2||2|
|RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)||2||2||2||2|
|RAS precharge (tRP)||2||2||2||2|
|Cycle time (tRAS)||5||5||5||5|
|Hard drives||Western Digital Raptor WD360GD 37GB SATA|
|Audio drivers||Realtek HD 1.19||Realtek 3.71||Realtek 3.71||Realtek 371|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT with ForceWare 66.93 drivers|
|OS||Microsoft Windows XP Professional|
|OS updates||Service Pack 2, DirectX 9.0c|
We've endeavored to use production platforms and the latest drivers for testing, but SiS756-based motherboards aren't yet available on the market, so that chipset is represented by a reference board. Since nearly every motherboard manufacturer uses Realtek audio codecs and drivers, we've tried to use the same Realtek audio drivers on each board. Our Radeon Xpress 200/ULi M1573-based ST20G5 uses different Realtek drivers because its high-def codec isn't compatible with Realtek's standard AC'97 audio drivers.
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.
We used the following versions of our test applications:
The test systems' Windows desktop was set at 1280x1024 in 32-bit color at an 85Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests. Most of the 3D gaming tests used the Medium detail image quality settings, with the exception that the resolution was set to 640x480 in 32-bit color.
All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.
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