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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 system was configured like so:

Processor Athlon 64 4000+ 2.4GHz
System bus1GHz HyperTransport
MotherboardAsus A8N-SLI Deluxe
BIOS revision1011
North bridgenForce4 SLI
South bridge
Chipset driversSMBus driver 4.45
IDE driver 5.18
Memory size1GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory typeOCZ EL PC3200 DDR SDRAM at 400MHz
CAS latency (CL)2
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)2
RAS precharge (tRP)2
Cycle time (tRAS)5
Hard driveMaxtor DiamondMax 10 250GB SATA 150
AudioIntegrated nForce4/ALC850
with NVIDIA 4.60 drivers
Graphics GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB PCI-E with ForceWare 77.62 drivers Dual GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB PCI-E with ForceWare 77.62 drivers GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB PCI-E with ForceWare 77.62 driversDual GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB PCI-E with ForceWare 77.62 driversRadeon X850 XT Platinum Edition PCI-E  with Catalyst 5.6 drivers
OSWindows XP Professional (32-bit)
OS updatesService Pack 2

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.

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

The test systems' Windows desktops were set at 1280x1024 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:

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.