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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 Pentium Extreme Edition 840 3.2GHzPentium 4 Extreme Edition 3.73GHz
Pentium Extreme Edition 955 3.4GHz
Athlon 64 FX-60 2.6GHz
Athlon 64 FX-57 2.8GHz
Athlon 64 X2 4800+ 2.4GHz
System bus800MHz (200MHz quad-pumped)1066MHz (266MHz quad-pumped)1GHz HyperTransport
MotherboardIntel D975XBXIntel D975XBXAsus A8N32-SLI Deluxe
BIOS revisionBX97510J.86A.0354.2005.1208.1112BX97510J.86A.0354.2005.1208.11120806
North bridge975X MCH975X MCHnForce4 SLI X16
South bridgeICH7RICH7RnForce4 SLI
Chipset driversINF Update 7.2.2.1006
Intel Matrix Storage Manager 5.5.0.1035
INF Update 7.2.2.1006
Intel Matrix Storage Manager 5.5.0.1035
SMBus driver 4.5
IDE/SATA driver 5.52
Memory size2GB (2 DIMMs)2GB (2 DIMMs)2GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory typeCrucial Ballistix PC2-8000
DDR2 SDRAM
at 800MHz
Crucial Ballistix PC2-8000
DDR2 SDRAM
at 800MHz
Crucial PC3200
DDR SDRAM
at 400MHz
CAS latency (CL)442.5
RAS to CAS delay (tRCD)443
RAS precharge (tRP)443
Cycle time (tRAS)15158
Hard driveMaxtor DiamondMax 10 250GB SATA 150
AudioIntegrated ICH7R/STAC9221D5
with SigmaTel 5.10.4825.0 drivers
Integrated ICH7R/STAC9221D5
with SigmaTel 5.10.4825.0 drivers
Integrated nForce4/ALC850
with Realtek 5.10.0.5970 drivers
Graphics GeForce 7800 GTX 512 PCI-E with ForceWare 81.98 drivers
OSWindows XP Professional x64 Edition
Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 (WorldBench only)

All tests on the Pentium systems were run with Hyper-Threading enabled, except where otherwise noted.

Thanks to Crucial for providing us with memory for our testing. Their products and support are both far and away superior to generic, no-name memory.

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.