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Serial ATA performance
The Serial ATA disk controller is one of the most important components of a modern core logic chipset, so we threw each platform a selection of I/O-intensive storage tests using a Western Digital Raptor WD1500ADFD.

We'll begin our storage tests with IOMeter, which subjects our systems to increasing multi-user loads. Testing was restricted to IOMeter's workstation and database test patterns, since those are more appropriate for desktop systems than the file or web server test patterns.

Our nForce 780i and 790i platforms are using slightly different driver revisions, which would explain the minor discrepancy in IOMeter performance between them. Otherwise, the nForce chipsets do a good job of keeping up with Intel. The ICH9R boasts slightly higher transaction rates with a couple of load levels, though.

Response times are even practically across the board, with the Ultra only falling a little behind under the most demanding load.

We don't see much CPU utilization for any of the chipsets.