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Our testing methods
There's much to say about the S8 Nitro, but before we move on, let's get our testing methods out on the table, because much of what we're doing from here on out will be affected by our test platform and the like.

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:

SystemMSI K8T Neo
ProcessorAMD Athlon 64 3400+ 2.2GHz
North bridgeK8T800
South bridgeVT8237
Chipset drivers4-in-1 v.4.51
ATA 5.1.2600.220
Memory size1GB (2 DIMMs)
Memory typeCorsair TwinX XMS3200LL DDR SDRAM at 400MHz
Hard driveSeagate Barracuda V 120GB SATA 150 
AudioCreative SoundBlaster Live!
OSMicrosoft Windows XP Professional
OS updatesService Pack 1, DirectX 9.0b

The S3 driver revision we used was version We used ATI's CATALYST 4.2 drivers on the Radeon card and Forceware 56.56 on the GeForce FX 5700 Ultra. One exception: at the request of FutureMark, we used NVIDIA's 52.16 drivers for all 3DMark benchmarking and image quality tests.

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.