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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 systems were configured like so:

Processor Athlon 64 3200+ 2.0GHz
Front-side bus HT 16-bit/800MHz downstream
HT 16-bit/800MHz upstream
HT 16-bit/600MHz downstream
HT 8-bit/600MHz upstream
HT 16-bit/800MHz downstream
HT 16-bit/800MHz upstream
HT 16-bit/800MHz downstream
HT 16-bit/800MHz upstream
Motherboard Abit KV8-MAX3 Chaintech Zenith ZNF3-150 NVIDIA reference Foxconn 755A01
North bridge VIA K8T800 NVIDIA nForce3 150 NVIDIA nForce3 250GB SiS755
South bridge VIA VT8237 SiS964
Chipset drivers VIA Hyperion 4.51 NVIDIA ForceWare 3.13 NVIDIA 4.08 AGP
SATA 5.1.1039.1050
IDE 5.1.1039.2041
Memory size 512MB (1 DIMM)
Memory type Corsair XMS3500 DDR SDRAM at 400MHz
Hard drive

Western Digital Raptor WD360GD Serial ATA hard drive
Maxtor 740X-6L 40GB 7200RPM ATA/133 hard drive

Audio VT8237/VT1616 Envy24PT/VT1616 nForce3 250GB/ALC655 SiS964/ALC655
Graphics ATI Radeon 9800 XT with Catalyst 4.3 drivers
OS Microsoft Windows XP Professional
OS updates Service Pack 1, DirectX 9.0b

Thanks to Corsair 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, Corsair's RAM is definitely worth considering. We ran all the systems with 2-7-3-3 memory timings.

The test systems' Windows desktops were set at 1280x1024 in 32-bit color at a 75Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

Our tests and methods are generally publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.