Our two test systems, for the AMD and Intel platforms.
The components used for the CPU charts have been updated. For the AMD processors we are using an Asus board with the AMD 790FX chipset and for the Intel CPU we are using a Gigabyte board with the Intel X48 chipset.
All AMD processors are tested with DDR2-1066 memory from A-Data, which is addressed with CL 4-4-4-12 timings. On the Intel platform, DDR3-1333 uses CL 7.0-7-7-21 timings. Depending on the bus clock rate of the processor, the memory is addressed with a lower clock rate. This is a technical feature caused by the chipset of the manufacturer.
In order for the processor speed to truly impact our game benchmarks, we are using the powerful N280GTX-T2D1G-OC from MSI.
Hard Drives And USB Stick
Our test systems are each fitted with two 320 GB hard drives from Western Digital. The WD32000AAKS functions with just one platter and thus has a lower power consumption, which means that it doesn’t need any extra cooling. The Linux system is only loaded from a Corsair Flash Voyager USB stick.
Blu-ray Drive And Sound Card
For the Blu-ray benchmark we used a BDC-202BK drive from Pioneer. For the games benchmarks to keep the audio output load on the processor as low as possible, we have used a sound card : the X-Fi Xtreme Gamer has its own audio processor and a software wrapper for Vista.
Power Supply And CPU Fan
We are using a Cooler Master 850 watt power supply to drive the system. The AMD and Intel processors are cooled using the CNPS 9700 LED fan from Zalman.