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Test Setup

The Athlon64 Radeon Xpress: ATi's Latest Stab as a Chipset Maker
By
AMD Processors (Socket 939)
200 MHz FSB (DUAL DDR400) Athlon 64 4000+ (2400 MHz, 1024 kB L2)
Motherboards
Board I ATI RS480 Reference Motherboard
BIOS B10, CPU Clock 2409 MHz
Board II Asus A8V
VIA K8T800 Pro
BIOS 1007, CPU CLock 2403 MHz
Board III MSI 8KN Neo2
NVIDIA nForce 3 250Gb
BIOS 1.3, CPU Clock 2411 MHz
Memory
DDR-400 I 2x 512 MB - DDR400 (200 MHz)
Corsiar TwinX CMX512-3200XL
Timings: CL 2.0-2-2-5
DDR-400 II 2x 512 MB - DDR400 (200 MHz)
OCZ Platinum Rev 2
Timings: CL 2.0-2-2-5
Common Hardware
Graphics Card I
PCI-Express
NVIDIA GeForce 6 Series Reference Board
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT
Memory: 256 MB GDDR3-SDRAM
Graphics Card II
AGP
Sparkle GeForce 6800 GT
GPU: nVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT
Memory: 256 MB GDDR3-SDRAM
Graphics Card III
PCI-Express
ATI Radeon Xpress 200G
GPU: RV370
Memory: Shared
Graphics Card IV
PCI-Express
ATI Radeon X600 XT
GPU: Radeon X600 XT
Memory: 128 MB DDR-SDRAM
Hard Drive Western Digital WD740 Raptor
74 GB, 8 MB Cache, 10000 rpm
DVD, CD-ROM MSI MS-8216 16x DVD
Software
ATI Graphic Catalyst Ver. 8-062-040929a
ATI Graphic Radeon Xpress Catalyst Ver. 8.07-041019a
Nvidia Graphic Detonator Ver. 61.77
ATI Chipset Driver South Bridge/IXP Driver Ver 1.4
Nvidia Chipset Driver nForce Ver. 5.10
VIA Chipset Driver Hyperion Ver. 5.53
DirectX Version: 9c
OS Windows XP Professional, 5.1.2600, Service Pack 1

As motherboards with Nvidia's nForce4 or VIA's K8T890 are not yet available, we included the AGP chipsets nForce3 Ultra and K8T800 Pro into the benchmark results. The Asus A8V is one of the fastest K8T800 Pro based motherboards, which is why our decision here was easy. In terms of nForce3 Ultra, the K8N Neo by MSI used to perform quite well. However, it recently gained some more performance after updating Nvidia's Forceware drivers to the current release 5.10.

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