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Test Hardware And Benchmarks

Core i5, Core i7, CrossFire, And SLI: Gaming Paradise, Redux?
By
Test Hardware
Processors
Intel Core i7-920 Extreme (Bloomfield) 2.66 GHz, LGA 1366, 4.8 GT/s QPI, 8 MB L3, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core i7-870 (Lynnfield) 2.93 GHz, LGA 1156, 8 MB L3, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core i5-750 (Lynnfield) 2.66 GHz, LGA 1156, 8 MB L3, Power-savings enabled

Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550S (Yorkfield) 2.83 GHz, LGA 775, 1,333 MHz FSB, 12 MB L2, Power-savings enabled

AMD Phenom II X4 965 BE (Deneb) 3.4 GHz, Socket AM3, 4 GT/s HyperTransport, 6 MB L3, Power-savings enabled
Motherboards
Asus P6T (LGA 1366) X58/ICH10R, BIOS 0707

Gigabyte P55-UD6 (LGA 1156) P55, BIOS F3

Intel DX48BT2 (LGA 775) X48/ICH10R, BIOS 1902

Asus M4A79T Deluxe (AM3) 790FX/SB750, BIOS 1103
Memory
Corsair 4 GB (2 x 2 GB) DDR3-1600 7-7-7-20 @ DDR3-1333

Corsair 6 GB (3 x 2 GB) DDR3-1600 7-7-7-20 @ DDR3-1333
Hard Drive
Intel SSDSA2M160G2GC 160 GB SATA 3 Gb/s
Graphics
Sapphire Radeon HD 4870 X2 2GB x2

BFG GeForce GTX 285 OCFU Edition 1GB x2
Power Supply
Cooler Master UCP 1100W
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Windows 7 x64 RTM
DirectX
DirectX 11
Platform Driver
Intel INF Chipset Update Utility 9.1.1.1015
Graphics DriverCatalyst 9.8

GeForce 190.62


A few notes about our setup here:

Most notably, we've shifted from Windows Vista to Windows 7 for testing. Let us know what you think about this in the comments section, but it was pretty clear that Vista was never a favorite, so we're hoping Windows 7 is a more popular environment in which to test. We can confirm that all of the games benchmarked here work in Windows 7. FS X did have occasional hiccups when loading a map, but restarting the app fixed the problem every time.

It should also be noted that the GeForce GTX 285 OCFU Edition cards are clocked too aggressively for an SLI configuration; we had to manually turn the fan speed up in Nvidia's System Tools utility in order to keep them stable through testing. To be fair, we also had trouble with the Radeon HD 4870 X2s in CrossFire on Asus' P6T, where the top card doesn't get enough fresh air due to spacing issues.

All power-saving options were left enabled so that Turbo Boost, EIST, and Cool'n'Quiet would function as intended in a production environment. 

Benchmark Configuration
Benchmark
Setttings
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, DirectX 10 / DirectX 10.1

High Quality Settings, 4x AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, DirectX 10 / DirectX 10.1
Resident Evil 5
Fixed Benchmark, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, DirectX 10

Fixed Benchmark, 4x AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, DirectX 10
Far Cry 2
Ultra High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, Steam Version, DirectX 10

Ultra High Quality Settings, 4x AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, Steam Version, DirectX 10
Left 4 Dead
High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, Tomshardware Demo, Steam Version

High Quality Settings, 4x AA / 8x AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, Tomshardware Demo, Steam Version
Grand Theft Auto 4
Very High Quality Settings, No AA / Max AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, In-Game Benchmark
Crysis
Very High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, DirectX 10, Patch 1.2.1, 64-bit executable

Very High Quality Settings, 4x AA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, DirectX 10, Patch 1.2.1, 64-bit executable
Flight Simulator X
Ultra High Quality Settings, No AA / Trilinear Filtering, 20 fps target, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, DirectX 10

Ultra High Quality Settings, AA Enabled / AF Enabled, 20 fps target, 1680x1050 / 2560x1600, DirectX 10
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