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Test Hardware And Software

The GeForce GTX 480 Update: 3-Way SLI, 3D Vision, And Noise
By
Test Hardware
Processor
Intel Core i7-930 (Bloomfield) 2.8 GHz, 4.8 GT/s, 8MB L3 Cache, power-saving settings enabled.
Overclocked to 3.33 GHz (21 x 160 MHz), Turbo Boost enabled
Motherboard
MSI Eclipse Plus (LGA 1366) X58/ICH10, BIOS 1.0
Memory
Crucial Ballistix Tracer (3 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 7-7-7-24
Hard Drive
Intel SSDSA2MH160G2C1 160GB SATA 3 Gb/s
Graphics CardsMSI N480GTX-M2D15 GeForce GTX 480 1.5GB (1x, 2x, 3x)

ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB (1x, 2x)
Power Supply
Enermax MODU87+ 800W
CPU Cooler
Intel DBX-B Thermal Solution
System Software And Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectX
DirectX 11
Platform Driver
Intel INF Chipset Update Utility 9.1.1.1019
Graphics Driver
Nvidia GeForce 197.41

AMD Catalyst 10.4


As mentioned, both Cooler Master and MSI helped us out by sending the "approved" chassis, a motherboard capable of enabling twin x16 slots, and a third GeForce GTX 480 for our testing. I also wanted to single out Enermax's MODU87+ power supply here, though.

I knew this 800W 80 PLUS Gold unit would be fine for a pair of GeForce GTX 480s, but I was unsure if it'd handle a trio. Despite power numbers that crested 900W from the wall, it did its job well, and never exhibited stability issues, even in the packed HAF 932 enclosure.

Games
Crysis
Very High Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1900x1200 / 2560x1600, DirectX 10, Patch 1.2.1, 64-bit executable
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
Extreme Quality Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, DX11 Rendering, Tessellation Enabled, HDAO, Benchmark Tool
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Ultra High Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Second Sun, 45 second sequence, FRAPS
DiRT 2
Ultra High Settings, No AA / No AF, 4xAA / No AF, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Custom Tom's Hardware benchmark script, DirectX 11 Rendering
Metro 2033
High Quality Settings, AAA / No AF, 4x MSAA / No AF, vsync off, PhysX off, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Chapter 1: Chase, 150 second sequence, FRAPS, DirectX 11 (Tess. and DoF Filter Enabled).
Just Cause 2
Highest Quality Settings, No AA / 16xAF, 4xAA / 16xAF, vsync off, 1680x1050 / 1920x1200 / 2560x1600, Desert Sunrise benchmark, Steam Version, Nvidia cards: Bokeh filter and GPU Water enabled
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