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Test Hardware And Benchmarks

GeForce And Radeon On Intel's P67: PCIe Scaling Explored
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Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-2600K (Sandy Bridge) LGA 1155, 3.40-3.80 GHz, 8 MB L3 Cache
Overclocked to 4 GHz at 1.25 V
MotherboardAsus P8P67 Pro, Intel P67 Express, LGA 1155, BIOS 1204 (01/27/2011)
RAMKingston KHX2133C9D3T1K2/4GX, 2 x 2 GB, DDR3-2133 at DDR3-1600 CAS 7-7-7-21, 1.60 V
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD1002FBYS, 1 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA 3Gb/s, 32 MB cache
GeForce GraphicsAsus ENGTX570/2DI/1280MD5, 742 MHz GeForce GTX 570 GPU, 1.25 GB GDDR5-3800
Radeon GraphicsXFX HD-695A-CNFC, 800 MHz Radeon HD 6950 GPU,  2 GB GDDR5-5000
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerOCZ-Z1000M, 1000 W Modular, ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
GeForce GraphicsGeForce/Ion 266.58
Radeon GraphicsAMD Catalyst 11.2
ChipsetIntel INF 9.2.0.1019


Offering x16, x8, and x4 slots, we chose Asus’ P8P67 Pro to represent various slot configurations at maximum CPU performance.

Benchmark Configuration
3D Games
Aliens Vs. Predator BenchmarkAlien vs Predator Benchmark Tool
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
CrysisPatch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool
Test Set 1: Highest Quality, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Quality, 4x AA
F1 2010v1.01, Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
Just Cause 2Version 1.0.0.2, Built-In Benchmark "Concrete Jungle"
Test Set 1: Highest Details, No AA, 16x AF
Test Set 2: Highest Details, 4x AA, 16x AF
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of PripyatCall Of Pripyat Benchmark version, all options, HDAO
Test Set 1: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, Ultra SSAO, No AA
Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX11 EFDL, Ultra SSAO, 4x MSAA
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark 11Version: 1.0.1.0, Benchmark Only
Display all 71 comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    geofelt , April 11, 2011 4:26 AM
    These tests were done with a single card, on X16/X8/X4 slots. Fine.
    But... Who would use anything other than a X16 slot if they had one?
    The only real use for a X8 slot would be for sli/crossfire where the addition of a second card should result in an Increase of performance, not a decrease.
  • -3 Hide
    carlhenry , April 11, 2011 4:30 AM
    it would be nice if you included the GTX 570 in the x8/x8 and x16/x4 test. the 570 flies over the 6950 on the single card config but i was curious how it would do since i think the AMD's scale better than nvidia's. would the 570 still lead because of its advantage? or would AMD even it out because of its scaling (if any) "advantage"
  • 2 Hide
    classicaxe , April 11, 2011 4:32 AM
    ^They already did an article on that man
  • -2 Hide
    joytech22 , April 11, 2011 4:49 AM
    Can you guy's do an article on how performance is affected if you SLI/Xfire using PCI-E 16x slots running @ 4x?

    3 way would be preferable because if performance is still adequately faster I'll consider it.
  • -2 Hide
    dalauder , April 11, 2011 6:05 AM
    Good comments. Can we please see 8x/8x and 16x/4x since that comparison is relevant? I get the impression that somehow SLI/crossfire reduces the performance hit of x4 lanes but I'd like to see numbers.
  • 5 Hide
    Crashman , April 11, 2011 6:25 AM
    joytech22Can you guy's do an article on how performance is affected if you SLI/Xfire using PCI-E 16x slots running @ 4x?
    I think you missed a page then!
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/pci-express-scaling-p67-chipset-gaming-performance,2887-10.html
    The numbers were there all along!

    carlhenryit would be nice if you included the GTX 570 in the x8/x8 and x16/x4 test.
    Well, you should probably read the linked page too then. There's no point in artifically creating a configuration (by taping lanes or whatever) that doesn't exist in real life, is there?

    "While Nvidia prevents SLI from functioning on PCH-hosted lanes, x16/x4 configurations are completely possible in CrossFire. But should they be? We tested our motherboard in both x8/x8 and x16/x4 configurations to find out."
  • 0 Hide
    dalauder , April 11, 2011 6:41 AM
    Yeah...my bad.
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , April 11, 2011 8:02 AM
    dalauderYeah...my bad.
    I didn't mean to call you out to that extent, here's a link to the forum part of this thread:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/2887-56-geforce-radeon-intel-pcie-scaling-explored
    I'm going there to delete your quote from my response.
  • 1 Hide
    rolli59 , April 11, 2011 8:27 AM
    Looking forward to see the third article!
  • 0 Hide
    cats_Paw , April 11, 2011 9:15 AM
    Im guessing that 8x lanes are mostly enought. I do belive that it would depend on how fast an actual gpu is, as well as how much ram it has, and how big is its bandwidth.
    I means, its logical, but mayb not true :D . Would be nice to see this test on a GTX560 Ti, since it has a lot of headroom for OC, then compare oced version vs non oced. Also this might be interesting in GPUs that have diffrent versions with more and less RAM.
    Just my 2 cents :D .
  • 0 Hide
    Crashman , April 11, 2011 9:57 AM
    cats_pawIm guessing that 8x lanes are mostly enought. I do belive that it would depend on how fast an actual gpu is, as well as how much ram it has, and how big is its bandwidth.I means, its logical, but mayb not true . Would be nice to see this test on a GTX560 Ti, since it has a lot of headroom for OC, then compare oced version vs non oced. Also this might be interesting in GPUs that have diffrent versions with more and less RAM.Just my 2 cents .
    It's...different for sure. Just about anything that can "bottleneck" graphics performance will have a greater effect on AMD GPUs than on Nvidia GPUs. CPU too slow? DRAM? PCIe? It's going to hurt Radeons more than GeForces.

    Of course, Tom's Hardware has all the cool kit that helps editors overcome those bottlenecks.
  • 0 Hide
    feeddagoat , April 11, 2011 10:39 AM
    Finally the x16/x4 question answered!! It got me thinking tho, since ATI allows "mismatched" cards do it matter which slot the faster card is in......
  • 1 Hide
    kilo_17 , April 11, 2011 11:09 AM
    Great article!
  • 0 Hide
    rpgplayer , April 11, 2011 11:15 AM
    feeddagoatFinally the x16/x4 question answered!! It got me thinking tho, since ATI allows "mismatched" cards do it matter which slot the faster card is in......



    that's an interesting question, like a 6950 and a 6970, would it be faster with a 6970 in the first pcie slot or the second.
  • 0 Hide
    silverblue , April 11, 2011 11:33 AM
    I'd love to know what AMD cards are doing that requires so much more bandwidth... faster memory speeds, perhaps?

    It might be worth conducting at least two way Crossfire/SLi tests more often in future with new card reviews or, at least, follow-up reviews, though I can imagine it'll delay such articles a little. Perhaps using AMD cards on P67 is limiting their scaling, even if it's already very good (with the 6000 series)? Would using two mid-range cards have the same effect?
  • 0 Hide
    ubercake , April 11, 2011 11:50 AM
    AHHHH! Good info. Can't wait for the next part!!!
  • -2 Hide
    ubercake , April 11, 2011 12:04 PM
    One thing though... No BFBC2 performance charts?

    This is a mighty popular game. Does EA make reviewers pay them to mention their game in reviews?
  • 1 Hide
    wishmaster12 , April 11, 2011 12:39 PM
    it depends on your chipset if you want awsome scaling get a motherboard with a better chipset
  • 1 Hide
    ta152h , April 11, 2011 1:39 PM
    One nitpick are some of the conclusions, like x16/x4 don't work well for AMD, or NVIDIA. It could be correct, but you haven't proven anything in this article. Although, one could now make that case for the LGA 1155/1156 platforms, and this certainly goes a long way in showing those deficiencies, you'd still have to prove this isn't platform related, or extenuated. Your assumption is being four lanes wide is the problem, but we'd have to prove that it's not related to where the lanes are attached to before we could fully prove it's the width.

    For example, would this be the case on LGA 1366, where all the PCIe lanes are on the chipset, and not some going through the chipset and some being part of the CPU package? In real world situations, it's not so important because you'd have less cause to use an x4 in LGA 1366, but for academic purposes, and a better understanding of what's really going on, it could be interesting.
  • 1 Hide
    azduman , April 11, 2011 2:26 PM
    So, i currently have a 5770 on w/a i5-750, obviously w/1156 chipset, would it be a good idea to get another 5770. Reason i ask is i have 2 pci express slots but second one is at 4x lanes. I have a asus p7p55d le motherboard. Do i have to buy same card or could it be a different brand at different speeds. Or better to get the 6950 2gb i want to buy.
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