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Test Setup And Benchmarks

PCI Express And SLI Scaling: How Many Lanes Do You Need?
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Test System Configuration
CPUIntel Core i7-920 (2.66 GHz, 8 MB Shared L3 Cache), Overclocked to 4.00 GHz at 1.40 V, 200 MHz BCLK
MotherboardMSI Big Bang-XPower, BIOS V1.2 (06/09/2010), Intel X58 Express, LGA 1366
RAMKingston KHX16000D3ULT1K3/6GX (6 GB), DDR3-2000 at DDR3-1600 CAS 7-7-7-21
GTX 480 GraphicsMSI GeForce GTX 480 1.5 GB, 700 MHz GPU, GDDR5-3696
OS Hard DriveWestern Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS, 300 GB, 10,000 RPM, SATA 3Gb/s, 16 MB cache
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerOCZ-Z1000 1000 W Modular
ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
GeForce GraphicsNvidia ForceWare 258.96
ChipsetIntel INF 9.1.1.1020


Our Core i7-920 is overclocked to 4.00 GHz in an attempt to remove the “CPU cap” on 3D performance.

Thermalright’s MUX-120 keeps our overclocked CPU cool enough to pass stability tests.

With a mid-load efficiency of around 91% and an 80 PLUS Gold rating, OCZ’s Z1000 power supply provides optimal “full system” power testing. Because its efficiency curve dips to around 89% at its ends, readers can multiply today’s input power readings by 0.90 to calculate output power within ±1%.

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
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Campaign, Act III, Second Sun (45 sec. FRAPS)
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
DiRT 2Run with -benchmark example_benchmark.xml
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call Of PripyatCall Of Pripyat Benchmark version
Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA
Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x MSAA
Synthetic Benchmarks and Settings
3DMark VantageVersion: 1.0.1, GPU and CPU scores
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