Components Under Pressure: CPU Cooling
Cooling is a must. Both processors are equipped with the coolers that will later come with the boxed versions.
The Intel system has the boxed version for cooling
On AMD system is installed the boxed cooler
Components Under Pressure: Motherboards
Platforms are also an issue. Originally, the Intel platform was supposed to utilize a board with the 955X chipset and two 8X PCI Express slots. The latest Nvidia graphics card driver, however, does not allow for the activation of SLI mode on an Intel platform, forcing us to abandon Intel base technology and use a board with an nForce4 SLI chipset. This provides for excellent comparability with the AMD system, a platform likewise based on the nForce4 SLI chipset.
THG's engineers carefully selected the motherboards to be used in this rigorous test, going with a Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Royal for the Intel platform and a Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI for AMD. We chose this manufacturer as Nvidia's other partners, such as Asus and MSI, did not have adequate boards available.
Intel system based on Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Royal
AMD system based on Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI