|Test System Configuration|
|LGA 1156 CPU||Intel Core i7-870 (2.93 GHz, 8MB Cache) O/C to 4.00 GHz (20x 200 MHz), 1.388V|
|LGA 1156 Motherboard||EVGA P55 SLI E655, P55 Express PCH BIOS A39 (10/23/2009)|
|LGA 1366 CPU||Intel Core i7-920 (2.66 GHz, 8MB Cache) O/C to 4.00 GHz (20x 200 MHz), 1.434V|
|LGA 1366 Motherboard||EVGA X58 SLI E758, X58 Express IOH ICH10R, BIOS SZ2Z (11/30/2009)|
|CPU Cooler||Thermalright MUX-120 w/2,500 RPM Fan|
|RAM||Kingston KHX2133C9D3T1K2/4GX (4GB) DDR3-2133 at DDR3-1600 CAS 8-8-8-24|
|Graphics||3 x Diamond Radeon HD 5870 1GB 850 MHz GPU, GDDR5-4800|
|Hard Drive||Western Digital Velociraptor WD3000HLFS, 300GB 10,000 RPM, SATA 3 Gb/s, 16MB cache|
|Sound||Integrated HD Audio|
|Network||Integrated Gigabit Networking|
|Power||Corsair CMPSU-850HX 850W Modular ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold|
|OS||Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate x64|
|Graphics||ATI Catalyst 9.11|
|Chipset||Intel INF 126.96.36.1995|
We performance-matched our LGA 1156 Core i7-870 and our LGA 1366 Core i7-920 exactly, using a 20x multiplier, a 200 MHz base clock, and no Turbo Mode or C-State manipulations that might have otherwise altered our test results.
Thanks to the similarity between it and the Cogage True Sprit, Thermalright’s MUX-120 required only a bracket change to go from our i7-870 to our i7-920 platform. However, a faster fan was required to support the i7-920’s higher-voltage overclock.
We used one of our two sets of Kingston overclocking RAM to put both platforms in dual-channel mode. Having both systems configured equally is essential when attempting to narrow performance differences to slot configuration.
Diamond Multimedia supplied the three cards needed to perform all of today’s tests.
With 36 lanes on the northbridge, X58-based motherboards typically offer either x16/x16/x4 or x16/x8/x8 pathway sets, depending mostly on price. Cheaper boards lack either the needed lane switches to support x8 mode or x16 capability on the second slot, while more expensive boards typically don’t have a x4 slot in the proper location for installing a video card. Measuring x4 bandwidth on our x16/x8/x8 motherboard required the addition of an insulator, as previously discussed here.
|Crysis||Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 10, 64-bit executable, benchmark tool Test Set 1: Very High Details, No AA Test Set 2: Very High Details, 4x AA|
|Far Cry 2||Patch 1.03, DirectX 10, in-game benchmark Test Set 1: Ultra High Quality, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra High Quality, 4x AA|
|Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X||Patch 1.02, DirectX 10.1, in-game benchmark Test Set 1: Highest Settings, No AA Test Set 2: Highest Settings, 4x AA|
|S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky||Clear Sky Benchmark version Test Set 1: Ultra Preset, DX10 EFDL, No AA Test Set 2: Ultra Preset, DX10 EFDL, 4x MSAA|
|World in Conflict||Patch 1009, DirectX 10, timedemo Test 1: Very High Details, No AA / No AF Test 2: Very High Details 4x AA / 16x AF|
|3DMark Vantage||Version: 1.0.1, GPU and CPU scores|