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P67, X58, And NF200: The Best Platform For CrossFire And SLI

Test Settings And Benchmarks

Test System Configuration
LGA 1155 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
LGA 1366 CPUIntel Core i7-920 (Bloomfield) LGA 1366: 2.66-2.93 GHz, 8 MB L3 Cache, Overclocked to 4 GHz at 1.40 V
P67 MotherboardAsus P8P67 Pro: Intel P67 Express, LGA 1155, BIOS 1204 (01/27/2011)
P67+NF200 MotherboardAsus P8P67 WS Revolution: Intel P67 Express, Nvidia NF200 PCIe Bridge, LGA 1155, BIOS 1007 (01/24/2011)
X58 MotherboardAsus P6X58D-E: Intel X58 Express, LGA 1366, BIOS 0502 (01/17/2011)
X58+NF200 MotherboardAsus P6X58-E WS: Intel X58 Express, Nvidia NF200 PCIe Bridge, LGA 1366, BIOS 05301 (02/22/2011)
RAMKingston HyperX T1 DDR3-2133 at DDR3-1600 CAS 7-7-7-21, 1.60 V 2 x 2 GB for Dual-Channel (LGA 1155), 3 x 2 GB for Triple-Channel (LGA 1366)
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
Hard DriveWestern Digital WD1002FBYS: 1 TB, 7200 RPM, SATA 3Gb/s, 32 MB cache
SoundIntegrated HD Audio
NetworkIntegrated Gigabit Networking
PowerOCZ-Z1000M: 1000W Modular, ATX12V v2.2, EPS12V, 80 PLUS Gold
Software
OSMicrosoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
GeForce GraphicsGeForce/Ion 266.58
Radeon GraphicsAMD Catalyst 11.1
ChipsetIntel INF 9.2.0.1019

While most of the above motherboards can be found in our previous reviews, Asus’ P6X58-E WS is new. The primary feature that differentiates it from the P6X58D-E is the addition of Nvidia’s NF200 PCIe bridge, which expands three-way CrossFire and SLI slot configurations from x16-x8-x8 to x16-x16-x16. Other important upgrades include the ability to support a total of five single-slot graphics cards, though single-slot cards will not be part of today’s tests.

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By relying on a single brand of motherboard for all four samples, we reduce the risk that performance differences will be the result of BIOS or clock speed differences. Asus helped us keep the spotlight on its brand a little longer by sending along three of its GeForce GTX 570 graphics cards as well.

Of course we couldn’t let Nvidia’s cards stand alone. We borrowed our AMD Radeon HD 6950s from another project.

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
Thomas Soderstrom
Thomas Soderstrom is a Senior Staff Editor at Tom's Hardware US. He tests and reviews cases, cooling, memory and motherboards.