Asus CrossHair NF590 SLI: Republic of Gamers
Low-Res Gaming: F.E.A.R. and Q4
To start our in-game testing, we did some low-resolution benchmarking with F.E.A.R. When testing motherboards and processors with F.E.A.R, we drop the resolution to 640x480, and lower all of the in-game graphical options to their minimum values to isolate CPU and memory performance as much as possible.
The CrossHair put up 7 more frames per second than the M2N32-SLI in our low-res F.E.A.R. benchmark. Despite being based on the same chipset, and using the exact same supporting hardware, the CrossHair's framerate was 3.9% higher than the M2N32-SLI. It seems Asus has done some tweaking with the CrossHair that gives it an edge here.
For our next game test, we benchmarked all of the test systems using a custom single-player Quake 4 timedemo. Here, we installed the game's official v1.2 patch which is SMP capable, tuned the resolution down to 640x480, and configured the game to run at its "Low-Quality" graphics setting. Although Quake 4 typically taxes today's high-end GPUs, when it's configured at these minimal settings, it too is more CPU and memory-bound than anything else.
Here too the CrossHair puts up a markedly higher framerate than the slightly older M2N32-SLI. A 4.2 frame per second advantage is hardly noticeable when framerates are this high, but the CrossHair nonetheless put up a score 2.8% higher than the M2N32-SLI.