Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe - nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition
3DMark 05 CPU Test and UT2004
3DMark05's built-in CPU test is a "gaming related" DirectX metric that's useful for comparing relative performance among similarly equipped systems. This test consists of two different 3D scenes that are generated with a software renderer, which is dependant on the host CPU's performance. This means that the calculations normally reserved for your 3D accelerator are instead sent to the central host processor. The number of frames generated per second in each test are used to determine the final score.
In 3DMark 05 we see a hint of 3D Gaming performance to come, with the P5ND2-SLI Deluxe and the nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition reference boards posting sizable gains over their Intel chipset based brethren. This again is most likely due to the lower latency operation of the nForce 4's Memory Controller with NVIDIA's memory prefetching algorithms affording better throughput and bandwidth.
Next we ran through some low-resolution benchmarking with Epic's Unreal Tournament 2004. When testing with UT 2004, we use a specific set of game engine initialization parameters that ensure all of the systems are being benchmarked with the exact same in-game settings and graphical options. Like most of the other in-game tests (except for our SLI testing) in this article you'll see later, we used a "Low-Quality" setting with UT2004 that isolated CPU and memory performance.
Driven by the new Asus P5ND2-SLI Deluxe motherboard, our Pentium 4 3.73GHz Extreme Edition processor nearly caught the Athlon 64 4000+ in our Unreal Tournament 2004 test, an area where the Athlons have always held a significant lead. We also decided to throw our overclocked 4.2GHz P5ND2-SLI score just for reference and to impress the ladies (not). We realized a 15% gain at 4.2GHz over a 3.73GHz clock with the Asus board and a 12% edge over the Athlon 64 4000+.