ECS KN1 SLI Extreme: SLI on a Budget

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HH Test Bed and SiSoft SANDRA

How we configured our test systems: When configuring the test systems for this review, we first entered their system BIOSes and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High-Performance Defaults."  The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows XP Professional (SP2) was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we installed the rest of the necessary drivers and removed Windows Messenger from the system.  Auto-Updating and System Restore were disabled, and we set up a 768MB permanent page file on the same partition as the Windows installation. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance," installed all of our benchmarking software, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.

Test System Specifications
AMD nForced Here
SYSTEM 1:
AMD Athlon 64 3700+
(2.2GHz)

ECS KN1 SLI Extreme
(NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI)

2x512MB PQI3200-1024DBU
CL 2-2-2-5

GeForce 6800 GT
On-board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD 80GB Hard Drive
7200 RPM IDE

Windows XP Pro SP2
nForce 4 Drivers v6.70
NVIDIA Forceware v81.94
DirectX 9.0c
SYSTEM 2:
AMD Athlon 64 3700+
(2.2GHz)

MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI
(NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI)

2x512MB PQI3200-1024DBU
CL 2-2-2-5

GeForce 6800 GT
On-board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD 80GB Hard Drive
7200 RPM IDE

Windows XP Pro SP2
nForce 4 Drivers v6.70
NVIDIA Forceware v81.94
DirectX 9.0c
Software:
SiSoft Sandra 2005
FutureMark PCMark05
Content Creation Winstone 2004
PC World's World Bench 5.0
-Photoshop 7 Module
-Office XP SP2 Module
-Windows Media Encoder 9 Module
Lame MP3
Adept Development's KribiBench v1.1
Cinebench 2003
Unreal Tournament 2004
Doom 3


Preliminary Benchmarks with SiSoft SANDRA 2005
Synthetic Testing

We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. SANDRA consists of a set of information and diagnostic utilities that can provide a host of useful information about your hardware and operating system. We ran four of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA 2005 suite (CPU, Multimedia, Cache, and Memory).  All of the scores reported below were taken with the processor and memory running at their respective default clock speeds of 2.2GHz and 200MHz (DDR400).


CPU Arithmetic Benchmark

Multimedia Benchmark

CPU Cache Benchmark

Memory Benchmark

SANDRA's tests don't offer anything conclusive regarding performance, but rather shed light on expected performance potential when compared to other comparable systems in SANDRA's ever growing database.  CPU and Multimedia performance were both on par with what we should expect to see with this hardware configuration.  Memory performance was at the top end of the scale, showing solid promise in this area of performance.  We'll have to reserve judgment, of course, until we complete our battery of benchmarks in the pages ahead.

Tags:  ECS, sli, Xtreme, extreme, budget, XT, eme, BU, K, N1

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