ECS KN1 SLI Extreme: SLI on a Budget
For our next round of synthetic benchmarks, we ran the CPU and Memory performance modules built into FutureMark's PCMark05. To help explain how FutureMark PCMark05 performs and arrives at its conclusions, we've quoted FutureMark directly.
"The CPU test suite is a collection of tests that are run to isolate the performance of the CPU. There are nine tests in all. Two pairs of tests are run multithreaded - each test in the pair is run in its own thread. The remaining five tests are run single threaded. These tests include such functions as file encryption, decryption, compression and decompression, grammar check, audio conversion, WMV and DivX video compression."
When comparing performance to a similarly equipped MSI nForce4 SLI system, the ECS KN1 SLI Extreme performed on the same level as the more expensive competitor with respect to CPU performance. Both board's were essentially tied with this module, with only slight variations in the results.
And here's FutureMark's explanation on what tests comprise the Futuremark PCMark05 Memory Test module...
"The Memory test suite is a collection of tests that isolate the performance of the memory subsystem. The memory subsystem consists of various devices on the PC. This includes the main memory, the CPU internal cache (known as the L1 cache) and the external cache (known as the L2 cache). As it is difficult to find applications that only stress the memory, we explicitly developed a set of tests geared for this purpose. The tests are written in C++ and assembly. They include: Reading data blocks from memory, Writing data blocks to memory performing copy operations on data blocks, random access to data items and latency testing."
Since the memory controller is integrated into the Athlon 64 3700+, we have to look at these variations in memory performance with a degree of skepticism. We ran and reran this module on both test systems and the results did remain consistent, even after triple-checking BIOS settings on both boards. We'll give this test to the KN1 SLI Extreme, but will have to let some more real-world testing confirm whether this is an anomaly or not.