Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal Motherboard
Gaming Performance: UT 2004 and Doom 3
To start our in-game testing, we did some low-resolution benchmarking with Unreal Tournament 2004. When testing with Unreal Tournament 2004, we use a specific set of game engine initialization settings that ensure all of the systems are being benchmarked with the exact same in-game settings and graphical options. In the following two game tests, we used "Low-Quality" graphical settings and low screen resolutions which isolates CPU and memory performance.
This test is far too close to make any real judgment about. Using identical components (CPU, memory, and video card), we're maxed out at approximately 139 frames per second. This is demonstrated by the fact that all four boards are performing within 0.24 frames per second of each other.
For our next game test, we benchmarked all of the test systems using a custom multi-player Doom 3 timedemo. We cranked the resolution down to 640 x 480, and configured the game to run at its "Low-Quality" graphics setting. Although Doom 3 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.
While Doom 3 is certainly grouped close as well, we have a little more breathing room between the boards' framerates. Asus' P5WD2 and P5N32-SLI are dead last, running neck-and-neck at about 170.5 fps. The MSI P4N Diamond was just under a frame better, but the GA-8N-SLI recorded the best overall rate at 173.3 frames per second. It's not much, but it does come out to a 2% difference over the lowest performing board in the bunch.