For our next round of synthetic benchmarks, we ran the CPU and Memory performance modules built into Futuremark's brand new PCMark05. In the course of working with PCMark 05 we have found it to be even more robust in terms of test features than its predecessor. That said, the CPU and Memory test modules we use for comparison are very similar to the '04 version of the test suite. For those interested in more than just the graphs, we've got a couple of quotes directly from Futuremark that explain exactly what these tests do, and how they work:
"The CPU suite is a collection of tests that are run to isolate the performance of the CPU. The CPU Test Suite also includes multithreading: two of the test scenarios are run multithreaded; the other including two simultaneous tests and the other running four tests simultaneously. The remaining six tests are run single threaded. Operations include, File Compression/Decompression, Encryption/Decryption, Image Decompression, and Audio Compression" - Courtesy FutureMark Corp.
The CPU module's results had the Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI matching up directly with the Asus P5N32-SLI Deluxe, the previous high mark we had achieved with this processor. Closely behind these two was the i955x based Asus P5WD2 Premium. MSI's P4N Diamond brings up the rear, but only trailing the rest by a mere 50-55 points.
"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." - Courtesy FutureMark Corp.
The GA-8N-SLI makes it a clean sweep of PCMark05, by pulling out the top score in the memory module as well. These scores contradict the SANDRA scores somewhat, as the two nForce4 SLI X16 boards both manage to outperform the P5WD2, rather than slip behind as saw with that other synthetic benchmark. Again, differences are so slight, that we can't really make any definitive judgments just yet.