Gigabyte GA-8N-SLI Quad Royal Motherboard
Cinebench 2003 and 3DMark05 Results
The Cinebench 2003 benchmark is an OpenGL 3D rendering performance test, based on the commercially available Cinema 4D application. This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders a single 3D scene and tracks the length of the entire process. The time it took each test system to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below (listed in seconds).
No surprises with Cinebench's rendering tests either. The GA-8N-SLI finished in the quickest time at 87.3 seconds. This was 0.2 seconds faster than the next board, the P5N32-SLI, and 0.4 second better than the P4N Diamond and P5WD2. It looks like Gigabyte has tweaked this board just enough to beat the competition, albeit by marginal numbers.
3DMark05's built-in CPU test is a multi-threaded "gaming related" DirectX metric that's useful for comparing relative performance between 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 processor. The number of frames generated per second in each test is used to determine the final score.
In what is perhaps the biggest reversal so far, the GA-8N-SLI not only doesn't come in first place, but was handily outgunned by the leader, the i955X based P5WD2 Premium from Asus. In general, all of the nForce 4 SLI boards seem to fall slightly behind the competitor's chipset. However, by looking at the slew of benchmarks we have thrown at these boards, there doesn't seem to be as much of a difference in performance as 3DMark05 would make out.