Crysis and 3DMark06 CPU and System Testing
When testing full systems with Crysis, we drop the resolution to 800x600, and reduce all of the in-game graphical options to their minimum values to isolate CPU and memory performance as much as possible. However, the in-game effects, which control the level of detail for the games' physics engines and particle systems, are left at their maximum values, since these actually do place some load on the CPU rather than GPU.
3DMark06's built-in CPU test is a multi-threaded DirectX gaming metric that's useful for comparing relative performance between similarly equipped systems. This test consists of two different 3D scenes that are processed with a software renderer that is dependent on the host CPU's performance. Calculations that are normally reserved for your 3D accelerator are instead sent to the CPU for processing and rendering. The frame-rate generated in each test is used to determine the final score.
Things scaled exactly as we expected in both of these CPU-bound gaming tests, with the Maingear Ephex still taking top honors by roughly a 9% margin versus the fastest stock quad-core setup we tested. Next, we'll look at real-world gaming performance with the Maingear Ephex and what 3-Way SLI brings you over standard SLI or even a single GPU setup.