nForce 4 SLI Motherboard Round-Up
Low-Res: Half Life 2 & Doom 3
For our next game test, we benchmarked all three of our NF4 SLI based 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's more CPU / Memory-bound than anything else...
In our custom multi-player Doom 3 benchmark, the DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR was once again able to outperform the competition. The DFI board finished the test 4.2 frames per second faster than the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI and 6.6 frames per second faster than the Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI.
In our last low-res in-game test, we benchmarked Half-Life 2 with a custom recorded timedemo that takes us along a cliff and through a few dilapidated shacks in an area of the "Coastal" map, battling enemies throughout. These tests were run at low-resolution and with low graphical detail, to allow the CPUs to run flat out, and not be held back by graphics sub-system performance.
Performance in Half Life 2 essentially mirrored what we saw with Unreal Tournament 2004. In our custom low-resolution HL2 test, the DFI LANParty NF4 SLI-DR finished a couple of frames per second ahead of the Gigabyte board, and about 5.5 frames per second ahead of the MSI board. Up to this point, DFI's LANParty NF4 SLI-DR has consistently been faster than its competition. It seems like the folks at DFi really put some thought into the design and manufacture of the LANParty NF4 SLI-DR.