NVIDIA 3-Way SLI Performance Preview

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Maingear Computers is a fairly new-comer to the scene, starting out in 2003.  Based on the east coast, out of Union City New Jersey, the company offers a line of Desktop systems, Media Center PCs and Notebooks built with the gamer in mind, most of which come with NVIDIA-based 3D Graphics subsystems.  We took a look at one of their EPHEX line of systems built around an nForce 680i motherboard, Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850 quad-core processor, a Silverstone TJ10 case and of course, three GeForce 8800 Ultra graphics cards under the hood.



    

    

Adorned with cold cathode blue lighting and an Asetek LCLC (Low-Cost Liquid-Cooling) kit over its processor socket, the Maingear EPHEX means business.  The completely self-contained Asetek kit is really something to see actually and we'll be covering it a bit more in a full Maingear system showcase in the near future.  This system ships with a processor speed of 3.8GHz, a nice overclock for its 3GHz Core 2 Extreme QX6850 processor.


   

And then of course there are the three NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra cards strapped in with their new NVIDIA 3-Way SLI connector.  Once installed these three cards obviously consume all available expansion slot positions in the case, with the exception of the very top PCI Express X1 slot in the first position above the first full X16 slot. 

Regardless, there is a ton of computing horsepower in this rig, from the raw computational throughput of an Intel Core 2 quad-core chip clocked at 3.8GHz, to three NVIDIA GeForce 8800 Ultra GPUs running in tandem for graphics processing and load-balancing.  Again, if you thought we were joking earlier about this rig "making the lights dim", we're not.  When we hit the power switch in our lab, the lights flickered at the significant dip in available current on the single 15Amp circuit that was powering our test bench.  So, without further delay, let's not let all this power consumption go completely to waste, we have benchmarks to run.


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