NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition
Unreal Tournament 2004 & Doom 3
To start our actual in-game testing, we did some low-resolution benchmarking with Epic's Unreal Tournament 2004. When testing with UT 2004, we use a specific set of game engine initialization parameters that ensure all of the systems are being benchmarked with the exact same in-game settings and graphical options. Like the other in-game tests in this review you'll see later, we used a "Low-Quality" setting with UT2004 that isolated CPU and memory performance.
The NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition also performed well in our custom Unreal Tournament 2004 benchmark. In this test, the NF4 / DDR2-667 combo was roughly 5% faster than the i925XE. When both platforms had their system memory running at DDR-533, the i925XE closed the gap a bit, but the NF4 SLI Intel Edition still came in a couple of frames per second ahead.
For our next game test, we benchmarked all of the 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...
We had a bit of an anomaly with our custom Doom 3 benchmark. Here, the nForce SLI Intel Edition was fastest when its system memory was running at 533MHz where it outpaced all of the other machines by a couple of frames per second. The margin of victory was quite small though, and falls well within the margin of error in this test.