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SLI Tests: 3DMark05 & Halo v1.06

Before we wrapped up our testing, we ran 3DMark05 and a couple of popular games with the NF4 SLI boards (both Intel and AMD Editions) outfitted with a pair of GeForce 6800 GTs configured to operate in SLI mode.  Please note, that in all of the previous tests, we were using a single GeForce 6800 GT.

Performance Comparisons with 3DMark05- SLI
Futuremark's Latest

3DMark05
3DMark05 is the latest installment in a long line of synthetic 3D graphics benchmarks, dating back to late 1998.  3DMark99 came out in October 1998 and was followed by the very popular DirectX 7 benchmark, 3DMark2000, roughly two years later.  The DirectX 8.1-compliant 3DMark2001 was released shortly thereafter, and it too was a very popular tool used by many hardcore gamers.  3DMark03, however, wasn't quite as well received thanks in no small part to the disapproval of graphics giant NVIDIA.  With 3DMark05, though, Futuremark hopes to win back some of its audience with a very advanced DirectX 9 benchmarking tool.  We ran 3DMark05's default test (1,024 x 768) on a single 6800 GT, and on a pair of 6800 GT with both nForce 4 SLI platforms and have the overall results for you posted below.

% Improvement Intel = 63.6%     |     % Improvement AMD = 80.1%

As you'll see in the coming pages, we had some interesting results when comparing AMD NF4 SLI versus Intel NF4 SLI. When running 3DMark05's default test, we saw large performance improvements on both sides, but the AMD rig was faster all around; besting the nForce 4 SLI Intel edition in both actual score and percent improvement.

Benchmarks With Halo v1.06 - SLI
Halo - All Patched & Ready To Go!

Halo
For many gamers, the release of Halo marked the end of a long wait.  To the chagrin of some PC gamers, Halo was originally released as an Xbox exclusive a few years back. No additional patches or tweaks are needed to benchmark with Halo, as Gearbox has included all of the necessary information in its README file. This benchmark works by running through four of the cut-scenes from the game, after which the average frame rate is recorded. We patched the game using the v1.06 patch and ran this benchmark at a resolution of 1,600 x 1,200. Anti-aliasing doesn't work properly with Halo, so all of the tests below were run with anti-aliasing disabled.

% Improvement Intel = 59.2%     |     % Improvement AMD = 55.9%

Things balanced out somewhat when we moved onto Halo for our SLI testing. This time around, both platforms showed roughly the same improvement, give or take a couple of percentage points. And once again, the AMD side proved why its currently the top choice for gamers with its roughly 10% higher framerates.


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