NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition

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Test Systems & SiSoft SANDRA 2005

How we configured our test systems: When configuring the test systems for this review, we first entered their system BIOS and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High-Performance Defaults."  The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows XP Professional (SP2) was installed. Then we installed all of the necessary drivers and removed Windows Messenger from the system.  Auto-Updating and System Restore were also disabled, and we set up a 768MB permanent page file on the same partition as the Windows installation. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance," installed all of our benchmarking software, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.

Test System Specifications
"Intel & AMD Inside!"
SYSTEM 1:
Pentium 4 EE 3.73GHz
(LGA 775)

nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition
(Reference Motherboard)

2x512MB Corsair DDR2-667

PC2-5400 @ 533MHz & 667MHz
CL 3-2-2-7

GeForce 6800 GT (x2 for SLI)
On-board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows XP Pro SP2
nForce 4 Drivers v7.02
NVIDIA Forceware v71.84
DirectX 9.0c
SYSTEM 2:
Pentium 4 EE 3.73GHz
(LGA 775)

Abit Fatal1ty AA8XE
i925XE Chipset

2x512MB Corsair DDR2-667

PC2-5400 @ 533MHz
CL 3-2-2-7

GeForce 6800 GT
On-board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows XP Pro SP2
Intel Chipset Drivers v6.3.0.1007
NVIDIA Forceware v71.84
DirectX 9.0c
SYSTEM 3:
AMD Athlon 64 4000+

(2.4GHz)

Gigabyte K8NXP-SLI
NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI

2x512MB Corsair XPert

PC3200
CL 2-2-2-10

GeForce 6800 GT (x2 for SLI)
Onboard Ethernet
Onboard Audio

WD "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows XP Pro SP2
nForce 4 Drivers v6.53

Forceware v71.84
DirectX 9.0c
Preliminary Benchmarks with SiSoft SANDRA 2005
Synthetic Testing

We began our testing with SiSoftware's SANDRA, the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant. SANDRA consists of a set of information and diagnostic utilities that can provide a host of useful information about your hardware and operating system. We ran three of the built-in subsystem tests that partially comprise the SANDRA 2005 suite (CPU, Multimedia, and Memory). On the NVIDIA nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition reference board, we clocked the board's system memory at DDR2-533 speeds for one set of scores and DDR2-667 for another.  Intel's i925XE (DDR2-533) represent the third set of scores.


CPU
nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition

DDR2-667



CPU
nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition

DDR2-533



CPU
Intel i925XE

DDR2-533



Multimedia
nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition

DDR2-667



Multimedia
nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition

DDR2-533



Multimedia
Intel i925XE

DDR2-533



Memory
nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition

DDR2-667

Memory
nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition

DDR2-533


Memory
Intel i925XE

DDR2-533

The nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition's preliminary performance scores using SiSoft SANDRA looked quite good. As was expected, when using the same processor, clocked at the exact same speed, the CPU Arithmetic benchmark and CPU Multi-Media benchmark didn't show much variation from platform to platform. The nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition and i925XE performed similarly.  SANDRA's Memory Benchmark, however, had the nForce 4 SLI Intel Edition well ahead of the i925XE, regardless of what speed we clocked the system memory.  With the NF4 and i925XE both utilizing the same RAM, clocked at the same 533MHz (with the same timings), the NF4 had an approximate 300MB/s bandwidth advantage.  And with the nForce 4's memory clocked up to 667MHz, its overall bandwidth scores were about 600MB/s higher than the i925XE.


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