Cinebench and 3DMark06: CPU
The Cinebench 2003 benchmark is an OpenGL 3D rendering performance test, based on the commercially available Cinema 4D application. Cinema 4D from Maxon is a 3D Rendering and Animation suite used by many 3D Animation houses and producers like Sony Animation and many others. And of course it's very demanding of system processor resources.
This is a multi-threaded, multi-processor aware benchmark that renders a single 3D scene and tracks the length of the entire process. The time it took each test system to render the entire scene is represented in the graph below (listed in seconds).
It was another tight race in the Cinebench benchmark. In the single-threaded test, the 975X Express outpaced the new 680i SLI by a measly 1 second. But in the all important multi-threaded test, NVIDIA's and Intel's current flagship chipsets finished with the exact same score.
3DMark06's built-in CPU test is a multi-threaded "gaming related" DirectX metric that's useful for comparing relative performance between similarly equipped systems. This test consists of two different 3D scenes that are generated with a software renderer that is dependent on the host CPU's performance. This means that the calculations normally reserved for your 3D accelerator are instead sent to the central processor. The number of frames generated per second in each test are used to determine the final score.
3DMark06's multi-threaded CPU performance module had the nForce 680i SLI-based system finishing in the top spot, with the 975X Express and nForce 590 SLI Intel Edition finishing in second and third place, respectively. A relatively small delta of 22 points separated the 975X Express and 680i SLI, but the 590 SLI Intel Edition faltered here, with a score almost 100 points behind the new 680i SLI.