Quake 4: Low and High Resolutions
For our next set of tests, we benchmarked all of the test systems using a custom single-player Quake 4 timedemo. Here, we installed the game's official v1.3 point release which is SMP capable and ran some tests in two configurations. First, we turned the resolution down to 640x480, and configured the game to run at its "Low-Quality" graphics setting. Although Quake 4 typically taxes today's high-end GPUs, when it's configured at these minimal settings, it is much more CPU and memory bandwidth-bound than anything else. In the second set of tests, we cranked the resoltuion to 1600x1200 and enabled 4X anti-aliasing and 16X anisotropic filtering to see how each board performed in a more GPU bound situation.
Our custom low-resolution Quake 4 benchmark had the EVGA nForce 680i SLI motherboard finishing in first place, outpacing the 975X Express by 2.5 frames per second. Not a large margin of victory, but a victory for the 680i SLI nonetheless.
The tables turned in favor of the 975X Express in our high-resolution Quake 4 benchmark. This time around, the Intel-built chipset took the pole position, followed very closely behind by the nForce 680i SLI. The 975X Express' margin of victory was only 1.6 frames per second though, which equates to only a 1.3% difference.