We ran all three of the nForce 780a SLI based motherboards we showed you earlier, through Futuremark’s latest system performance metric built especially for Windows Vista, PCMark Vantage, using both a discreet graphics card and the 780a SLI's IGP. PCMark Vantage runs through a host of different usage scenarios to simulate different types of workloads including High Definition TV and movie playback and manipulation, gaming, image editing and manipulation, music compression, communications, and productivity. Most of the tests are multi-threaded as well, so the tests can exploit the additional resources offered by a quad-core CPU.
PCMark Vantage told a very interesting story. According to this benchmark suite, the nForce 780a SLI is a few percentage points faster or right on par with the AMD 790FX chipset in every test with the exception of 'Communications' where the nForce boards blew everything out of the water. Usually this particular test scales with CPU performance, but it ran exceptional well on the nForce platform for some reason. Also note, system performance using the IGP isn't adversely affected in most tests. Only the 'Gaming' (which is to be expected) and the 'Memories" tests show a sharp drop off with the IGP.