NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI Arrives

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Our Test Systems and PCMark Vantage



 

How we configured our test systems: When configuring our test systems for this article, we first entered their respective system BIOSes and set each board to its "Optimized" or "High performance Defaults". We then saved the settings, re-entered the BIOS and set memory timings for either DDR2-800 (NVIDIA) with 4,4,4,12 timings or DDR3-1333 with 7,7,7,20 timings (Intel). The hard drives were then formatted, and Windows Vista Ultimate was installed. When the Windows installation was complete, we updated the OS, and installed the drivers necessary for our components. Auto-Updating and Windows Defender were then disabled and we installed all of our benchmarking software, defragged the hard drives, and ran all of the tests.

 HotHardware's Test Systems
 Intel and NVIDIA - Head To Head 

System 1:
Core 2 Extreme QX6850
(3.0GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus P5NT Deluxe
(nForce 780i SLI Chipset)

2x1GB Corsair DDR2-800
CL 4-4-4 - DDR2-800

GeForce 8800 GTX
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD740 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
NVIDIA nForce Drivers v9.46
NVIDIA Forceware v163.75
DirectX Redist (November 2007)

System 2:
Core 2 Extreme QX6850
(3.0GHz - Quad-Core)

EVGA nForce 680i SLI
(nForce 680i SLI Chipset)

2x1GB Corsair DDR2-800
CL 4-4-4 - DDR2-800

GeForce 8800 GTX
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD740 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
NVIDIA nForce Drivers v9.46
NVIDIA Forceware v163.75
DirectX Redist (November 2007)

System 3:
C
ore 2 Extreme QX6850
(3.0GHz - Quad-Core)

Asus P5E3 Deluxe
(X38 Chipset)

2x1GB Corsair DDR3-1800
CL 7-7-7 - DDR3-1333

GeForce 8800 GTX
On-Board Ethernet
On-board Audio

WD740 "Raptor" HD
10,000 RPM SATA

Windows Vista Ultimate
Intel INF 8.3.1.1009
NVIDIA Forceware v163.75
DirectX Redist (November 2007)

 Futuremark PCMark Vantage
 Synthetic Benchmarks

For our first round of benchmarks, we ran all of the modules built into Futuremark's PCMark Vantage test suite.  Vantage is a new benchmarking tool that we've incorporated into our arsenal of tests here at HotHardware.  Here's how Futuremark positions their new benchmarking tool:

"The PCMark Suite is a collection of various single- and multi-threaded CPU, Graphics and HDD test sets with the focus on Windows Vista application tests. Tests have been selected to represent a subset of the individual Windows Vista Consumer scenarios. The PCMark Suite includes CPU, Graphics, Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and a subset of Consumer Suite tests."

The overall PCMark Vantage score is a weighted average of all of the modules in the Vantage suite calculated in total "PCMarks".  Here are the results:
 



According to PCMark Vantage, the new nForce 780i SLI offers a slight performance advantage over the 680i SLI and X38 chipsets.
 



The PCMark Vantage "Memories" suite includes the following tests:

Memories 1 - Two simultaneous threads, CPU image manipulation and HDD picture import
Memories 2 - Two simultaneous threads, GPU image manipulation and HDD video editing
Memories 3 - Video Transcoding: DV to portable device
Memories 4 - Video Transcoding: media server archive to portable device



PCMark Vantage's Memories test module had the X38 chipset in the lead, likely due to its memory bandwidth advantage, followed by the nForce 780i SLI and then the 680i SLI.

  



Vantage TV and Movies suite includes the following tests:

TV and Movies 1 - Two simultaneous threads, Video transcoding: HD DVD to media server archive, Video playback: HD DVD w/ additional lower bitrate HD content from HDD, as downloaded from the net
TV and Movies 2 - Two simultaneous threads, Video transcoding: HD DVD to media server archive, Video playback, HD MPEG-2: 19.39 Mbps terrestrial HDTV playback
TV and Movies 3 - HDD Media Center
TV and Movies 4 - Video transcoding: media server archive to portable device, Video playback, HD MPEG-2: 48 Mbps Blu-ray playback


 

Vantage's TV and Movies test reported a slight lead for the nForce 680i SLI, with the X38 finishing in second and the 780i SLI bringing up the rear.

 



Courtesy, Futuremark:  "Gaming is one of the most popular forms of entertainment for all ages. Today’s games demand high performance graphics cards and CPUs to avoid delays and sluggish performance while playing. Loading screens in games are yesterday’s news. Streaming data from an HDD in games – such as Alan Wake™ – allows for massive worlds and riveting non-stop action. CPUs with many cores give a performance advantage to gamers in real-time strategy and massively multiplayer games. Gaming Suite includes the following tests: "

Gaming 1 - GPU game test
Gaming 2 - HDD: game HDD
Gaming 3 - Two simultaneous threads, CPU game test, Data decompression: level loading
Gaming 4 - Three simultaneous threads, GPU game test, CPU game test, HDD: game HDD




PCMark Vantage's Gaming benchmark, which is dependant on CPU, HD, and Memory performance, had the X38 finishing well ahead of the nForce chipsets.  So far, Vantage's individual benchmark tests are all over the map.

Tags:  Nvidia, nforce, 780i, sli, force, arrive, Ive, 780, id, AR

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