Test System Setup
Processor(s): Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 3.33GHz (366MHz x 9 and FSB 1:1)
Motherboard(s): ABIT IN9 32X-MAX Wi-Fi (Supplied by Universal ABIT)
Memory: 2 X 1GB Crucial PC8000 5-5-5-15 in Dual Channel(Supplied by Crucial)
Hard Disk(s): Hitachi 80GB 7200RPM SATA 2
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2
Drivers: nVidia ForceWare 97.92 and DX9c
As we mentioned, as this is a performance analysis, we will be getting straight into the benchmarking, bypassing all the usual pleasantries.
We will be using our normal line up of games and as the graphics cards are clearly at the higher end of the table we are testing at the maximum PC resolution of 2560 x 1600 to really see what the different configurations are capable of producing.
All of the graphics cards on hand today are from our friends at MSI - two utilize 320MB of memory while the other two utilize 640MB. We saw that the 640MB consistently took the lead of the 320MB counterpart in our single non-SLI testing. We are here today to find out what happens when we put the same cards into an SLI mode configuration. All the graphics cards are exactly the same (same clock speeds and so on) just the amount of memory is different.
Is a combined 640MB of memory fine or do we want to get crazy and have in excess of 1.2GB of video memory? There is only one way to find out! Keep in mind that in Australia and at time of publishing a couple MSI GeForce 8800GTS 320MB cards will cost you about $980 AUD (or roughly $786 USD) and a couple MSI GeForce 8800GTS 640MB cards will cost you about $1300 AUD (or roughly $1042 USD) - so about a 33% price increase for the 1280MB SLI option.
Let's get started!
Version and / or Patch Used: Build 130
Developer Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com
Product Homepage: http://www.futuremark.com/products/3dmark05/
3DMark05 is now the second latest version in the popular 3DMark "Gamers Benchmark" series. It includes a complete set of DX9 benchmarks which tests Shader Model 2.0 and above.
For more information on the 3DMark05 benchmark, we recommend you read our preview here.
At the lower resolution the 640MB cards sit just behind but when we move up in the resolution table we can see that it is able to take a slight lead over the 320MB variant.