There you have it - another Performance PC that well and truly speaks for itself when you start benchmarking in all the latest games and applications. We have to give a big thanks to the companies that made this article possible not only with the samples but the technology they have introduced over the past 12 months.
nVidia have done wonders with the 6800 Ultra's in SLI and PCI Express giving us the absolute best gaming experience available. The nForce 4 is an excellent chipset and we were highly impressed with it when we compared it to the ATI 200 Series - it really is ahead of the competition out there at the moment. nVidia was able to not only take over from the VIA based system we used last time but also the ATI graphics card used in our last article.
ASUS have also done wonders with the nForce 4 chipset by adding a few of their own little touches like the extra SATA ports and the extra gap between the two graphics card. It is smart thinking like this that really makes companies stand out from the competitors.
OCZ Technology are still producing faster and faster memory and really stand out from the pack when it comes to high performance memory modules, with looks that could kill and performance to go with it OCZ has quickly become a favorite in many enthusiasts systems and the modules here today didn't hiccup at 2-2-2-5 while running at 213MHz giving us a nice little increase in memory bandwidth.
Western Digital have had the hard drive performance crown for a while now and all for good reason, with what is probably the best SATA drive available on the market, they deserve it. While we didn't use them in RAID today we have benched them in the past on the nForce 3 with RAID 0 and these drives give transfer rates you wouldn't believe unless you saw them for yourself.
Zippy is a company that we haven't been using for long but their 500 watt power supply we have with us here today never missed a single frame which is saying a lot considering the amount of pressure this power supply has been under. There are known cases that well known brand 480 watt power supplies even have trouble with the load that is created with a 68XX SLI setup but we can say that we didn't have any troubles with the Zippy 500 watt.
PC Case Gear as usual has been extremely helpful when it came to the cooling of our system with the Thermalright XP120 which is quickly become known as one of the best air coolers for the Athlon 64. The NV5 Silencers did wonders for our cards as at one stage due to the heat in our testing area the cards were artifacting at stock speeds. While they aren't designed to give you a huge boost in overclocking they do help transfer the heat more efficiently then the standard coolers.
The Performance PC really got a big work around this time and before we quickly go we will just have a quick look at some of the scores we received with our first Performance PC article published back in 2003.
Sandra Memory Bandwidth went from 3429/3427 and 1983/2009 to 6507/6455 and 3044/3187 (respectively) which is an absolutely huge jump. This shows what kind of performance increase is given from the Dual Channel on chip memory controller.
PCMark 2002 we received a memory score of 9555 and CPU score of 7265 where we now receive 11528 and 8313. Another large jump in performance can be seen to what we had 14 months ago when we then had the best of the best.
While our Real World Gaming benchmarks have completely changed from 14 months ago we were still using 3DMark2001 SE and 3DMark03. While we did test at different resolutions originally we can see that at 1280 X 1024 in 3DMark2001 SE we saw 17997 Marks where at the higher 1600 X 1200 resolution on our new Performance PC of 2005 we receive 25536 which is a massive increase seen we have even kicked the resolution up a notch and the 9800XT was only able to achieve a score this high at 640 X 480. 3DMark03 scored what we thought was a huge 4953 at 1280 X 1024 but our new system scores over three times that with 15101 at 1600 X 1200.
You can see just how technology has moved forward in leaps and bounds over the past 14 months and we will have to see what's coming from the next Performance PC article but it might be time to kick the cooling up a notch with an extreme setup to see just what we can come up with in the following weeks.
Stay tuned and happy tweaking!
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