Test System Setup
Processor(s): AMD Athlon X2 3800+ @ Various Speeds
Motherboard(s): DFI Lanparty UT RDX200 CF-DR (Supplied by Bronet Australia)
Video Card: 2 X HIS X850XT (1 x Master Card) (Supplied by HIS)
Hard Disk(s): WD Raptor 74GB 10,000RPM SATA (Supplied by Western Digital)
CPU Cooling: Gigabyte G-Power Pro Cooler (GH-PDU21-MF) (Supplied by Gigabyte)
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP1
Drivers: ATI Catalyst 5.11 and DX9c
When it came to testing the Crossfire as we mentioned in the overclocking section we will simply be testing it against itself to see what the platform is truly capable of. We will be running the system at its stock speeds through our normal array of benchmarks and then with the maximum overclock on both the CPU and VGA.
While we would normally benchmark at lower resolutions when looking at a motherboard we will be running our normal benchmark setups which include 1024 x 768 and 1600 x 1200 as we want to see how the system performs in a gaming situation. This is the reason you do spend the money on buying two graphics cards after all.
We have also included a few system benchmarks in the shape of SiSoft Sandra and PC Mark. The reason for this is more to see what kind of theoretical performance increase we get when overclocking the system. If we get more memory and CPU bandwidth, hopefully this will help with the VGA overclock to really give us some extra power in our games and normal 3D benchmarks.
Before we get onto the results we must mention that we didn't run all the benchmarks we would like. It seemed that even with all the up to date drivers we had trouble running Far Cry, Half Life 2 and F.E.A.R. on the Crossfire solution. A fresh install was included on the hard drive along with all the up to date drivers. We do have another Crossfire board coming so we will re-evaluate it and see where we are sitting then and we also do have a 975X board coming which supports Crossfire. Hopefully it's no more then some teething issues as it is still quite a new technology for ATI.
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