Processor: AMD Phenom X4 9850 @ 2.5GHz (Supplied by AMD)
Memory: 2x 1GB DDR2-1186 Geil (Supplied by Geil)
Hard Disk: 500GB Western Digital SE16 (Supplied by Wester Digital)
Graphics Card: MSI GeForce 8800GTS 640MB (Supplied by MSI)
Cooling: GIGABYTE Galaxy II (Supplied by GIGABYTE)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Vista Ultimate SP1
Drivers: Forceware 175.16, ATI Catalyst
Today we have two separate test systems head-to-head. Our first is based on the AMD 780G chipset from ATI/AMD using our ASUS motherboard we used for the HTPC article. We then have our setup from NVIDIA using the ZOTAC board. We did tests using the IGP on both setups (Radeon HD3200 on the AMD 780G and GeForce 8300 on the MCP78) as well as tests using a GeForce 8800GTS 640MB graphics card to then determine the perfect setup.
When using the IGPs, we set the frame buffer to a manual size of 256MB of the system memory, rather than using Auto which can favour one setup over another.
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Version and / or Patch Used: 2006
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First off, memory bandwidth. AMD's 780G chipset manages to use slightly less memory than the NVIDIA setup, but not enough to really make a difference. When swapping to the discrete GPU system, the memory is identical thanks to the memory controller being moved off chipset and onto the CPU die.
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