Test System Setup
Processor(s): AMD Athlon FX-60 (Supplied by Gigabyte and not AMD)
Motherboard(s): DFI Lanparty UT SLI DR Expert (Supplied by Bronet)
Memory: 2 X 1GB G.Skill ZX PC3200 2-3-2-5 (Supplied by Bronet)
Hard Disk(s): Hitachi 80GB 7,200 RPM SATA 2
Operating System: Windows XP Professional SP2
Drivers: nVidia ForceWare 91.29 and DX9c
Our test system started out a lot different with it running an ASUS A8N32-SLI Premium and X2-3800+. With the issues we were having as mentioned on page 2, we did a fair bit of chopping and changing (we changed every part in the system at least once) and finally ended up with a rock solid stable system as described in our test system section above.
Normally we test at two resolutions, 1024 x 768 and 1600 x 1200. The first is for people who run a standard computer without a massive computer screen, huge amounts of RAM or an expensive processor. It gives them an idea of where they will sit. On the other hand, the latter gives the higher end user an idea of where they should be sitting. If you're running 1280 x 1024 which is what the average 17" LCD users, it's obvious that you should be sitting smack bang in the middle.
While we would have loved to have got away with only those two resolutions, the GX2 is for serious gamers. You're not buying these cards if you can only run at 1024 x 768, hence the reason why our benchmarking begins at 1600 x 1200.
From 1600 we start cranking it up - 1920 x 1200 is there for those lucky 24" LCD owners. We then go even further to those even luckier people with 30" LCDs and test at 2560 x 1600.
While initial setup was a complete pain, we wouldn't put that solely down to the graphics cards and because the whole Quad SLI thing didn't work for us, XFX aren't to blame - overall the whole setup (once up and running) was extremely bug-free.
When it comes to comparing, there was no better option than the Palit 7900GT Sonic in 512MB form. Since the 7950GX2 is almost especially a pair of 512MB 7900GT cards, this made the most sense to us. Also since we thought that at one stage the XFX 7950GX2 was the problem, we grabbed a pair of Leadtek 7950GX2 cards which are stock clocked to provide us with further comparison.