There's some really interesting results here and if we begin to dissect it a bit we can understand what's going on a bit better. Sometimes we see the x16 / x16 via the NF200 chip run faster, while other times we see the x8 / x8 setup via the native Intel chip run faster.
There seems to be a constancy, though, when we're under high VGA load. Not hitting a CPU brick wall or anything like that, the x8 / x8 via the native P67 chip is a faster setup. When we see lower resolutions and the CPU play a larger picture, the x16 / x16 via the NF200 is faster.
So what's faster? You know, there's probably not a clear winner when it comes to overall speed. The better question would be; so what's better? Well, the x8 / x8 setup that ASUS choose to implement seems to be. Yes, it's not always faster, but when we're all about the video card power, it is the faster setup. The times we see the NF200 setup come out ahead is when we're looking at benchmarks with really high FPS.
We can see under intensive situations like Aliens vs. Predator and Unigine Heaven, the x8 / x8 via the native P67 chip is the better option. When it all comes down to it, there's little difference between the two setups. The decision for ASUS to go down the x8 / x8 path via the Intel chip instead of the better looking x16 / x16 NF200 path seems to be the right decision.
It's so easy to get caught up in the numbers, but they only paint part of the picture. What I'd like to see ASUS do is highlight the x8 / x8 benefits a bit more, because at the moment there's a lot of confusion about the x8 / x8 dual GPU setup specification. With the NF200 present most people think that it's simply an error on the ASUS website. It's not, though, and is clearly intentional and for good reason.
Some interesting results here today and hopefully we've helped clear some of the confusion up around the x8 / x8 vs x16 / x16 argument on the P67 / Z68 platform.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Test System Setup]
- Page 3 [3DMark 11]
- Page 4 [3DMark Vantage]
- Page 5 [Unigine Heaven Benchmark]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Lost Planet 2]
- Page 7 [Benchmarks - Aliens vs. Predator]
- Page 8 [Benchmarks - Street Fighter IV]
- Page 9 [Benchmarks - High Quality AA and AF]
- Page 10 [Final Thoughts]