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MSI GeForce 6600 GT SLI Review - Page 3 of 6

TEST SYSTEM CONFIGURATION

NVIDIA, Corsair, and Western Digital provided a number of components for the test system and included a reference motherboard, two GeForce 6800 GT graphics cards, two 512MB sticks of XMS2 5400 memory, and a 74GB Raptor hard drive. Other components included a Coolermaster Wave Master chassis and an Enermax FMA ATX12V 535W power supply.

For Those About To Rock...
Click Image to Enlarge

Speaking of Western Digital's Raptor, I discovered a speed test under the NVIDIA MCP04 ADMA Controller and Parallel ATA Contoller properties in Device Manager (shown at bottom of page). The following are test results of the Raptor (second image) against a Western Digital Caviar SE hard drive (third image) I installed on the IDE port.

Controller Speed Test

Note that the Raptor also features command queuing, which is supported by nForce4's MediaShield Storage.

System Specifications

  • Intel Pentium 4 3.4GHz, Prescott Core, 800MHz FSB, 1MB L2 Cache
  • NVIDIA nForce4 SLI Intel Edition Reference Motherboard
  • Corsair XMS2 5400 Memory Model CM2X512A-5400UL - (2) 512MB DIMMs - 1GB Total
  • Western Digital Raptor SATA 74GB HDD, 10000RPM, 4.5ms Avg. Seek, 8MB Buffer
  • Western Digital Caviar SE 120GB, 7200RPM, 8.9ms Avg. Seek, 8MB Buffer, ATA-100
  • Enermax 535W Power Supply Model EG565P-VE (24P) (NVIDIA recommends 550W for SLI)
  • Sony Multiscan E500 21-Inch CRT Monitor
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT PCI-Express Graphics Card (2) - 256MB - 350MHz/1.00GHz
  • NVIDIA WHQL ForceWare Graphics Driver Version 71.84
  • NVIDIA nForce Driver Package Version 7.02
    • Audio Driver Version 4.6
    • Audio Utility Version 4.51
    • Ethernet NRM Driver Version 4.73
    • Network Management Tools Version 4.73
    • SMBus Driver Version 4.45
    • Installer Version 4.61
    • Windows XP IDE Driver Version 5.18
    • Windows XP RAIDTOOL Application Version 5.18
  • Vsync Disabled / 75Hz Refresh Rate / 70HZ at 1920x1440 / 60HZ at 2048x1536
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 / DirectX 9.0c

Selected BIOS Settings

  • PCIE Frequency - 100MHz
  • FSB Speed - 800MHz
  • Memory Speed - 666.7 MHz
  • Memory Timings - Expert
    • TCAS (CAS Latency) - 3
    • TRCD (RAS to CAS Delay) - 2
    • TRP (Row Precharge) - 2
    • TRAS (Active-to-Precharge Delay) - 7
    • TRC (Row Cycle Time) - 2
    • Addressing Mode 1T - 1 Clock
  • Memory Voltage - 2.1V
  • AC97 Audio - Disabled
  • MAC Lan - Disabled

Games Benchmarked

  • Doom 3 - Version 1.01
  • Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory - Version 2.60
  • Far Cry - Version 1.31
  • Half-Life 2 - Version 1.0.1.0

About This Preview

The only component needing to be installed in order to begin using the test system was a processor. I used a 3.4GHz Pentium 4 from another system and was somewhat concerned as the BIOS on the reference motherboard reported a processor temperature of 56 degrees Celcius. I believe there is an issue with the retail heatsink not making proper contact with the processor and have replacement parts on order.

nTune Temperature / Fan Control Sections

The reference motherboard BIOS lacked the ability to control the processor fan speed, but I was able to do so using the latest version (2.5) of nTune.

Although this preview has been published, I am eager to continue working with this system by testing SLI performance with other games and will provide updates as necessary.

We Salute You!
Click Image to Enlarge

The following output is a partial listing from the Device Manager utility in Windows XP.

Device Manager

Next Page: Doom 3 and Enemy Territory Performance

Last Updated on April 5, 2005


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