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EVGA nForce 4 SLI Mainboard Review - Page 8 of 13

TEST SETUP

  • AMD A64 3700+, 90nm (San Diego), Socket 939
     
  • EVGA 133-K8-NF41-AX motherboard w/Dual Channel DDR memory
     
  • Patriot PC3200 XBL, (2) 512MB DIMMs, 2-2-2-5
     
  • Western Digital, WDC WD740GD, 'Raptor' 74.5GB HDD, 10,000RPM
     
  • Western Digital WD2000JB 200GB HDD, 7200RPM
     
  • NVIDIA 7800GTX / 2-6800GTs in SLI
     
  • NVIDIA ForceWare Graphics Driver, Version (WHQL) 77.77
     
  • FSP 500W Blue Storm power supply
     
  • ViewSonic P225 22-inch CRT monitor
     
  • 32-Bit Color / 75Hz Refresh Rate @ 1600X1200
     
  • Windows XP Pro with Service Pack 2
     
  • Microsoft DirectX 9.0c

Tests were performed using Test Setup Specifications as identified above. All tests were performed twice, once with the EVGA 133-K8-NF41-AX NVIDIA fitted with the 7800GTX (default clocks, GPU: 430 MHz, Memory: 1.2 GHz) as a single card arrangement, and a second time for evaluating the SLI performance of the motherboard using two 6800 GTs (default clocks, GPU: 350 MHz, Memory: 1.0 GHz). Default settings were used throughout the tests and benchmarks except where otherwise noted. Tables, graphs, and other performance data were blocked together where possible to show the comparative performance deviations between the two configurations. Benchmarks where ran a minimum of three times to obtain average performance values.

PERFORMANCE AT DEFAULT SETTINGS

This motherboard reads the Hyper Transport (HTT) bus at slightly over the 200 MHz specification coming in at 200.9 MHz. This places the default speed of the AMD 3700+ processor at 2210.2 MHz as shown below by CPU-Z. Memory clocks are identified as 2-2-2-5, divider @ 1:1 ratio, and running in dual channel. The DRAM command rate is identified as 1T in the Bios.

CPU-Z Reports








All in all a good AMD performance setup and at this point with the EVGA 133-K8-NF4-AX doing its part. In the CPU screen the 'voltage' is incorrect and should show around 1.4 volts. The default 'voltage' reading should show about 1.4 volts and is correctly shown in the Bios.

This particular 3700+ AMD processor is the San Diego, 90 nm process, and has shown to clock to speeds of around 2.7GHz with forced air cooling. In this review the processor will take a back seat to the motherboard and will be run at default clock speeds of 2.2 GHz except for a brief stint in the Overclocking section.

Other than the 133-K8-NF43's capabilities, emphasis will be placed on specific performance relationships with the single card and dual card (SLI) configurations. With PCI-E gaining momentum in popularity I thought it might be of benefit to some to see how these 'setups' perform in comparison on this motherboard. I have already identified this motherboard as following closely to NVIDIA's reference design as most SLI motherboards on the current market do. Most, however, have a few more on-board options or extras. This does not necessarily make them better or faster it just makes them more expensive and maybe more appealing to some. It seems most 'gamers' are generally satisfied if the just the basics of speed and stability are met with a few extras thrown in to support these qualifications. From the Motherboard and Layout sections a few extras have been identified. Anyway, this is my personal take on the subject and that is what I am going to be looking for in the following benches.

Next Page: Benchmarks

Last Updated on August 23, 2005


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