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MSI NX7800GTX SLI Review - Page 5 of 14

TEST SYSTEM CONFIGURATION

The performance of a single GeForce 7800 GTX was compared to two GeForce 7800 GTX's running in SLI mode. In additional to benchmarks results from a number of popular games, image quality comparisons, and a section on game play performance are also provided.

System Specifications

  • AMD Athlon 64 4000+ Processor
  • MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum/SLI Motherboard
  • Corsair XMS 3200 Memory Model 3200LLPRO - (2) 512MB DIMMs - 1GB Total
  • Western Digital Raptor 74GB HDD (1), 10000RPM, 4.5ms Avg Seek, 8MB Buffer, SATA
  • Western Digital Caviar 80GB HDD (2), 7200RPM, 8.9ms Avg Seek, 8MB Buffer, ATA-100
  • Enermax 535W Power Supply Model EG565P-VE (24P)
  • Sony Multiscan E540 21-Inch CRT Monitor
  • MSI NX7800GTX Graphics Card (2) - 256MB - 430MHz/1.20GHz
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 GT PCI-Express Graphics Card in SLI - 256MB - 350MHz/1.00GHz
  • NVIDIA ForceWare Graphics Driver Version 77.77 (WHQL)
  • NVIDIA ForceWare Graphics Driver Version 78.03 (Beta)
  • NVIDIA nForce4 AMD Driver Package Version 6.53.02
  • Vsync Disabled / 75Hz Refresh Rate / 70Hz at 1920x1440 / 60Hz at 2048x1536
  • Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 2 / DirectX 9.0c

Game Benchmarks

  • Brothers in Arms - v1.10 - Direct 3D
  • Chronicles of Riddick - v1.0.1282 - OpenGL
  • Doom 3 - v1.0.1282 - OpenGL
  • Dungeon Siege 2 Demo - Direct 3D
  • Enemy Territory - v2.60 - OpenGL
  • Far Cry - v1.33 - Direct3D
  • F.E.A.R. Single Player Demo - Direct 3D
  • Guild Wars - v12.083 - Direct 3D
  • Half-Life 2 - v1.0.1.0 - Direct 3D
  • The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth - v1.2 - Direct 3D
  • Morrowind - v1.2.0722 - Direct3D
  • Neverwinter Nights - v1.66 - OpenGL
  • Painkiller - v1.64 - Direct3D
  • Splinter Cell Chaos Theory - v1.03 - Direct3D
  • Vampire - The Masquerade Bloodlines - v1.02 - Direct3D
  • World of Warcraft - v1.61 - Direct3D

Notes

  • All applications tested were patched to their latest version with the exception of Doom 3.
  • Fraps was used to capture the minimum frame rate in some benchmarks.
  • The predefined multi-chip rendering mode as defined in the application profile was always used when running in SLI mode.

QUALITY VS. HIGH QUALITY IMAGE

All of the benchmarks in this review were run with the driver image setting at high quality. The following results indicate the percent decrease in the average frame rate between the quality and high quality image setting, which averaged 9% for a single graphics card and 5% for SLI.

Quality vs. High Quality

Bumps Along The Road

Note that the application profile system in the 77.77 ForceWare driver is not working properly for Direct3D applications. The problem is that certain settings in the application profile, such as image quality, are not being overridden in the global profile. According to NVIDIA, the application profile should ALWAYS override the global profile. As a workaround, the settings in the global profile should always be used or try out the 78.03 beta drivers.

NVIDIA has also acknowledged that they are working on a correction to reduce the texture "shimmering" that has been reported on the GeForce 7800 GTX and GeForce 7800 GT under certain conditions with the high quality image setting.

Note: While working on this review, I tested ForceWare beta driver 78.03, which corrected the application profile bugs and also provided a noticeable decrease in the magnitude of texture shimmering in the following Half-Life 2 scene.

Texture "Shimmering" Test Area

This link contains a preliminary report and instructions on how to request a copy of the high-quality 1024x768 videos that were recorded with Fraps for each driver.

Next Page: Doom 3 Performance and Image Quality

Last Updated on September 16, 2005


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