NVIDIA 3-way SLI review 3x XFX 8800 Ultra -
Page 5 - Test Platform
Hardware and Software Used
Now we begin the benchmark portion of this article, but first let me show you our test system plus the software we used.
nVIDIA nForce 680i SLI (eVGA)
Core 2 Duo X6800 Extreme (Conroe)
XFX GeForce 8800 Ultra XXX edition (x3)
2048 MB (2x1024MB) DDR2 CAS4 @ 1142 MHz Dominator Corsair
Power Supply Unit
Sirtec High-Power 1200 Watt
Dell 3007WFP - up-to 2560x1600
OS related Software
Windows Vista Business Edition
DirectX 9.0c/10.0 End User Runtime
NVIDIA ForceWare 169.18 Beta
NVIDIA nForce 680i platform driver 9.53
Software benchmark suite
Call of Duty 4
Ghost Recon: Advanced Warrior 2
A word about "FPS"
What are we looking for in gaming performance wise? First off, obviously Guru3D tends to think that all games should be played at the best image quality (IQ) possible. There's a dilemma though, IQ often interferes with the performance of a graphics card. We measure this in FPS, the number of frames a graphics card can render per second, the higher it is the more fluently your game will display itself.
A game's frames per second (FPS) is a measured average of a series of tests. That test often is a time demo, a recorded part of the game which is a 1:1 representation of the actual game and its gameplay experience. After forcing the same image quality settings; this timedemo is then used for all graphics cards so that the actual measuring is as objective as can be.
|Frames per second||Gameplay|
|<30 FPS||very limited gameplay|
|30-40 FPS||average yet very playable|
|40-60 FPS||good gameplay|
|>60 FPS||best possible gameplay|
- So if a graphics card barely manages less than 30 FPS, then the game is not very playable, we want to avoid that at all cost.
- With 30 FPS up-to roughly 40 FPS you'll be very able to play the game with perhaps a tiny stutter at certain graphically intensive parts. Overall a very enjoyable experience. Match the best possible resolution to this result and you'll have the best possible rendering quality versus resolution, hey you want both of them to be as high as possible.
- When a graphics card is doing 60 FPS on average or higher then you can rest assured that the game will likely play extremely smoothly at every point in the game, turn on every possible in-game IQ setting.
- Over 100 FPS? You have either a MONSTER of graphics card or a very old game.
If you had a close look at the 8800 GTX & Ultra, you'd notice there's a second SLI finger (connector) and to date there has been a lot of speculation about that extra connector, to name one .. it could have been an extension for physics over a third card. The truth is often to be found in the most simple and logical solution, it was all about SLI from the get go. If you have one of these rather expensive cards you can now link up three cards and enable 3-way SLI.