We'll have a look at generic performance first, then graphics performance. As stated we'll be testing with a E6600 Core 2 Duo processor.
First a couple of synthetic benchmarks followed by games. We'll take a few older games that show off CPU limitation, and secondly we'll take a look at a couple of modern games.
SiSoftware Sandra (the System ANalyser, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information & diagnostic utility. It should provide most of the information (including undocumented) you need to know about your hardware, software and other devices, whether it's hardware or software. Sandra provides similar level of information to Norton SI, Quarterdeck WinProbe/Manifest, etc. The Win32 version is 32-bit and comes in both ANSI (legacy for Windows 98/Me systems) and native Unicode (Windows NT4/200X/.Net) formats. The Win64 version is 64-bit and comes in native Unicode format.
Do note that all the SANDRA benchmarks are synthetic and thus may not tally with real-life performance. The latter stands for whatever your environment is, i.e. which applications you run with what amount of data and so on. It is up to you to decide if what Sandra measures is what you want to measure.
We make use of a Dhrystone test, which basically is a suite of arithmetic and string manipulating programs which is very good to test the overall CPU performance of a PC. Since the whole program is really small, it fits into the processor cache. It can be used to measure two aspects, both the processor's speed as well as the optimizing capabilities of the compiler. The resulting number is the number of executions of the program suite per second.
Included results vary from a single core Pentium 4 CPU at 3.6 GHz towards the Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz processor (E6600) on the various 680i SLI mainboards a P965 Intel based mainboard and obviousy the Albatron 680i SLI mainboard at default (baseline) performance, and the results overclocked at ~3.4 GHz.
As you can see on all E6600 based systems roughly perform very similar with a default configuration. This is the reality of today's stock clocked mainboards. The baseline is very similar whether you have a 250 EUR or 80 EUR product. Once you start to overclock though (and that's really what the 680i mainboards are all about) we see performance change drastically.
Things change with the memory controller though, where AMD's onboard (CPU) memory controller still hauls ass big time. Let's have a look at memory performance.
Overall good performance, yet on AMD systems the onboard memory controller simply overtake Intel systems. Look at that FX-62 fly.