EVGA X58 SLI review

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Performance - Dhrystone | Whetstone | Queens solution

Setup your monitor

Before playing games, setting up your monitors contrast & brightness levels is a very important thing to do. I realized recently that a lot of you guys have set up your monitor improperly. How do we know this? Because we receive a couple of emails every now and then telling us that a reader can't distinguish between the benchmark charts (colors) in our reviews. We realized, if that happens, your monitor is not properly setup.


This simple test pattern is evenly spaced from 0 to 255 brightness levels, with no profile embedded. If your monitor is correctly set up, you should be able to distinguish each step, and each step should be roughly visually distinct from its neighbors by the same amount. As well, the dark-end step differences should be about the same as the light-end step differences. Finally, the first step should be completely black.

DhryStone CPU test

We make use of a multi-threaded Dhrystone test from SiSoftware Sandra, which basically is a suite of arithmetic and string manipulating programs. Since the whole program should be 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.

So then, let me first explain how we will be testing and comparing in this article. I wanted to compare to three things here.

  • First off the current most high end processor for Socket 775, the very exquisite Core 2 Quad QX9770.
  • Then next in line is the reference X58 motherboard from Intel with Core i7 965 processor..
  • In orange then, the baseline performance we are looking at today, the eVGA X58 with Core i7 965 processor.
  • Last but not least on top you'll spot the eVGA X58 with Core i7 965 processor, yet now overclocked at a stunning 4.2 GHz.

The test  - The DhryStone test pure CPU test that runs completely on the CPU itself. A perfect test to see the general efficiency per core. Though one of the oldest, Dhrystone remains one of the most simple yet extremely accurate and effective ways to show you RAW CPU processing performance making it a very good indicator.

Queen CPU test

This simple integer benchmark focuses on the branch prediction capabilities and the misprediction penalties of the CPU. It finds the solutions for the classic "Queens problem" on a 10 by 10 sized chessboard. At the same clock speed theoretically the processor with the shorter pipeline and smaller misprediction penalties will attain higher benchmark scores. For example -- with HyperThreading disabled -- the Intel Northwood core processors get higher scores than the Intel Prescott core based ones due to the 20-step vs 31-step long pipeline. However, with enabled HyperThreading the picture is controversial, because due to architectural bottlenecks the Northwood core runs out of internal resources and slows down. Similarly, at the same clock speed AMD K8 class processors will be faster than AMD K7 ones due to the improved branch prediction capabilities of the K8 architecture.

CPU Queen test uses only the basic x86 instructions, it consumes less than 1 MB system memory and it is HyperThreading, multi-processor (SMP) and multi-core aware and thus is a multithreading CPU Benchmark with MMX, SSE2 and SSSE3 optimizations.

It's one test where the QX9770 always wins. But comparing with the reference system, absolutely normal performance.

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