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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [02.15.05]
Manufactured by: Gigabyte

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The Test

Tests were performed using the following hardware:

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-K8NXP-SLI (NFORCE4 SLI)
CPU: AMD Athlon FX55 (provided by
Memory: 1GB Kingston HyperX DDR 4000 (running at stock speed 200 MHz)

Video Cards: Gigabyte 3D1, Gigabyte 6600GT PCI-E, NVIDIA Reference 6800GT PCI-E

All drivers used were the latest available at the time; ForceWare was beta 67.03.

In our tests, we used three types of settings; low res 1024x768 without advanced filtering, along with 1024x768 with 8x Anisotropic Filtering, and 4x Antialiasing. Finally we ran 1280x1024 without advanced filtering.

A Word on SLI

Now I get to discuss the juicy details of what is not-so-great about NVIDIA's SLI solution, and why the 3D1 might just be dead in its tracks, right out of the gate.

When you first saw SLI tests, you may have noticed that very few games were used; most sites stuck with Half Life 2, Doom 3, and Far Cry. I don't know about you, but my thought on that was "okay, I guess NVIDIA only gave them a few days to perform testing, so they ran off a few of the more important benchmarks".

As it turns out, those games are some of the very few that will actually make use of SLI. In fact, NVIDIA has listed all of these games, titling them "SLI certified games". As it turns out, 16 games in total are supported by SLI at this time, and a handful of benchmarks.

Because of the way SLI works, some games may not benefit from it at all; in fact as you'll see in our results, most cases that didn't show an SLI performance boost actually saw performance decrease when SLI was force-enabled. NVIDIA will be keeping their drivers up to date with profiles that automatically enable the correct type of SLI for whatever game you are playing. If neither type works, SLI will be disabled, and you will be using only one GPU.

In our tests, when we came across games that was not an "SLI certified game", we tested both SLI types, and displayed the fastest/least buggy results.

Let's kick things off with the artificial benchmark results:

Aquamark 3

As you can see, Aquamark 3 definitely benefits from SLI. However, it isn't until settings are raised until it outperforms the 6800GT. At this point however, results are still playable (if this was an actual game, anyway...).

Next Page: (3dMark 2003, 3dMark 05)