Attempting to alleviate as much bottlenecking as possible, we chose to utilize one of our overclocked dual-core systems with an i955X-based motherboard. In addition, we went with using a 200GB Seagate SATA NCQ (Native Command Queuing) hard drive, Enermax 535W PSU certified by NVIDIA for use with SLI, and Crucial Ballistix DDR2-800 memory. Below is an entire list of both the hardware and software that was used throughout all of the testing today.
|Processor:||Intel Pentium D 820 (2.80GHz) @ 3.23GHz|
|Memory:||2 x 512MB Crucial Ballistix DDR2-800|
|Hard Drives:||Seagate 200GB 7200RPM SATA NCQ|
|Add-On Devices:||Creative Labys Audigy 2|
|Power Supply:||Enermax Whisper II 535W SLI|
|Operating System:||FedoraCore4 (Stentz)|
|GCC (GNU Compiler):||4.0.0|
|Graphics Driver:||NVIDIA 1.0-7676|
For the software side of things, we used the NVIDIA 1.0-7676 x86_64 drivers as the 7676 release contains critical performance fixes for the GeForce 7 series; as we had discovered upon the June 22, 2005 launch of the 7800GTX 256MB part with the 1.0-7667 drivers. Nevertheless, the much anticipated Linux 1.0-8XXX (Rel80) drivers should be released toward the later end of this month, which as we've already disclosed, is destined for an array of massive improvements including support for NVIDIA SLI (Scalable Link Interface), multi-threading support, and a good amount of other improvements that are contained inside the Windows Forceware Rel80 BETA drivers. Later, we will be delivering our NVIDIA SLI Linux results for both the GeForce 6 and 7 series.
It appears the times are changing for the better, with an uproar of Linux-native games coming out over the coming weeks and months - Quake 4, America's Army v2.5 (Direct Action), Cold War, X2: The Threat, and Serious Sam 2; among others. While on the table for next year so far is Enemy Territory: Quake Wars and Unreal Tournament 2007, of the popular retail titles, in addition to the growing popularity of open-source games. However, the number of viable GNU/Linux graphical benchmarks remains to be quite a different story. For our gaming benchmarks, we used Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory v2.60 and id Software Doom 3 v1.3.1302. No Unreal Tournament 2004 results were published due to complications with x86_64 Linux and Unreal Mark Linux Beta 3. On the side of workstation performance, we used SPECViewPerf v8.1, which reports reliable performance numbers for various workstation applications such as Solid Works, Maya, and Pro/Engineer. For comparison purposes, we benchmarked the eVGA 6800GT 256MB against a Leadtek 7800GTX 256MB and a Gigabyte 6600GT 128MB; all of which cards were PCI Express x16 based. In addition, we ran the eVGA 6800GT at its overclocked values of 415/1125. As far as the visual settings go, during the benchmarks, all settings were left default except where otherwise noted on the results. When altering the AntiAliasing and Anisotropic Filtering, these settings were specified through the nvidia-settings panel. During the entire benchmarking process, all settings were closely maintained to ensure accuracy and all other Phoronix benchmarking practices were applied - such as using the railgun demo for Enemy Territory and timedemo1 for Doom 3, average FPS measurement, etc...