Need an SLI motherboard but have less than $200 to spend? No need to stress, as the 750i SLI chipset was designed with you in mind. We are taking a look at how eVGA put the chipset to good use in the form of their 750i SLI FTW board, which offers solid performance and overclocking-ability, in addition to great board design.
Synthetic benchmarks have typically been favored for performance testing, but the results they provide can be fairly abstract, and the methods they use to assign their scores can be dubious at times. By contrast, real-world application benchmarks provide performance metrics that apply directly to real-world usage, and we endeavor to apply both in our performance comparisons.
SYSmark 2007 Preview from BAPCo is a special case, because its synthetic scores are derived from tests in real-world applications. However, we still believe that synthetic benchmarking scores are best used to directly compare the performance of one piece of hardware to another, and not for developing an impression of real-world performance expectations. SYSmark is more useful than most synthetic benchmarking programs in our opinion, because its tests emulate tasks that people actually perform, in actual software programs that they are likely to use.
The benchmark is hands-free, using scripts to execute all of the real-world scenarios identically, such as video editing in Sony Vegas and image manipulation in Adobe Photoshop. At the conclusion of the suite of tests, five scores are delivered: an E-learning score, a Video Creation score, a Productivity score, and a 3D Performance score, as well as an aggregated ‘Overall’ score. These scores can still be fairly abstract, and are most useful for direct comparisons between test systems.
A quick note on methodology: SYSmark 2007 requires a clean install of Windows Vista 32-bit to run optimally. Before any testing is conducted, the hard drive is first wiped clean, and then a fresh Windows installation is conducted, then lastly, the necessary hardware drivers are installed. The ‘Three Iterations’ test suite is run, with the ‘Conditioning Run’ setting enabled. Then the results from the three runs are averaged and rounded up or down to the next whole number.
As a general rule, one motherboard is normally not going to be noticeably slower than another, but as these results show, there are certain boards that deliver consistently worse results, such as ECS’ X48T-A and Intel’s DX48BT2. eVGA’s board is the only NVIDIA-based one in our line-up, and it shined. It came slightly behind the P45-based ASUS P5Q, but kept ahead of the other six.