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.
For real-world game testing, we turn to Valve’s Half-Life 2: Episode Two, which has long been a standard for our game benchmarking. With Episode Two, Valve delivers more of what fans loved about the original game, but were kind enough to throw in a few twists. It’s becoming increasingly difficult waiting for Episode Three!
The level used for testing here is ‘Our Mutual Fiend’, which has you navigating a large outdoor area with many Striders and buildings about. The goal is to make your way through the level, decapitating all the Striders you are able, while doing your best to save as many of the buildings as you can. It can be a stressful level, but is great for benchmarking thanks to the constant action and massive amounts of AI.
For our testing, we begin by loading the level from the console, and once loaded, we enable the FRAPS benchmarking feature which will track our overall FPS information. We begin the level in the same spot each time, and follow a well-defined path throughout until we reach a specific point of the level where we tell FRAPS to wrap up its FPS recording. For detailed information about the settings used in testing, see the screen shots in our Testing Methodology page.
As we expected, the results delivered by the SLI FTW board don’t sway much from the others.
3DMark has been the ‘gaming benchmark’ standard for quite a while, with versions dating all the way back to 1998. Vantage is the latest iteration and is just as hardcore on your GPU as we had hoped. It will be a little while before it can be run on any hardware with relative ease, which makes it a perfect candidate for stressing our rig to the max.
Although the differences between all the boards is minimal, eVGA’s board scored the lowest score we’ve seen, coming right behind ECS’ X48T-A. It became the only board so far to have a GPU score under 5,000. Not a major difference regardless, but a difference nonetheless.