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Testbed and Methods

It is really hard to find worthy competitors for Intel Skulltrail system. It is a unique high-performance dual-socket solution for home users on two quad-core processors. That is why we have also included the top platform from a totally different category that uses one Core 2 Extreme QX9770 quad-core processor. This comparison would be extremely interesting, since this processor features the same specifications as the Core 2 Extreme QX9775 using in Skulltrail platform.

We have also measured Skulltrail platform performance with a single CPU installed. Although configurations like that are very unlikely to be ever used in reality, the obtained results will help us to estimate how greatly FB-DIMM DDR2 slows down the system and what performance improvement a second CPU in this system can guarantee.

The complete list of our testbed components looks as follows:

  • CPUs:
    • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9775 (LGA771, 3.2GHz, 1600MHz FSB, 2 x 6MB L2, Yorkfield);
    • Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9770 (LGA775, 3.2GHz, 1600MHz FSB, 2 x 6MB L2, Yorkfield).
  • Mainboards:
    • ASUS P5E3 Deluxe (LGA775, Intel X38, DDR3 SDRAM);
    • Intel Desktop Board D5400XS (Dual LGA771, Intel 5400B Express, FB DDR2 SDRAM).
  • Memory:
    • 4GB FB DDR2-667 SDRAM 4-4-4-15 (Samsung PC2-5300 FB-DIMM) ;
    • 4GB DDR3-1600 SDRAM with 7-7-7-20 timings (Cell Shock DDR3-1800).
  • Graphics card: OCZ GeForce 8800GTX (PCI-E x16).
  • HDD: Western Digital WD1500AHFD (SATA150).
  • OS: Microsoft Windows Vista 64-bit.

We performed the tests with mainboard BIOS setup for maximum performance. We used 64bit applications everywhere where it was possible.

 
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