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Intel Core i7 & Asus Rampage 2 Extreme

Intel Core i7 & Asus Rampage 2 Extreme

4. Asus Rampage II Extreme Motherboard6. SiSoft Sandra

Test Systems

Intel Core i7-965EE @ 3.2GHz
Intel Core i7-940 @ 2.93GHz (965 mimiking 940 at Intels request)
Intel Core i7-920 @2.66GHz
Intel X9770 @ 3.2GHz
Socket 1366 Systems
Rampage 2 Extreme
3x2gb Corsair Dominator DDR3-1600 8-8-8-24-2T
3 and 6x 1Gb Crucial DDR3-1066 7-7-7-20-1T
2x XFX GTX 260 Black Edition 896Mb
2x Sapphire Radeon 4870 X2 2Gb
Supreme FX: X-Fi

Rampage 2 Extreme
3x 1Gb Crucial DDR3-1066 7-7-7-20-1T
XFX GTX 260 Black Edition 896Mb
Supreme FX: X-Fi

Socket 775 Systems:
Intel X9770 (1600FSB-3.2GHz)
XFX Nforce 790i
4x1Gb Corsair Dominator 1600MHz 7-7-7-20-2T
XFX GTX 260 Black Edition 896Mb
Realtek Audio

Intel X9770 (1600FSB-3.2GHz)
Foxconn Black Ops X48
4x1Gb Corsair Dominator 1600MHz 7-7-7-20-2T
XFX GTX 260 Black Edition 896Mb
Realtek Audio

Samsung SyncMaster 305T
Akasa 1000w PSU
Benq 16x DVD Writer
LG GBW-H10N Blu-Ray Writer
Xbox 360 HD-DVD Drive                               
Belkin Wireless-G PCI card
3x WD Raptor Hard Drives (OS/Games on RAID 0 Drives)
1x Hitachi Deskstar
ThermalRight Paste
ThermalRight Ultra-120 eXtreme

Windows Vista Ultimate 64Bit + SP1
Forceware Release 180.43
Catalyst 8.10/Farcry Hotfix 2
DirectX 9.0c/DirectX 10
SiSoft Sandra
Photoshop CS4
Cinebench R10
Adobe Media Encoder
Fritz 11
Easy CD-DA
Lost Planet Colonies
World In Conflict
Half Life 2: Episode 2
Far Cry 2
Crysis Warhead
CCCP (Codec Pack)
PowerDVD 8.0
Everest Ultimate

The test system was built from scratch, a format of the hard drive was performed (NTFS) and then Windows Vista was installed. Following the completion of the installation, the video drivers were installed. All windows updates were then installed as were the latest builds of the benchmarking tools. Finally, the hard drive was de-fragmented. For each test, the video drivers were set to default quality/optimizations (unless otherwise stated).

Good Benchmarking Practice:
Where possible, each benchmark was performed three times and the median result for each resolution/setting is shown in the tables that will follow. All applications had their latest patches applied and all hardware features the latest BIOS/Firmware.

Driver Heaven does not use benchmark scripts. We play the games for long periods of time on various levels and report any unusual findings we see. Then we record with FRAPS across several in game levels recording the averages. This is real world testing and is just how you guys will experience the game.  Occasionally we might throw in a time demo as a further comparison, but we will note it.

NOTE: Testing of the i7 CPUs was performed on the Asus Rampage 2 Extreme as we found it to be production ready. The DX58SO had some minor BIOS issues such as memory timings not selecting correctly and so we will review the performance of that board when it hits retail. As things stand it gives exceptional performance as we would expect from an Intel product and only requires minor BIOS tweaking to reach its full potential for retail launch.

NOTE 2: Turbo Mode was disabled on the Core i7 CPUs to ensure consistent and repeatable performance. End users can expect slightly higher performance than quoted here when Turbo Mode is enabled.

About Author


Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.