Asus Crosshair II AM2+ Motherboard

3D Benchmarks

Note: For the 3D gaming and benchmarks we will be using both single and dual 9800GX2's to both test the Crosshair's function and the scalability of Quad SLI on this motherboard. We shall also endeavour to see how much of a bottleneck the AMD Phenom processor is for the 9800GX2.
 
 Vantage
 
3DMark® Vantage is the new industry standard PC gaming performance benchmark from Futuremark, newly designed for Windows Vista and DirectX10. It includes two new graphics tests, two new CPU tests, several new feature tests, and support for the latest hardware. 3DMark® Vantage is based on a completely new rendering engine, developed specifically to take full advantage of DirectX10, the new graphics API from Microsoft.
 
 
 
3d06
 
3DMark® 06 is a popular synthetic gaming benchmark used by many gamers and overclockers to gauge the performance of their PC's taking advantage of todays multi CPU and GPU performance. All 3DMark runs were performed a total of 5 times with the highest and lowest results being removed and an average calculated from the remaining 3 results. 
 
 
 
Crysis
 
Crysis is without doubt one of the most visually stunning and hardware challenging games to date. By using CrysisBench - a tool developed independently of Crysis - we performed a total of 5 timedemo benchmarks using a GPU-Intensive pre-recorded demo. To ensure the most accurate results, the highest and lowest benchmarks scores were then removed and an average calculated from the remaining three.
 
 
 
 
 
Bioshock is a recent FPS shooter by 2K games. Based on the UT3 engine it has a large amount of advanced DirectX techniques including excellent water rendering and superb lighting and smoke techniques. All results were recorded using F.R.A.P.S with a total of 5 identical runs through the same area of the game. The highest and lowest results were then removed, with an average being calculated from the remaining 3 results.
 
 
 
 
Call of Duty 4 is a stunning DirectX 9.0c based game that really looks awesome and has a very full feature set. With lots of advanced lighting, smoke and water effects, the game has excellent explosions along with fast gameplay. Using the in-built Call Of Duty features, a 10 minute long gameplay demo was recorded and replayed on each of the GPU's using the /timedemo command a total of 5 times. The highest and lowest FPS results were then removed, with an average being calculated from the remaining 3 results.
 
 
 
Observations
 
It's quite clear that we are CPU limited in the Futuremark tests, scoring very low in comparison to Intel based CPU's. Still, the SLI proved worthwhile in 3DMark Vantage giving nearly a 25% increase. COD 4 showed some of the biggest gains to be had with SLI allowing an increase of almost a third in FPS, with Bioshock also showing good gains. Crysis on the other hand showed little to no gains in SLI which I found surprising. I checked, double checked and triple checked along with trying 3 different sets of drivers and 3 more Vista installs(!) but to no avail. Whether this is a CPU limitation or a platform limitation I couldn't tell you but similar problems have been discussed around the web on various platforms which leads me to suspect its most likely a driver issue that is STILL to be resolved.
 
I also gave the onboard VGA a quick test to see how it could cope with a quick blast of COD 4 and although I had to dramatically lower the res (1024x768) and turn off the goodies, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could attain a respectable 40 FPS! I shouldn't really be too surprised considering its based on the 8400 chip but on-board VGA has never been so good!
 
So, a mixed bag of results. I still get the nagging feeling that the AMD CPU is holding back many of the scores, especially SLI so it begs the questions should you even bother with SLI on an AMD based platform, head over to the conclusion to read my thoughts on that....
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Most Recent Comments

16-06-2008, 05:59:54

Toxcity
Very good review! Not really that good a board?

Only 11k on 3DMark06 with a 9800GX2?Quote

16-06-2008, 07:10:20

FarFarAway
It's an AM2 board mate

That is some pricey board right there whoaQuote

16-06-2008, 07:20:54

Azza
Hybrid SLI working yet chaps?

Good review as always, nice work Rich. Quote

16-06-2008, 10:44:41

w3bbo
Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Toxcity'
Very good review! Not really that good a board?

Only 11k on 3DMark06 with a 9800GX2?
Yeah m8, I was innitially dissappointed with the score but when you consider its AM2 the the scores can't really be compared to the performance of Core2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Kempez'
It's an AM2 board mate

That is some pricey board right there whoa
Yeah - dunno if I would pay that with AMD lagging behind like they are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by name='Azza'
Hybrid SLI working yet chaps?

Good review as always, nice work Rich.
Cheers m8. Hybrid SLI does work....sometimes. Occassionally it would refuse to automatically come out of hybrid SLI and lag like hell as the 3d game was running of the onboard vga @ 2560x1600 which I'm sure you can imagine was a very WTF moment. Took me a while to realise it was the onboard VGA doing its thing lol. All it took was a quick restart and things were back to normal. Most of the time it was unoticable so must have been working fine. Maybe a driver issue?

I tested the on board VGA's capabilities more indepth in the 780a preview hence it's sparse inclusion in the actual motherboard review.Quote

16-06-2008, 11:05:20

ionicle
nice looking board, and good review

nice to see AMD fans arnt left out of the current market, all this new tech spring up left, right, and center, its good to see Asus havent just left AMD behind..Quote
Reply
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