A video posted by Nvidia on its website
shows an experiment conducted in the Nvidia labs, in which the new GTX 280 chip, running in the overclocking mode and cooled down with lots of liquid nitrogen, does not need a quad-core processor to achieve extreme PC performance.
"A lot of people believe you need an Intel quad-core or Intel quad-core Extreme to build an extreme PC," says the post by "Steffee" on the Nvidia website. "Today I'm going to build a gaming PC using the Intel Core 2 Duo. That's duo. Got that? Duo, two cores."
The system used for testing featured only a dual-core processor, exactly as the blogger stated in her post. This is what she says on the blog: "Think you need a quad-core CPU for an extreme gaming PC with impressive 3DMark Vantage numbers and gaming performance?...I overclocked and hyper-cooled an SLI gaming rig using two of our latest and greatest GPUs--GeForce GTX 280...and a sub-$200 CPU." That CPU is an Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU. The test was conducted on an NForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard using the new GTX 280 graphics card.
Using only a single GTX 280 board, 3DMark Vantage score is "X4796." Taking a "fun trip" through the Nvidia labs, the blogger ads a new GTX 280 SLI board and a liquid nitrogen cooling system, which allowed her to get the new test results to the 3DMark score "X10,282.".
To perform the test, the blogger, "Steffee", overclocked the Nvida GTX 280 core clock to 727MHz, while the shader was set to 1,458MHz. The normal value for the core clock is set at 602MHz and the shader clock at 1296MHz.
As we all know, Intel's opinion on this is a radically different one. "Most of what people do today with their computers requires powerful processors. Examples of processor-intensive applications include: creating content, viewing/editing high definition video, using social media sites, office tools, downloading music, and editing photos," Intel said in a statement.
And of course that Intel could have a response to this. The processor, E8400, is quite a speedy one, as it runs at 3.0GHz and features 6MB of cache. The best part is that, when overclocked and cooled with liquid nitrogen, this processor is able to get some top scores too. But the quad-core Extreme CPUs are a simpler and better solution.
The full system specifications of the testing machine include the nForce 790i Ultra SLI motherboard, two NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280 graphics cards running in SLI mode, Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 CPU, 4 GB SLI-ready Corsair DDR3 memory and a PC Power and Cooling TurboCool 1200W power supply. The operating system used for the test was Windows Vista 32-bit.