Intel Core2 Quad Q6600 @ 3.0GHz : OCZ Vendetta 2
OCZ Reaper 2x1GB PC3-10666 6-6-6-20
WD 74GB Raptor (10K), WD 500GB CaviarSE16 (7.2K)
PC Power & Cooling Silencer Quad 750W Crossfire Edition
Lite-On 20x DVD±R/W SATA
Windows XP Professional, 32bit
Diablotek GeForce 8600GT 1GB
VisionTek Radeon HD 3870 Overclocked Edition
2x VisionTek Radeon HD 3870 in Crossfire
All testing was done on the same test system, with the same system clock throughout. Every test was run immediately after a clean boot. For synthetic benchmarks, every test was run three times, and the median score was used. Furmark was set to run for 6000ms (1 minute). For gaming benchmarks, Fraps was used to record frames per second. Gaming tests were run three times as well and the average FPS presented is the average of the averages from every run. In all games, all settings were at high, and MSAA was set to 0x unless otherwise noted. In Crysis, the Crysis Benchmark Tool was used at 9AM, in Bioshock, testing was done in the Medical Pavilion level, and in Call of Duty 4, testing was done on the Charlie Don't Surf mission in Recruit difficulty (benchmarking is for work and not for play. I play at hardened, don't worry), including the expansive chopper scene at the beginning.
We're testing the 8600GT 1GB alongside the 3870 cards not because we expect them to perform at all in the same league, but rather to give a ballpark sense of how this card compares to a high-end configuration. Numbers will be interpreted on their own in the conclusion, regardless of their comparison to the ATi cards used. It should be noted that, on many benchmarks, especially Bioshock, certain 16:10 resolutions were not available for the 8600GT and therefore could not be included.