Before we get
started with application benchmarking of the MSI K7N2 Delta-ILSR,
we thought we'd take care of some overclocking first.
Even though our Barton 2500+ came unlocked from the factory,
the board did not recognize the chip as unlocked. We've seen this type of behavior with
various CPUs and motherboards, with only a few boards
recognizing the processor as unlocked.
Typically we've been able to get around this by following
any of the traditional unlocking methods, like jumping the
5th trace on the L3 bridge, but we are not sure why this
works since technically the trace should be jumped to begin
with. In this case
we used something
been developing that gets the job done a little
easier than traditional methods.
Once installed, the board let us change
the multiplier, we were able to adjust our
multiplier and set the memory and bus to run synchronously
at 200MHz. We then began raising the multiplier and
bus until we found the sweet spot for this particular setup.
Multimedia @ 2.21MHz.
Memory @ 422MHz.
In the end, we
found the most stable setting to be a multiplier of 10.5
with the bus set at 210MHz. This resulted in the
processor running over 20% faster than the default at
2.21GHz, equating the power to that of an Athon XP 3200+.
That's a nice increase when you factor in the going price
for a 3200+ is in excess of $400. With the memory
performance, the gains were even more impressive, jumping
almost 27%, from 333MHz to 422MHz. Clearly the MSI
K7N2 Delta-ILSR was built with overclocking in mind and
overclock it did, like a champ. In the next few pages
we are going to put the stability of the overclock to the
test, running each of our benchmarks at both default and
overclocked scores. Will this motherboard be able to
take the heat?
FutureMark's PCMark 2002
all-in-one benchmark for assessing a motherboard's
performance is FutureMark's PCMark2002 Professional.
We like to focus on the benchmark's ability to thoroughly
test a motherboard's CPU and Memory performance. From
here on in, we've compared the performance to a DFI LAN
Party KT400A and one of the most popular nForce2
motherboards available, the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe. We also
included some overclocked scores as well.
It seems that
while the DFI LAN Party is a great KT400A based motherboard,
it doesn't compare performance wise to the ASUS and MSI
nForce2 boards. Both nForce2 products easily
outperformed VIAs KT400, but the ASUS board remained on top
of both products with each test, although the K7N2 Delta-ILSR
was right on its heels. Once we overclocked the MSI
board, we saw the scores of both the CPU and Memory tests
jump quite nicely, with both virtually equating the
percentage jump in MHz. The CPU score climbed over
1200 PCMarks equaling a 20.5% gain while the memory test
increased just under 1000 PCMarks, also a 20.5% gain.
Now that's what I call running synchronously.
Quake 3 and Comanche 4
Another way we like to assess a system's performance is by
using several popular gaming benchmarks. Today we
opted to use both id Software's Quake 3 and Nova Logic's
Comanche 4. With each test we ran the benchmark at low
resolutions to reduce the effects of the video card on the
scores. This in turn gives a good gauge of the
system's raw output, focusing on the CPU and Memory
subsystem's potential. First we'll start off with the
Quake 3 Timedemo DEMO FOUR with the resolution set to
640x480x16 and all visual options set to their minimums.
tests, we see the MSI board churn out the best score, just
topping the ASUS A7N8X Deluxe by a fraction. Once we
increased the clock speed of the board, we saw an impressive
gain of 66FPS, equaling roughly 19%. For our next test
we used Comanche 4 which is extremely CPU dependant.
Here we saw the
MSI K7N2 Delta-ILSR take a firm lead over the comparison
motherboards by roughly 3FPS. When we increased the
bus to 210MHz, the score jumped over 20%, tacking on an
additional 10FPS, a substantial gain for this CPU intensive
benchmark. Next we'll give the system its most
intensive workout with eTesting Labs Winstone testing suite.
Winstones and Final Words