K7N2 DELTAILSR from MSI - HotHardware

K7N2 DELTAILSR from MSI

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The MSI K7N2 Delta-ILSR
A New nForce2 with Something Extra

By: Jeff Bouton
July 23rd, 2003

Overclocking

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 I've 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.
 

CPU @ 2.21GHz.
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
FutureMark's Finest

Another good 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
Gaming Tests


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. 

Unlike previous 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.

The Winstones and Final Words

 

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