LANParty KT400A from DFI

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The "LAN Party" KT400A from DFI
A Different Approach from DFI

By: Jeff Bouton
June 11th, 2003

SiSoft Sandra 2003 Professional
The Synthetic View

To give us a clearer picture of how a particular system compares to other popular configurations, we enlisted the help of SiSoft's Sandra 2003 Professional.  Sandra has a comprehensive internal performance database that can be used to gauge a system's overall potential, helping us to get a clearer idea of what a system should be capable of.

 

CPU @ 1.84GHz.
Multimedia @ 1.84MHz.
Memory @ 333MHz.

Hard Drive

 

CPU @ 2.07GHz.
Multimedia @ 2.07MHz.
Memory @ 376MHz.

With the Barton Processors, the CPU tests are a bit deceptive.  If you compare the results you will see that the CPU based scores are on par with that of an Athlon XP 2200+.  This is because the test uses the processors actual speed as a gauge.  The Barton 2500+ does run at 1.8GHz with a bus speed of 333MHz as opposed to the 2200+ running at 266MHz.  The synthetic test is also unable to show the performance benefits of the 512KB of on-die cache compared to the 2200+'s 256KB of on-die cache.  So when looking at the CPU tests, you'll need to read between the lines.  Since our processor runs with a 333MHz bus, that is the speed at which the memory was tested.  The memory results show the improvements of the memory performance with the KT400A when compared to the KT333.  Once we overclocked the system, the memory scores really improved, pushing the KT400A board to the front on the pack.

While SiSoft Sandra is a good tool for us to get an initial impression of a system there are a few other results we like to look at to give us a more balanced picture.

 

Futuremark's 3DMark03 and PCMark 2002
Futuremark's Finest

Next up we have some numbers from PCMark2002Pro and 3DMark03.  PCMark2002Pro has proven it is a good synthetic tool for gauging a system's overall performance.  3DMark03 on the other hand, is turning many people off.  There is a big debate going on as to the validity of the results with certain hardware.  Nonetheless, we've included it in this review since we used the same video card with all tests.  We'll start things off with a run at PCMark2002Pro, focusing on the CPU and Memory results, then we'll follow that up with a run at 3DMark03.  With each test we compared the scores to those of an ASUS A7N8X Deluxe motherboard.

With the CPU results, the KT400A board was outpaced by the nForce2 board by roughly 100 points, a 1.9% difference.  The real surprise came when we compared the two board's memory scores.  The A7N8X Deluxe took a firm lead over the "LAN Party" board, exceeding it close to 10%.  While VIA has made some improvements to their memory controller performance, it appears that the nForce is still on top.

The results from the 3DMark03 test was far closer, although the ASUS board still held the lead by a few points.  Nonetheless, the DFI "LAN Party" KT400A put up respectable scores and we can't draw any conclusions based on synthetic benchmarks alone.  Next we'll run Comanche 4 and Quake 3 to give us a look at some real world gaming potential.

 

Quake 3 and Comanche 4
Gaming Tests

When we start talking about gauging a motherboard's gaming performance, Novalogic's Comanche 4 has proven to be an excellent test because it relies so heavily on the CPU.  Let's see how the DFI "LAN Party" compared to the nForce2 based system when we ran the default benchmark with audio disabled.

With this DirectX benchmark, the DFI board kept things very close, tipping the lead to the ASUS board by less than half of a point. 
 

The Winstones and Final Words

 

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