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Iwill P4R533N i850E Validate for PC1066
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Date: Oct 10, 2002
Section:Motherboards
Author: HH Editor
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Iwill P4R533N i850E Validate for PC1066 - Page 1

 

The Iwill P4R533-N Motherboard
&
Kingston's PC1066 RDRAM

An i850E setup for PC1066 and validated

By Dave Altavilla
July 15, 2002


Iwill has been designing and assembling motherboards for over 13 years but only recently broke into the high end enthusiast motherboard scene.  We haven't had the occasion to review many boards from this Taiwanese OEM but they have been configuring boards as of late, with all the "creature comforts".  Best of breed motherboards these days come with a multitude of features beyond jumperless CPU configuration, including things like on board RAID controllers, 10/100 Ethernet and Surround Sound.  This motherboard however, went one step further.

Intel's recent release of the i850E chipset brought a 533MHz Front Side Bus to the Pentium 4.  This was a nice shot in the arm for overall system bandwidth but it still leaves the memory bus at 400MHz or PC800 (DDR) for the RDRAM.  Intel chose not to validate PC1066 memory with the i850E as of yet, although word is that this will be happening "soon".  Overclockers that are hell bent on performance have been taking standard PC800 modules on the i850E or i850, to PC1066 levels with ease however.  It seems odd that Intel wouldn't go the "full monty" with PC1066 for the i850E, especially since modules are now readily available.  So, what's to stop motherboard manufacturers like Iwill from validating PC1066 with the i850E?

That's exactly what Iwill did with the P4R533-N.  The Iwill P4R533-N "officially" supports PC1066, at least form Iwill's perspective, with validated modules, even though the i850E doesn't "officially" support it.  Let's have a look.

Specifications of the Iwill P4R533-N
An i850E board validated with PC1066

   

Supports single 478-pin Intel Pentium 4 processor
1.5 GHz to 2.53 GHz and higher
Supports 400 MHz and 533 MHz system bus

CPU Frequency / Voltage Select
Supports Vcore selection by BIOS
Supports CPU multiplier selection by BIOS (from 8X to 50X in 0.5 increments
Supports CPU external frequency selection by BIOS (up to 156 MHz)


Chipset
IntelĀ® 850E chipset
ICH2

System Memory
Supports PC800 and PC1066 DRDRAM
Supports ECC memory (single bit error correction, multiple bit error detection
Supports 128MB/256MB/512MB modules
Supports up to 2GB using four (4) 512MB modules


Validated PC1066 DRDRAM parts/modules
SAMSUNG:
MR16R0828BN1--CN9 1066--32
KINGSTON:
KVR1066X16-4/128 - 128MB 1066MHz 4-Device RIMM
KVR1066X16-8/256 - 256MB 1066Mhz 8-Device RIMM
KVR1066X18-4/128 - 128MB 1066MHz ECC 4-Device RIMM
KVR1066X18-8/256 - 256MB 1066MHz ECC 8-Device RIMM


Graphics
Supports AGP 4X (1.5V only)

On Board IDE
Supports two independent ATA channels
Supports ATA66/ATA100 and PIO modes
 
Audio
Support 6 channel speakers (5.1 configuration)
32-voice HRTF-base 3D positional audio
Supports Microsoft DirectSound 3D and Aureal A3D
Supports EAX sound effects (Environment Audio eXtension)
Supports Creative SB-Link protocol
Supports SPDIF via IWILL SuperAudio (optional)
 

I/O Interface
1 x Floppy disk connector
2 x IDE connectors
4 x RIMM sockets
2 x serial ports
1 x parallel port
2 PS/2 connectors (mouse & keyboard)
1 x Game/MIDI connector
1 x CD-IN, audio-in connector
1 x auxiliary audio-in connector
2 x USB ports
1 x IR connector
1 x WOL header
1 x Smart Card reader connector
1 x Memory StickĀ® reader connector
1 x CPU temperature sensor
1 x system temperature sensor
1 x CPU fan header with PWM control
3 x system fan headers with fan control


Expansion Slots
1 x AGP slot supports AGP 4X mode only (1.5V)
5 x PCI 2.2 bus master slots

 
LAN Support
Supports HomePNA interface
Supports 10/100 Base-T (IEEE 802.3u auto-negotiation) Ethernet interface
Supports Full-Duplex Flow Control (IEEE 802.3x)
Supports remote power-up using Wake-on-LAN technology (card only)
Suports Wake-up on Magic packet through PME#
Supports Wake-up on LinkChg through PME#
Supports Wake-up on Microsoft wake-up frame through PME#
Supports Wake-up on "Interesting" packet through PME#
Supports WFM
Supports Alert-on-LAN
 

The P4R533-N kit is packed fairly well with additional components, not just the ribbon cables.  The board also includes a well written manual, driver CD, drive cables, a custom back panel face plate and C-RIMM modules for termination with RDRAM modules.  Missing from the kit are SPDIF and additional audio output brackets that are not included, in the interest of saving cost.  However, the C-Media Audio chip that is on the P4R533-N supports these features.  We would have liked the supporting hardware to go with it.  For now, these are parts that the end user will have to buy as an "option".

PC1066 Kingston RDRAM
16 Bit Dual Channel RDRAM At 1.066GHz

PC1066 RDRAM technology is fairly straight forward and easy to understand.  No magic here really, just faster memory and higher clock speeds.  The "PC1066" nomenclature refers to the actual speed of the RDRAM, in this case 1066MHz.  Specifically, PC1066 RDRAM memory runs at 533MHz DDR.  So in short, RDRAM is a DDR technology as well, sort of.  That is to say that the system performs reads and writes on the rising and falling edge of the clock, much like DDR but obviously at a lot higher clock speed.  PC1066 memory provides 4.2GB/sec of bandwidth, the highest of any commercially available PC memory.

Test system memory - Kingston PC1066 RDRAM
 
 

Kingston provided us with 512MB of PC1066 RDRAM and it performed flawlessly at its rated speed and even tolerated a fairly significant overclock.  We'll give you details on this, later in the overclocking section.  However, these Kingston modules are one of the few that Iwill has listed on their site as being validated with their board for full PC1066 performance.  We were very pleased with the overall performance of this memory.

Next, we'll get back to the layout and install of the P4R533-N and fire it up.

Layout, Installation and BIOS

 

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Iwill P4R533N i850E Validate for PC1066 - Page 2

 

The Iwill P4R533-N Motherboard
&
Kingston's PC1066 RDRAM

An i850E setup for PC1066 and validated

By Dave Altavilla
July 15, 2002


The Iwill P4R533-N is a well planned out and designed board.  Let's give you a closer look at the goods.

Installation / Setup with the P4R533-N
A great layout

Iwill certainly wasn't interested in skimping at the board level with the P4R533-N.  They've incorporated a nice large heat sink on the i850E Northbridge chip.  This is definitely something that is put to good use with the i850E and not just window dressing.  Every i850 or i850E board we've had here in the HH Lab, exhibited a fair amount of heat under load, at the Northbridge chip.  Also, Iwill's placement of the ATX power connector is perfect, at the edge of the board allowing cabling to be tucked away and not infringe on airflow around the CPU Cooler.

         

Iwill's choice of integrated audio technology was also top notch.  A long time HotHardware favorite, the P4R533-N incorporates a C-Media 6 Channel Audio chip with full Direct Sound, A3D and EAX support with 3D positional audio effects.  There is also a Realtek 10/100 Ethernet controller on the board and an RJ45 jack on it's I/O back-plate.

         

What was a bit of a disappointment, was the lack of a RAID controller on this board.  We've become accustomed to integrated Highpoint or Promise ATA100 or ATA133 RAID controllers on these types of high end boards.  However, what is more of a rarity is integrated Ethernet. So, where the absence of RAID is a mark against the P4R533-N, integrated LAN functionality balances things out in our book.  Regardless, having both of these functions would be perfection.  Finally, one more downside was that, although the P4R533-N has a connector for a smart card reader, the board does not include any reader hardware to take advantage of that port.  Again, not a big item but with boards like the Soyo P4I Fire Dragon on the market, there is stiff competition out there with more bells and whistles.

BIOS Setup of the P4R533-N
Configurable but a little short on options

Once again, Iwill does a good job of giving the end user the ability to tweak things a bit in their BIOS.  We would say they've done a "good" job but not great with the P4R533-N.  There are a fair number of selectable FSB speeds and AGP/PCI divisors, all the way up to 160MHz and beyond.  However, selectable FSB speeds in increments of 1MHz as well as selectable AGP and PCI divisors, have become fairly commonplace in high end boards from other manufacturers.  Not the case the with P4R533-N.

 

 

On the up side however, Northwood users are treated to voltage settings up to 1.85V with this board.  Often times, we've encounter more stable overclocks with settings between 1.75 and 1.85V on the new Northwoods.  Speaking of which, let's show you how the P4R533-N from Iwill stood up to our overclocking tests.

Overclocking the Iwill P4R533-N  Motherboard
When you just can't get enough blinding speed

What's not to love about overclocking.  Most folks do it just for bragging rights, while others on a budget opt to buy less expensive hardware, such as the 1.6GHz Northwood Pentium 4 and push it to it's limits for maximum value.  We have the luxury of using the CPU of our choice here at HotHardware, so we plugged in a 533MHz bus Pentium 4 2.4GHz Northwood and let it rip with our Kingston PC1066 memory.  Here are the results.

Sandra CPU 2610MHz

Sandra MM 2610MHz

 
Sandra Memory 1160MHz

We were satisfied with the P4R533-N's ability to overclock.  Taking a look at the Sandra Memory scores, it is obvious to see that although overclocked DDR SDRAM certainly holds its own, PC1066 RDRAM still rules the roost when overclocked.  We'll have to see how the tables turn, if at all, when Intel brings forth Dual Channel DDR to the P4.  As far as overclocking goes for the P4R533-N, although it can perform quite handily, we've had this particular CPU up to 150MHz FSB for a total of 2.7GHz and 1200MHz RDRAM speed, on other boards. 

More Sandra 2002, Winstones, Comanche 4 and 3DMark

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Iwill P4R533N i850E Validate for PC1066 - Page 3

 

The Iwill P4R533-N Motherboard
&
Kingston's PC1066 RDRAM

An i850E setup for PC1066 and validated

By Dave Altavilla
July 15, 2002



 

 

Finishing thing up, we have MadOnion's new PCMark2002 and the never say die, Quake3 time demo.

PCMark 2002 and Quake 3
More from MadOnion and Id

PCMark2002 certainly has a synthetic feel to it but there are real world compute operations driving the tests themselves.  Here's a quick snip on a few of the tests.

CPU Test:

  • JPEG decompression

  • Zlib compression & decompression

  • Text search

  • MP3 Audio Conversion

  • 3D Vector Calculation

 

Memory Test Technical details:
Raw read, write, and read-modify-write operations are performed starting from a 3072 kilobytes array decreasing in size to 1536 KB, 384 KB, 48 KB and finally 6 KB. Each size of block is tested two second and the amount of accessed data is given as result. In the STL container test a list of 116 byte elements is constructed and sorted by an integer pseudo-random key. The list is then iterated through as many times as possible for 2 seconds and the total size of the accessed elements is given as result. There are 6 runs of this test, with 24576 items in the largest run corresponding to a total data amount of 1536 KB, decreasing in size to 12288 items (768 KB), 6144 items (384 KB), 1536 items (96 KB), 768 items (48 KB) and 96 items in the smallest run corresponding to 6 KB of total data.

 

In both the memory and CPU tests, the P4R533-N ran side by side versus the i850 based Asus board.  The good news is, with the i850E based Iwill board, the PC1066 mode of operation with a 533MHz FSB, is tested, validated and technically not an overclock of the memory at all.  With the Asus P4T-E, we're certainly able to run the same but without "official" support of the bus speed or memory speed on the i850 chipset.

 

This was a bit perplexing but we're going to take it with a grain of salt.  The Iwill P4R533-N bested the Asus board by about 30 points in the hard drive test.  Perhaps there was a small tweak of the Intel Southbridge that afforded the Iwill board an edge.  More than likely, it is a test score deviation than any real world performance differential.

 

Here we've illustrated what difference Asus' memory "RDRAM Turbo Mode" makes when it is invoked in the BIOS.  The Iwill board is on pace with the Asus board, when set to standard mode.  When in turbo mode, the Asus board commands a 4 frame per second lead.  This is a small edge that any end user would be hard pressed to detect during game play.

 

The Iwill P4R533-N is a very stable motherboard that offers something different than all other i850E based boards on the market to date.  Iwill has gone ahead and stuck their collective necks out and validated PC1066 RDRAM with the i850E chipset on their board.  Now, we need to caution you that this is of course without Intel's formal blessing for the i850E.  However, that day is coming soon and we applaud Iwill for taking steps to bring next generation technology to market sooner for the end user.  Iwill stands behind their board with specific PC1066 rated memory modules from Samsung and Kingston.  That's all the prospective customer really needs to concern themselves with at the end of the day.

What did leave us a little flat was Iwill's lack of additional pack ins with this board, as well as it's somewhat bland BIOS.  Integrated 10/100 is certainly a welcomed plus but we sure would have liked that 4 channel speaker connector plate to go with the C-Media 6 channel audio chipset.  Additionally, BIOS FSB adjustments could have been a little more granular with 1MHz increments, like we've seen for so long from others in the field.

In our final analysis, the Iwill P4R533-N is a fine example of the i850E chipset tricked out in a design implementation aimed at exploiting the full potential of the chipset and the Pentium 4 processor that it supports.  The board was rock solid stable at PC1066 speeds on our 2.4GHz chip.  We have no qualms recommending this product to any of our readers.  We're giving the P4R533-N a HotHardware Heat Meter Rating of...

 

 

 

Discuss This, Or Any Other Review in the HH PC Hardware Forum!

 

 

 

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Iwill P4R533N i850E Validate for PC1066 Page 4


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