Intel P965 Shoot-Out: Asus P5B-E vs. MSI P965 Platinum
3DMark06's built-in CPU test is a multi-threaded "gaming related" DirectX metric that's useful for comparing relative performance between similarly equipped systems. This test consists of two different 3D scenes that are generated with a software renderer, which is dependant on the host CPU's performance. This means that the calculations normally reserved for your 3D accelerator are instead sent to the central processor. The number of frames generated per second in each test are used to determine the final score.
Although paired with the same CPU, we found that the MSI P965 Platinum was able to run just a hair faster than the Asus P5B-E as evidenced by the 22 point spread in 3DMark06. Although the delta is relatively small, we found that this difference between the two boards would occur in other synthetic benchmarks as well.
For our next round of synthetic benchmarks, we ran the CPU and Memory performance modules built into Futuremark's PCMark05. For those interested in more than just the graphs, however, we've got a couple of quotes directly from Futuremark that explain exactly what these tests do and how they work.
"The CPU test suite is a collection of tests that are run to isolate the performance of the CPU. The CPU Test Suite also includes multithreading: two of the test scenarios are run multithreaded; the other including two simultaneous tests and the other running four tests simultaneously. The remaining six tests are run single threaded. Operations include, File Compression/Decompression, Encryption/Decryption, Image Decompression, and Audio Compression" - Courtesy FutureMark Corp.
As we mentioned earlier, the MSI board outpaced the Asus P5B-E in straight-out CPU performance, and almost by the same point margin as 3DMark06. In actuality, however, the 28 point difference only amounts to less than a one percent difference in performance, and is well within expected variances of running the benchmark.
"The Memory test suite is a collection of tests that isolate the performance of the memory subsystem. The memory subsystem consists of various devices on the PC. This includes the main memory, the CPU internal cache (known as the L1 cache) and the external cache (known as the L2 cache). As it is difficult to find applications that only stress the memory, we explicitly developed a set of tests geared for this purpose. The tests are written in C++ and assembly. They include: Reading data blocks from memory, Writing data blocks to memory performing copy operations on data blocks, random access to data items and latency testing." - Courtesy FutureMark Corp.
Memory performance was also slightly skewed in MSI's favor, with a 55 point difference between the two boards.
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