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| Benchmarks and Comparisons |
| Back to the Futuremark |
Futuremark's 3DMark 2001:
For our next test, we chose Futuremark's 3DMark 2001 SE. It generates an overall score after rendering scenes and measuring performance using the MaxFX game engine, found in Remedy's popular game Max Payne. We ran two series of tests on each configuration, once at 800x600 with 32-bit color and again at 1024x768x32, both times with all other program settings left at their defaults.
The VIA and SIS boards were numbers one and two, respectively. The two boards based on the 845PE chipset brought up the rear, but the BH7 was not quite as far behind as the BE7, only about half as far back. The BH7 score placed the board about 3% behind the two leaders. This was still a respectable number, however, which was overshadowed by the score we obtained after raising the bus speed to 163MHz. The benchmarked score of 15,794 was just over 1800 points higher, an increase in performance of about 13%.
At the higher resolution of 1024x768, we see that the MSI 655 Max has taken the lead, easily outpacing all other boards. The BH7 put up a better show than before, still behind the VIA board, but this time only by 50 points, a delta of less than one percent. In fact, a quick glance shows us that all four boards are within a range of only 500 points from top to bottom. Overclocked, the BH7 produced a healthy score of 13,734, almost the same score that we got at 800x600.
Another test from Futuremark that we have become accustomed to using here is PCMark 2002. This test performs a series of CPU tasks such as image compression, text searches, and audio conversion to give us three scores: CPU, Memory, and Hard Disk Drive (HDD). It is a relatively quick process for comparing the performance of two or more systems. We ran PCMark 2002 at 133MHz FSB for all of the boards, and then ran another test on the Abit after getting a stable overclock at 163MHz.
The VIA P4PB Ultra took the lead in the CPU performance module by 50 points over the MSI 655 Max, followed next by the BH7 and lastly the BE7. The grouping was tight enough to show that all of the boards were performing well with the P4 CPU. The overclocked score of 7616 was one of the highest that we have seen to date, and equated to a jump of 22% over the original.
In the Memory module, we saw perhaps the widest disparity among the boards. The MSI 655 Max, with its noticeable lead over the rest of the pack, showed off the benefits of the Dual DDR channels. The Dual DDR provided a boost of 12% of memory bandwidth over the VIA and Intel boards. We were able to overcome this offset by raising the FSB on the Abit BH7 to 163MHz, and in effect running the RAM at 202MHz. In doing so, we got a score of 7198, beating out the Dual DDR score of 7037 by 150 points.
Some gaming scores