Abit IC7G and Asus P4C800 Canterwood Mobotherboards

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Abit IC7G and Asus P4C800 Canterwood Mobotherboards - Page 3

Abit IC7-G vs. Asus P4C800
A tale of two Canterwoods

By, Dave Altavilla
April 29, 2003

 

We configured identical test setups for all motherboards used in the following benchmarks.  We used a standard WinXP Professional installation with Service Pack 1.  Automatic Updates, and System Restore were turned off and the Windows GUI was set to "best performance" in the visual effects section of the advanced settings control panel.  Please take a look at our system configuration for reference.

HotHardware Test Setup
Better, stronger, faster...

Pentium 4 Processors at 3GHz  - 800MHz System Bus
Motherboard and RAM Config
Intel D875PBZ i875P "Canterwood" Motherboard
Asus P4C800 "Canterwood" Motherboard
Abit IC7-G "Canterwood" Motherboard
512MB of Kingston HyperX PC3500 CAS 2 RAM
CAS Timings for all boards used, were 2-2-2-5, with the exception of the overclocking tests,
where we set the Asus and Abit boards to "SPD Detect".
Other Hardware and Software:
ATi Radeon 9700 Pro
Seagate Barracuda V SATA 120GB HD
Windows XP Professional SP1
ATi Catalyst 3.2 Drivers
Intel Release Chipset Driver  v5.00.1012
Intel Applications Accelerator RAID Edition v3.0.0.229

Sandra Benchmarks
Synthetic testing

We typically ease into the benchmarks, to make sure we have things configured properly, and take some quick readings with SiSoft's Sandra utility.  Here are the results.

3GHz Sandra Testing - 800MHz FSB - 400MHz Dual Channel DDR

IC7-G CPU Test

 

P4C800 CPU Test

 

 IC7-G Mem Test

 

 P4C800 Mem Test

 

IC7-G MM Test

 

 P4C800 MM Test

 

There is really nothing earth-shattering to report here.  Both boards are performing well and within a few percentage points of the Intel i875P board we tested in our Canterwood launch article.  Both boards are actually a notch or two ahead of what we saw with the Intel board but this is typical, since Intel strives for ultimate stability with their boards and many motherboard OEMs often optimize for performance on the architecture, once a chipset is released.  We did note the usual clock "goosing" that is indicative of Asus boards, where the P4C800 is aggressively timed at 3.03GHz, even though the board was set to stock speed in the BIOS.  This gives the P4C800 a marginal lead in all the tests but in a sense, this is factory set overclocking of sorts. 

Regardless, both boards perform admirably and you've got to love those memory scores, approaching 5K MB/sec and blowing PC1066 RDRAM reference system scores right out of the water.

Overclocking With The Asus P4C800 and Abit IC7-G
Nip and tuck...

The results for our overclocking tests may surprise you.  Both boards seemed very much up to the task but surprisingly the Abit IC7-G's higher available CPU voltages, didn't allow it to surpass the P4C800.

Abit's IC7-G steps up:

CPUID 3GHz

CPUID 3.38GHz


CPU Test 3.38GHz


Mem Test 225MHz FSB

Asus P4C800 Overclocking:

CPUID 3GHz

CPUID 3.45GHz


CPU Test 3.45GHz


Mem Test 230MHz FSB

In this test, we decided to leave the CPU multiplier on our unlocked Intel P4C 3GHz CPU, set to 15X, the standard multiplier for retail product.  After all, you can't buy an unlocked P4 on the retail market.  As such, we were limited to raising the FSB speeds and CPU voltages, to achieve each board's highest stable overclock.  We obviously used the same HSF on the CPU and same Kingston DDR PC3500 DDR memory.  We also elected to leave the memory clock divisors at 1:1 and set the timings to SPD detect, for stability at these overclocked speeds.  We've seen our Kingston memory hit 460MHz DDR and higher, so we wanted to see how each of these boards would handle not only the stress of a CPU overclock but the stress of the extremely high memory speeds as well.

Remember, technically the Asus board is already overclocked slightly, even at default speeds, as we saw in the Sandra tests above.  Additionally, it only allows CPU voltage adjustments up to 1.7V, unlike the Abit IC7-G that goes all the way up to 1.9V.  Try as we might, we couldn't get the IC7-G stable at 3.45G with a 460MHz DDR memory speed.  However, the P4C800 ran our entire suite of benchmark test, including 3DMark 03, without crashing, at this speed.  The Abit board was right up there, just behind the Asus board however, coming in a close second at 3.38GHz CPU and 450MHz memory speed.  It was a very close race here for sure but ultimately, the way we ran this overclocking effort, the Asus P4C800 just edged out the IC7-G from Abit.  In the end, the average user may have more overclocking options/headroom with the IC7-G, since it does allow higher CPU voltages (at least until Asus releases a new BIOS rev) but either board is more than capable in this area.
 

Winstones and XMPEG Benchmarks

Tags:  Asus, C7, DS, Mobo, can, P4, Abit, board, bot, AR, and

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