Abit IT7Max2 v2 vs. Iwill P4HTS

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Abit IT7Max2 v2 vs. Iwill P4HTS - Page 3

The Abit IT7-Max2 v2.0
vs.
The Iwill P4HT-S
Two Fully-Loaded i845PE's Duke it Out...

By, Marco Chiappetta
 January 24, 2003

    

TESTING METHODOLOGY:

Due to this fact that we, and we're sure you, have seen significant variations in benchmark scores from one site to the next, we feel it is necessary to explain exactly how we configure our test systems before running any benchmarks. When testing these boards, the first thing we did was enter the system BIOSes and set each board to "Load Optimized Defaults" and configured our RAM to run at 166MHz (DDR333).  The other memory timings were set by the SPD.  The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional (SP1) was installed. After the Windows installation was complete, we hit the Windows Update site and downloaded all of the available updates with the exception of the ones related to Windows Messenger. Then we installed all of the necessary drivers, and disabled then removed Windows Messenger from the system.  Auto-Updating and System Restore were also disabled, and we setup a 768MB permanent page file on the same partition and drive as the Windows installation. Lastly we set the Visual Effects to "best performance", installed all of the benchmarking software, defragged the hard drive and ran all of the tests at the CPU's default and overclocked speeds.  Now, for our results...

OVERCLOCKING EXPERIENCE:

We have very good luck overclocking with both of these motherboards, and believe it or not, the Iwill P4HT-S managed to take our 2.4GHz P4 slightly higher than the Abit IT7 Max2 v2.  We set the Vcore voltage to 1.7v, the highest we could go with the IT7, on both boards and raised the FSB frequency until the system was no longer stable.  The highest FSB we were able to attain with the Abit IT7 Max2 v2, was 158MHz, for a top speed of 2.84GHz (18x158MHz) a 440MHz or 18.3% gain.  With the Iwill P4HT-S, we were able to take the CPU to an even higher 160MHz FSB, for a top speed of 2.88GHz (18x160MHz) a 480MHz or 20% gain.  These were some impressive overclocks, especially considering we were using an all aluminum heatsink with simple air cooling.  We were able to raise the Vcore above 1.7v on the P4HT-S, so we set out to see just how high this CPU would go, and were actually able to boot into Windows at 2.98GHz (18x166MHz) with a 1.85v VCore setting.  We couldn't reliably complete any benchmarks though, so we turned things back down until the system was again stable to complete our benchmarking process.

The Hot Hardware Test Systems
Intel Showcase...

 
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz (2400MHz)
533MHz FSB
 

Abit IT7-MAX2 v2

Intel i845PE Chipset


512MB Kingston DDR400 RAM

Radeon 9700 Pro (Catalyst 3.0)

On-Board NIC

On-Board Sound

IBM 60GB 7200RPM HD

Creative Labs 52X CD-Rom

Standard Floppy Drive

Windows XP Professional with SP1

DX9

Intel Chipset Drivers v.4.04.1007

Intel Application Accelerator v2.2.2

 

 
Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz (2400MHz)
533MHz FSB
 

Iwill P4HT-S

Intel i845PE Chipset


512MB Kingston DDR400 RAM

Radeon 9700 Pro (Catalyst 3.0)

On-Board NIC

On-Board Sound

IBM 60GB 7200RPM HD

Creative Labs 52X CD-Rom

Standard Floppy Drive

Windows XP Professional with SP1

DX9

Intel Chipset Drivers v.4.04.1007

Intel Application Accelerator v2.2.2

 
Performance Comparisons with SiSoft SANDRA
Synthetic Action

SANDRA (the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is an information and diagnostic utility put out by the folks at SiSoftware. Besides benchmarking, it provides a host of other information about your hardware and operating system. We began our testing with the built-in CPU, Multimedia, File System and Memory sub-system tests that are part of the SANDRA 2002 suite.  We ran these tests at our CPU's default clock speed of 2.4GHz and while overclocked to 2.84GHz on the Abit IT7 Max2 v.2.0 and at 2.88GHz on the Iwill P4HT-S.

ABIT IT7 MAX2 V2

IWILL P4HT - S

CPU @ 2.40GHZ
(18X133MHz)
CPU @ 2.84GHZ
(18x158MHz)
CPU @ 2.40GHZ
(18X133MHz)
CPU @ 2.88GHZ
(18x160MHz)
 
MM @ 2.40GHZ
 
MM @ 2.84GHZ
 
MM @ 2.40GHZ
 
MM @ 2.88GHZ
 
MEM @ 2.40GHZ
 
MEM @ 2.84GHZ
 
MEM @ 2.40GHZ
 
MEM @ 2.88GHZ

 
HARD DRIVE

 
HARD DRIVE

As you can see, at default clock speeds, both the Iwill P4HT-S and Abit IT7 Max2 v2.0 perform at very similar levels, which is to be expected from motherboards using the same chipset and peripherals.  The Abit board has a very slight advantage in all of the tests at default clock speeds because the timings on the P4HT-S seemed a bit relaxed.  With both boards set to use a 133MHz FSB, the IT7 Max2 v2 ran our CPU at 2.41GHz, while the P4HT-S ran at it at 2.39GHz.  When we overclocked the systems, the tables obviously turned in favor of the Iwill board because we were able to take it to a higher FSB (Abit @ 158MHz vs. Iwill @ 160MHz).  We were especially impressed with the memory performance scores on both of these boards. The Iwill P4HT-S broke the 3GB/s mark, with the IT7 Max2 v2.0, trailing only slightly behind...outpacing even the PC800 RDRAM reference system.

Performance Comparisons with PCMark2002
CPU, Memory and Hard Drive Testing

Next up, we have some numbers from Futuremark's PCMark2002 benchmarking suite.  Like other synthetic benchmarks, it's tough to translate PCMark 2002 scores into "real world" performance.  However, because it is very easy to run, and produces repeatable, comparable results, PCMark2002 has become a staple here in the H.H. labs.  We ran PCMark's "CPU" and "Memory" performance modules on both of these boards.  FYI, the CPU module incorporates the following tests:

CPU Test:

  • JPEG decompression

  • Zlib compression & decompression

  • Text search

  • MP3 Audio Conversion

  • 3D Vector Calculation

The more aggressive timings at default settings gave the Abit IT7 Max2 v2 and edge in PCMark2002's CPU performance module.  The Abit board squeaked past the Iwill P4HT-S by 33 points.  A performance delta that small, less than .6%, falls well within the margin of error for this test though.

Memory Test Technical details: (Quoted From MadOnion / Futuremark)

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.

PCMark2002's memory performance module tells virtually the same story.  The Abit IT7 Max2 v2 was able to outrun the Iwill P4HT-S by only 36 points in this test, which equates to an even smaller .5% difference.  Like the CPU test, this falls well within the margin of error.  For all intents and purposes these two boards performed identically in PCMark2002's tests.

Gaming & The Winstones

 
Tags:  X2, Will, P4, Abit

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