ABIT SR78X Motherboard Review

The ABIT SR78X Motherboard Review - Page 5


The ABIT SR7-8X Motherboard Review
SiS and Abit, a Powerful Combination

By, Jeff Bouton
September 22, 2002

Benchmarks and Comparisons Continued
Content Creation 2002 & Business Winstone 2001

Content Creation Winstone 2002:

Content Creation Winstone 2002 is a benchmarking program that measures a PC's overall performance when running multimedia intensive programs.  Some of the applications it uses to determine a Content Creation 2002 rating are:

  • Adobe Photoshop 6.0.1

  • Adobe Premiere 6.0

  • Macromedia Director 8.5

  • Macromedia Dreamweaver UltraDev 4

  • Microsoft Windows Media Encoder

  • Netscape Navigator 6/6.01

  • Sonic Foundry Sound Forge 5.0c (build 184)


With Content Creation Winstone 2002, the Abit SR7-8X and the Shuttle AS45GT/R matched each other's score point for point.  With the Abit system running at 400MHz. DDR., we saw an increase of barely a point over the 333MHz score.  Once again we are seeing minimal differences in score with a boost in memory speeds.  In the real world, these differences would not be detectable to the user.

Now let's take a look and see if this tides turn when we take a stab at Business Winstone 2001.

Business Winstone 2001:

Business Winstone is a benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance when running applications that are commonly found in the everyday workstation environment.  Some of the programs it runs to determine a Business WInstone 2001 rating are:

  • Five Microsoft Office 2000 applications (Access, Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, and Word)

  • Microsoft Project 98

  • Lotus Notes R5

  • NicoMak WinZip

  • Norton Antivirus

  • Netscape Communicator


As with Content Creation 2002, both motherboards turned in virtually identical performance, although this time the Abit board was able to squeeze out an additional 1.2 points at 400MHz DDR.  As with the other tests though, we were left wondering where the benefits of running the memory at 400MHz. went.  With Business Winstone 2001 we saw a mere gain of 2% with the increase memory bandwidth.


As we bring this review to a close, we find ourselves both pleased and disappointed at the same time.  The SR7-8X is a well-rounded motherboard that proves to be a solid value with a lot of features.  The system put up great scores when we ran a number of common benchmarks.  Never once did we report on any stability issues or miscellaneous errors while running the system at stock speeds.  Even after we increased the memory speeds to 400MHz. DDR, the system remained stable through out testing.  On the flip-side, we saw no real benefits to increasing the system's memory speed an additional 67MHz.  In each test, we saw minimal increases in performance.  The overclocking of this system was one of the poorest experiences in recent memory for this reviewer.  It is one thing when a system will not overclock too high and we just need to settle for a low overclock, but when we consistently encountered data corruption, this becomes a little more troubling.  After seeing various reports of poor overclocking with this system on various hardware sites, we tend to think the problem lies with the motherboard rather than the hardware used during the benchmarking process.  There are rumors that there are revisions coming that should improve the overclocking of this and other SiS 648 based motherboards and we look forward to seeing if things improve in the future.

If you are looking to get a quality Pentium 4 based system that has a good collection of features and great all-around performance, the SR7-8X is a reasonable choice (Roughly $100).  However, if you are a tweaker that is looking for a system with great features and overclockability, we recommend that you steer clear of the SR7-8X until we see an updated model that corrects the issues we have reported.

In the end, we give the Abit SR7-8X motherboard a HotHardware Heat Meter Rating of a 7.5...


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