Abit's SA6R i815E With Highpoint ATA100 RAID Controller

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Abit's SA6R i815E With Highpoint ATA100 RAID Controller - Page 3

Abit's SA6R - i815E With Highpoint ATA100 RAID Controller
The i815E board with an attitude and a 1GHz. Flip Chip to back it up

By Dave "Davo" Altavilla
11/1/00

 
Ziff Davis' Content Creation Winstone 2000 runs application benchmarks with things like Video / Multimedia Editing Software, Web / HTML Editing Software and Image Editing, to name a few.

Application Benchmarks
Real world scores you can hang your hat on...

Here you are looking at CC Winstone 2000 numbers versus the MSI MS-6337 (or i815E Pro) for reference, at the same clock speed.  The MSI board barely edges out the SAR6 with ATA100 for the drive subsystem but the SAR6 takes more of a commanding lead when the RAID 0 configuration is used.  This was to be expected of course.

 

ZD Winbench 99 Version 1.1

The Winbench scores paint a somewhat different picture.  When compared to the MSI board, the SA6R in ATA100 mode is pretty much neck and neck, in many of the tests, with its competitor.  However, the CPU scores are a notch or two above the MSI board which can probably be attributed to the slightly more aggressive timing of the SA6R, that we spoke of earlier.  On the other hand, the Business Disk Winmarks for the SA6R's ATA100 setup are off quite a bit from the MSI board's scores.  We set up our test multiple times with the same result and we may have to chalk this up to a test anomaly, so take those numbers with a grain of salt.  On the other hand, the SA6R with a the RAID 0 setup scored extremely well and bested the other two score sets by a wide margin.  If you have the dough to shell out for an extra ATA100 hard drive or even an ATA66 drive ( it supports both in RAID O mode ), the RAID setup is the ONLY way to fly.  The performance is that good.

And we'll close the testing with a round of our favorite First Person Shooter...

Coupled with a GeForce2 Ultra and a P3-933, the SA6R makes for one butt kicking Quake3 rig!  However, since the folks at Abit are into over-clocking things, we might as well take it up a notch with them. 

 

These are 32 bit color "High Quality" setting scores.  When a 1.1GHz. P3 is driving the GeForce 2 Ultra on this motherboard, things sure do look sweet.

Let's recap and call it a day...

We are going to struggle with this one.  It is only on rare occasion that we are this pleased with a product, especially something as complex as a motherboard.  There is always some small fly in the ointment that gets in the way of greatness.  However, the SA6R is a board that will rate with us as darn close to perfect for the current technology available on the market today.  We would have liked to give it a perfect "10" score but perfection is a VERY tall order.

On the other hand, there were very few down sides to this board.  They are minor things like ATX Power connector location and the fact that the extra cost involved with the i815E Chipset's integrated Graphics Controller, is pretty much a waste of silicon for most entertainment and gaming orientated consumers.  Beyond that, this board is so far the most stable i815E board we have tested to date and its performance clock for clock is best of class.  Furthermore, the addition of the integrated High Point RAID controller will bring new levels of Drive Sub-system performance to many users who, until now, haven't explored the benefits of RAID arrays.

We're giving the Abit SA6R a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of...

 

We're also giving it the coveted "Editor's Choice Award" because it is in my personal box at this very moment.

 

What are you looking at punk? 
Get into the Hot Hardware Conference Room or We're Stepping "Outside" !

 

 

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