AOpen AX4SG MaxII Motherboard

Article Index

Overclocking and The Winstones

 

The Test Machine
Locked and Loaded

 

Motherboard:

AOpen AX4SG MaxII Motherboard (BIOS 1.01)

ABIT AI7 Motherboard

 

Common Hardware and Software:

Intel Pentium 4 2.4C Processor 800MHz FSB

2 x 256MB Kingston HyperX PC3500 Memory

AOpen Aeolus FX5600S 256MB (Drivers - v.56.72 WHQL)

Seagate 40GB ATA-100 7200RPM Hard Drive

On Board Sound

WinXP Professional w/ SP1

DirectX 9.0b

Intel INF Chipset Drivers v5.1.1.1002
 

Overclocking
Going Above and Beyond

 

Using a Pentium 4 2.4C processor, we set out to pushing the AOpen AX4SG MaxII above and beyond its default settings.  Right off the bat we raised the front side bus to 250MHz and dropped the DDR frequency to 5:4 as our PC3500 sticks cannot handle a 1:1 ratio at this high of a front side bus setting.  The motherboard booted into Windows with no problems and all programs ran stable.  We continued by raising the front side bus in 5MHz increments until the system started showing some instability.  That didn't take long as we hit 260MHz and the system would not even boot into the OS.  We backed down the front side bus and finally finished at a setting of 256MHz.  No amount of increased voltage to either the memory or the CPU achieved a higher overclock.  While this is not an overclock to get extremely excited about, it is respectable and gives us an increase of 672MHz (12 x 256MHz or 3072MHz) over our default settings of 12 x 200MHz or 2400Mhz.  At first, we felt the board was the main factor hindering our overclock, but due to the fact we had never run this particular P4 2.4C in any other motherboards before this, we didn't want to jump to any conclusions.  When using the ABIT AI7 motherboard as a comparison in this review, we only managed to get a 258MHz front side bus overclock on that motherboard so all signs now point to this particular P4 2.4C chip being the limiting factor.

 

 

Test Settings:

To start things off we ran the AOpen AX4SG MaxII motherboard through a round of synthetic tests using the SANDRA CPU, Multimedia, and Memory tests.  Below are the scores for this motherboard at both default and overclocked settings.  We kept the memory on aggressive timings of 6-3-3-2 for both default and overclocked tests.

 

Sandra Testing: Default Settings DDR400

Sandra CPU

Sandra Multimedia

Sandra Memory

 

Sandra Testing: Overclocked DDR408

Sandra CPU
Sandra Multimedia
Sandra Memory

As you can see by clicking on the images above, the overclocked scores show quite an impressive gain in performance.  CPU, Multimedia, and Memory come in at a performance increase of 20%, 22%, and 19% respectively.  The increased system throughput and higher CPU clock is pushing these synthetic test scores much higher.  In our next set of benchmarks we take a look at how the AOpen AX4SG MaxII motherboard performs with some real world applications.

ZD eTesting Labs Business and Content Creation Winstones
Desktop Application Performance

The Business Winstone 2004 tests include:

  • Microsoft Access 2002 SP-2
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 SP-2
  • Microsoft FrontPage 2002 SP-2
  • Microsoft Outlook 2002 SP-2
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 SP-2
  • Microsoft Project 2002 SP-2
  • Microsoft Word 2002 SP-2
  • WinZip 8.1 SR-1
  • Norton Antivirus Professional Edition 2003

Content Creation Winstone 2004 tests include:

  • Adobe Photoshop 7.0.1
  • Adobe Premiere 6.50
  • Macromedia Director MX 9.0
  • Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 6.1
  • Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 9 Version 9.00.00.2980
  • NewTek's LightWave 3D 7.5b
  • Steinberg WaveLab 4.0f

 

As you can see from the graphs, the overclocked settings of the AOpen AX4SG MaxII motherboard give it a good performance boost in both the Business and Content Creation tests.  The Business Winstone Suite showed an increase of 9% while Content Creation Winstone reached a 15% increase in performance which provides a noticeable difference to the end user running the applications.  At this point it's safe to say that the two motherboards are neck and neck, although the ABIT AI7 motherboard beats out the AOpen motherboard at the overclocked setting due to its higher achievable overclock.

 

Tags:  Motherboard, X4, pen, board, 4S, Open, AR

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