Asus and Albatron 848P Motherboard Review

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Intel 848P Motherboard Review - Page 4

Albatron PX865PE Lite Pro vs. Asus P4P800S-E
Budget boards take a bite out of the market

by Robert Maloney
November 20th, 2003

PCMark 2002
Synthetic CPU and Memory Bandwidth Testing

One benchmark from Futuremark that we have become accustomed to using here is PCMark 2002. This test performs a series of CPU tasks such as image compression, text searches, and audio conversion to give us three scores: CPU, Memory, and Hard Disk Drive (HDD).   It also is a relatively quick process for comparing the performance of two or more systems.  We ran PCMark2002's "CPU" and "Memory" performance modules on all of the test systems, again with the CPU clocked at its default speed of 2.40GHz. 

PCMark2002's CPU performance module had the Asus P4P800S-E narrowly edging out the other boards.  The front side bus reported by WCPUID had this board clocked a bit higher than the rest which could account for the high score.  However, the difference between the top board, the Asus P4P800S-E and the Gigabyte 8S648FX only amounted to less than 2%.  CPU performance is quite superb for all of the boards in our test.

Memory Test Technical details: (Quote Taken From 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.

We saw the largest disparity thus far in PCMark 2002's Memory Performance module.  As we've mentioned in the Sandra tests, the Abit IS7-G benefits from the dual DDR-channels, and easily outpaces the other boards.  What is surprising is the large gap between the two I848P boards.  Our Sandra tests had shown minimal difference between the Albatron PX865PE and the Asus P4P800S-E, but here in PCMark 2002, the P4P800S-E performance is 10% higher. Apparently Asus' engineers are a bit more capable of lowering the memory latencies, and squeezing every last drop of performance from the RAM.  Gigabyte's 648FX entry is a distant fourth place in this test.
Business & Content Creation Winstones
Simulated Application Performance

To test "Real World" application performance, we used eTesting Labs' Business and Content Creation Winstone 2002 benchmarks.  We'll directly quote ZD's eTestingLabs website for an explanation as to how Business Winstone 2002 derives its score. (Content Creation Winstone 2002 uses the same process, but the scripted activities are comprised of different, more bandwidth hungry applications.):

"Business Winstone is a system-level, application-based benchmark that measures a PC's overall performance when running today's top-selling Windows-based 32-bit applications on Windows 98, Windows 2000 (SP2 or later), Windows Me, or Windows XP. Business Winstone doesn't mimic what these packages do; it runs real applications through a series of scripted activities and uses the time a PC takes to complete those activities to produce its performance scores."

Business Winstone Applications:
  • Five Microsoft Office 2002 applications
    (Access, Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, and Word)

  • Microsoft Project 2000

  • Lotus Notes

  • WinZip 8.0

  • Norton Antivirus

  • Netscape Communicator

Content Creation Winstone Applications:
  • 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)

The Business Winstone was unable to give us any new information except to say that all four boards are perfectly suited for normal business applications.  The P4P800S-E managed to barely come out on top, followed closely by the Abit IS7-G, and then Albatron's PX865PE Lite Pro.  Content Creation Winstone is a little more multimedia driven, and benefits more from available memory bandwidth.  Thus, the Content Creation Winstone graph looks very similar to the one from PCMark's Memory Performance with clear definitions between the boards.

Gaming and 3DMark benchmarks  

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