Synthetic CPU and Memory Bandwidth Testing
One benchmark from FutureMark that we have become accustomed to using here is PCMark2002Pro. This test performs a series of intensive tasks
designed to stress each of the system's subsystems.
The results are broken down into three sections, CPU, Memory
and Hard Drive performance. In this review we will
focus on the CPU and Memory results.
As with the Sandra scores, the
three boards were extremely close in CPU and memory
performance. If this trend continues, the benchmarking
section of this review may get a little repetitive.
With the CPU results, the trend was just like the Sandra
scores, putting the ASUS system at the top of the pile
followed by the Shuttle and MSI systems respectively.
With memory performance, the ASUS system posted the best
results while the MSI board just slid past the Shuttle
nForce 3 motherboard. One thing to note is the ASUS
board was always a fair step ahead of the other boards while
the MSI and Shuttle boards posted very similar results.
To help get a clearer picture,
we moved past synthetic benchmarking in an effort to gauge
real world performance.
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
Microsoft Office 2002 applications
(Access, Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, and Word)
Microsoft Project 2000
Macromedia Director 8.5
Macromedia Dreamweaver UltraDev 4
Microsoft Windows Media Encoder 7.01.00.3055
Netscape Navigator 6/6.01
Foundry Sound Forge 5.0c (build 184)
Sizing up real world
application performance turned out to be a completely
different picture than with the synthetic tests.
Between the three Athlon 64 boards, the Shuttle AN50R was
clearly the best performer with desktop application
performance. This is a trend that we've seen in the
past with the KT400A and nForce 2, where the nForce
chipset offered up the best overall performance.
This seems to be a common pattern that has rolled over to
the latest versions of these chipsets. If our
suspicions are correct, the gaming performance pattern
will even out a bit compared to these results.