Chyang Fun CFS868 Small Form Factor PC

Article Index

The CFS868 Small Form Factor PC - Page 2

The CF-S868 Small Form Factor PC
Shuttle's Got Some Competition...

By, Marco Chiappetta
August 28, 2002

Setup & Quality
Kinda Tight

     

    

Front Mounted Connectors:
  • Game Port
  • IR Send / Receive
  • Headphones
  • Microphone
  • Speakers
  • Volume Control
  • PS2 Mouse Port
  • USB x 2
Rear Mounted Connectors:
  • PS2 Keyboard & Mouse
  • 9-Pin Serial x 2
  • 15-Pin VGA
  • S-Video
  • Composite Video
  • 10/100 Ethernet
  • USB x 2
  • Microphone
  • Headphones
  • Speakers

Setting up the Thunderbolt was just like any other system...only smaller!  The case is designed very well, which makes the relative lack of space a non-issue though.  The  3.5" drive tray, that house the hard drive and floppy drive, is easily removable, opening up the middle of the system.  A CD-ROM drive simply slides into the 5.25" bay at the top.  The CPU and DIMMs are installed just like any other system, then it's only a matter of connection the data and power cables to your drives.

     

  

With the system completely "built", there is still a good amount of space available inside the case (relatively speaking).  It's obvious a lot of thought was put into the design and layout of the Thunderbolt.  There were some things that could have been improved upon though.  The DIMM slots, cross the AGP slot's path, so installing extra long video cards may be a problem, a GeForce 4 Ti 4200 fit in the system just fine FYI.  There is also a 40-wire cable, that we were forced to route under the front of our video card which made us a little uncomfortable.  The biggest problem we had with the Thunderbolt was its lack of support for 533MHz FSB Pentium 4s.  There is a jumper on the motherboard that is supposed to enable 533MHz FSB support, but with the revision we were using it caused the system not to boot when enabled.

TESTING METHODOLOGY:

Due to the significant variation in benchmark scores we have seen from one site to the next, we feel it is necessary to explain exactly how we configure our test systems before running any benchmarks. When testing the Thunderbolt, we first entered the system BIOS and set the board to "Load Optimized Defaults". We then configured the Memory manually to run at 133MHz, with the CAS Latency and other memory timings set to 2-2-5-2, with 4-Way Bank Interleaving and a 1T command rate. The hard drive was then formatted, and Windows XP Professional was installed. After the Windows installation had completed, we installed the VIA 4-In-1 drivers and then hit the Windows Update website and downloaded all of the available updates, with the exception of the ones related to Windows Messenger. Then we installed the rest of the necessary drivers, and disabled then removed Windows Messenger from the system. Auto-Updating and System Restore were also disabled, and we setup a 768MB permanent paging file. Lastly, we set Windows XP's Visual Effects to "best performance", installed all of the benchmarking software, defragged the hard drive and ran all of the tests at the CPU's default and overclocked speeds.

The Hot Hardware Test Systems
Packin' Some Heat!

HARDWARE:
Mini Barebones System (P4) CF-S868
Intel Pentium 4 "Northwood" 2.2GHz (2200MHz)
256MB Corsair XMS PC2400 DDR RAM
Maxtor 20GB UDMA/100 7200 RPM Hard Drive
NEC 16X ATAPI DVD-ROM Drive
Standard 3.5" Floppy
On-Board NIC
On-Board Sound

SOFTWARE:
Microsoft Windows XP Professional (With all current Critical Updates)
VIA 4-In-1 4.42
NVIDIA Detonator XP v29.42
All other drivers installed from included CD.

Performance With SiSoft Sandra 2002
That's Our Girl...

SiSoftware's SANDRA (the System ANalyzer, Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant) is a very popular benchmarking, information and diagnostic utility.  We began our testing with four of the built-in sub-system tests that are part of the SANDRA 2002 benchmarking suite, CPU, Multimedia, Memory and File System, running at the CPU's default clock speed of 2200MHz (22x100MHz) and an overclocked speed of 2380MHz (22x108MHz).

CPU @ 2.20GHz                    CPU @ 2.38GHz
             

Multimedia @ 2.20GHz           Multimedia @ 2.38GHz
               

HARD DRIVE


MEM @ 2.20GHz                        MEM @ 2.38GHz
Integrated Video                        Integrated Video

                  

MEM @ 2.20GHz.                        MEM @ 2.38GHz.
GF4 Ti4200                                GF4 Ti4200

                 

For the most part, the Thunderbolt's performance was good.  We did see some unusual things in the SiSoft SANDRA CPU test though.  At the processor's default clock speed, the system performed as it should.  When we overclocked the system, however, FPU performance soared while ALU performance fell.  We repeated the test multiple times and got the same results.  What was even more unusual, was that none of the other tests showed any ill effects when overclocking.  We haven't singled out the cause of this anomaly yet, but I tend to believe that it's some sort of incompatibility with SANDRA because the Multimedia and Memory Bandwidth scores scaled properly with the increased clock speed.   You'll notice we've also included a second set of Memory Bandwidth benchmarks.  The top pair were taken using the integrated video, the bottom pair were taken with a GeForce 4 Ti4200 installed.  Not only does the integrated video eat up some available memory, but it uses a good amount of bandwidth transferring data in and out of system memory.  Simply installing a video card increased available memory bandwidth by about 10%.

More Performance With PC Mark 2002
CPU, MEM and HD...

Next up we have MadOnion's relatively new PCMark 2002 benchmarking suite.  We ran PC Mark 2002's CPU, Memory and Hard Drive performance modules, which incorporate the following tests:

CPU Test:

  • JPEG decompression

  • Zlib compression & decompression

  • Text search

  • MP3 Audio Conversion

  • 3D Vector Calculation

Memory Test Technical details: (Quoted)

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.

The Thunderbolt's performance in MadOnion's PCMark2002 was on par with similarly configured systems based on other DDR chipsets for the Pentium 4.  The CPU score of 5308 was right where we expected it to be, but the Memory score fell slightly behind an i845E we recently reviewed.  Hard drive performance was good, considering the Maxtor drive we were using wasn't exactly a speed demon!

Some More Benchmarking and Final Thoughts

 

Related content

Comments

Show comments blog comments powered by Disqus