DFI PC64 i820 Motherboard

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DFI PC64 i820 Motherboard - Page 2

DFI's PC64 - Motherboard
More i820 and RAMBUS action on the test-bench

PC64 Test System
All the tools of the trade...

Full Tower ATX Case w/ 300W PS, Pentium III 500E overclocked to 760MHz. (supplied by Outside Loop Computers), DFI PC64 i820 Motherboard, 128MB of  800MHz (400MHz. DDR) Techworks  RDRAM, WD Expert AC418000 7200 RPM ATA66 Hard Drive, Elsa Erazor X2 AGP , Kenwood 72X CDROM, Win 98SE, DirectX 7.0a

 
Overclocking With the PC64
Cool calm and collected
The PC64 is an excellent choice for those that want to overclock at high bus speeds.  Although RAMBUS does have a steep price tag at this point in time, you will find perfect stability at Front Side bus speeds beyond 133MHz.  In fact, we took our P3-500E as far as the PC64 allowed.  The PC64 has a maximum FSB speed of 153MHz.  We wish there were a few more high end bus speeds or even the granularity of the Abit BE6-II.  If we had more of these higher end FSB clocks available, we are almost sure our P3-500E would have gone even further.  Regardless, this board cranks up the CPU clock very high with great ease and rock solid stability.

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Benchmarks and the PC64
The hardware needs better software.
First we have some preliminary raw CPU and Memory scores from SiSoft's Sandra 99. 

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Sandra CPU Benchmark

Sandra Memory Benchmark

Sandra Mult-Media Benchmark

You can't argue with these scores.  The Copermine at 763MHz.is bolstered by excellent memory bandwidth.  Now we just need those silly RAMBUS prices to drop

 

ZD WinBench 99

Click for a closer look

Very good CPU numbers were put up by the PC64 here.  That was to be expected with CPU clock rates being driven in the 750MHz. range.  However, there seems to be a gap in the drive performance numbers versus other scores we have seem with a similar i820 board, the Gigabyte GA-6CX.  We are looking into this further and will update these scores if need be.

 

Quake 3 Areana - 32Bit Color

Finally, we wanted to see if AGP Performance had improved with this new i820 board we were testing.  Historically we have seen that Intel's new chipset and the drivers behind the i820 AGP implementation, were still slightly immature and lagged behind the performance of a BX board and even VIA Apollo Pro133A products.  We took the following scores with an Elsa Erazor X2 GeForce DDR card.

These scores are representative of a slight improvement overall but are still a notch lower than the other chipset solutions like the Intel BX or VIA Apollo Pro133A.  Intel is obviously still in the debug stage with their AGP drivers.  Optimizations with respect to speed will hopefully come soon with future releases from Intel.

 

Conlcusion

All told, the PC64 is a solid and stable performer.  We would have preferred a little more room for expansion with the addition of another PCI slot.  On the other hand, we have yet to see any i820 board released that has this configuration.  The raw CPU performance and great memory bandwidth of this board, as well as others in the i820 class for that matter, are being held back somewhat by Intel's young and unrefined drivers for their new chipset.  Over time we expect that the i820 platform will mature a begin to shine more in real world applications.  For now, the ball is still in Intel's court.  They can support this chipset or move on to the next generation.  We'll have to wait and see.

We give the DFI PC64 a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of.........

 

  To HotHardware!

 

 
Tags:  Motherboard, PC, C64, board, i820, AR

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