ECS P4IBAD versus Transcend TSABR4

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ECS P4IBAD versus Transcend TSABR4 - Page 4

ECS P4IBAD versus Transcend TS-ABR4
Budget i845s Do Battle!

By, Marco Chiappetta
March  28, 2002

Now for the benchmark that has been run numerous times by so many reviewers across the world, I think we all may have some sort of "repetitive stress" disorder in a few years, Quake 3 Arena.

Some OpenGL Performance
This is the Benchmark that never ends!


To "isolate" CPU performance when running a timedemo in Quake 3, we set the resolution to 640x480, the color depth to 16-Bit and lowered the geometry and texture detail.  As you can see, both boards performed within 1% of each other.  While physically the ECS P4IBAD and the Transcend TS-ABR4 don't have much in common, as far as performance is concerned to this point, they're almost identical.

More Performance
More of the Good Stuff!

Next we ran ZD Labs' Business Winstone 2001 benchmark on both the P4IBAS and TS-ABR4.  For an explanation of what this test entails, we'll quote ZD's eTestingLabs website:

"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 SE, Windows NT 4.0 (SP6 or later), Windows 2000, 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."

The tests include:

  • Five Microsoft Office 2000 applications (Access, Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, and Word)

  • Microsoft Project 98

  • Lotus Notes R5

  • NicoMak WinZip

  • Norton Antivirus

  • Netscape Communicator


In the Business Winstone tests, the ECS P4IBAD holds only a slight performance lead over the Transcend TS-ABR4.  However, the "office type" applications used in this test no longer stress the CPU and other subsystems enough to show huge differences from one similarly equipped system to the next, when a high-end processor is used.  On the other hand, Content Creation 2002 is intense.  What do you say we run that one next?


Content Creation Winstone 2002 runs a series of scripted activities as well, but consists of more "bandwidth hungry" applications like:

  • 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)

Here the tables are turned and the Transcend TS-ABR4 bests the ECS P4IBAD by a bit.  The performance difference is miniscule though and would be imperceptible to the end-user. 


We were pleasantly surprised by the performance and stability of both the ECS P4IBAD and Transcend TS-ABR4.  While both of these boards may not have been packed to the gills with features, they did what they were designed to do and did it well.  The performance levels of both boards was on-par with other products in their class and throughout our testing neither board exhibited any instability whatsoever.  We wouldn't recommend either of these boards to our hardcore readers but users looking to build an inexpensive Pentium 4 system for "everyday" use, will be pleased with either product.  As of the time of this writing, both the ECS P4IBAD and Transcend TS-ABR4 can be found for less that $100 US.  Because of their similarities in features and performance, we won't be rating these boards individually.  Based on their good stability, performance and rock bottom prices we'll give both the ECS P4IBAD and Transcend TS-ABR4 Hot Hardware Heat Meter Ratings of... 

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Tags:  ECS, Transcend, tsa, P4, bad, R4, SCE, 4i

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