Gigabyte's GA-8S648FX Motherboard

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Intel Springdale Showdown - Page 3

Gigabyte's GA-8S648FX Motherboard
Bridging the gap with the SiS 648FX

"Burned" in by Robert Maloney
August 13th, 2003

PCMark 2002
Synthetic CPU and Memory Bandwidth Testing

To get another look at the CPU and Memory performance, we turned to PCMark 2002. This benchmark from FutureMark 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).   Although it is a relatively quick test to perform, it is perfect for comparing the performance of two or more systems.  We ran PCMark2002's "CPU" and "Memory" performance modules on all of the test systems, with the CPU clocked at its default speed of 2.40GHz. 

The CPU performance module had the the Abit IS7-G at the top, with the Gigabyte GA-8S648FX at the bottom, but the margin of difference was a mere 83 points, a delta of about 1%, well within the margin of error for such a test.  At the very least, we can see that the CPU is operating within normal operating limits on the Springdale and SiS648FX boards.

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.

This is another benchmark that separates the men from the boys.  Abit's Game Accelerator technology blows away the other two boards, including the Chaintech 9PJL which also uses dual DDR channels.  The Springdale-based boards have an increased memory bandwidth of 20% for the Chaintech, and almost 40% for the Abit IS7-G.  The single DDR channel architecture of the 648FX simply can't compare, and to be honest, isn't expected to.  The score we got here was more indicative of the performance level we had seen on i845 boards.
Business & Content Creation Winstones
Simulated Application Performance

To find out how the boards relate in "Real World" 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)

Business Winstone 2002 gave us our first real surprise.  All three boards were tightly grouped, but the Gigabyte board pulled into second place behind the IS7-G this time.  Still, with the difference being only 0.3 stones from top to bottom, we can call this a tie.  Content Creation Winstone 2002 shows a bit more disparity.  Abit's IS7-G clearly ran away from the other two, 1.3 stones above the Chaintech 9PJL, and 2.2 stones over the Gigabyte GA-8S648FX.  Considering the memory handicap, however, the Gigabyte board still puts up a good showing.

Gaming benchmarks and the conclusion

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