Intel P965 Shoot-Out: Asus P5B-E vs. MSI P965 Platinum

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Gaming Benchmarks


For our first gaming test, we benchmarked the test systems using a custom single-player Quake 4 timedemo, then we set them loose on F.E.A.R. Normally, for motherboard reviews, we like to see how the boards run at very low resolutions with all the bells and whistles turned off, to make the game as CPU dependent as possible.

Performance Comparisons w ith Quake 4

Quake 4
id Software, in conjunction with developer Raven, recently released the latest addition to the wildly popular Quake franchise, Quake 4. Quake 4 is based upon an updated and slightly modified version of the Doom 3 engine, and as such performance characteristics between the two titles are very similar.  Like Doom 3, Quake 4 is also an OpenGL game that uses extremely high-detailed textures and a ton of dynamic lighting and shadows, but unlike Doom3, Quake 4 features some outdoor environments as well. We ran this these Quake 4 benchmarks using a custom demo with the game set to its "High-Quality" mode, at resolutions of 1,280 x 1,024 and 1,600 x 1,200 with 4X AA and 8X aniso enabled simultaneously.


Finally, a little disparity.  We ran the Quake 4 timedemo a few times and averaged the frame rates to come up with a final score.  Overall, the MSI P965 was able to put up slightly higher framerates on the average when compared to the Asus P5B-E.  

Performance Comparisons with F.E.A.R
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One of the most highly anticipated titles of 2005 was Monolith's paranormal thriller F.E.A.R. Taking a look at the minimum system requirements, we see that you will need at least a 1.7GHz Pentium 4 with 512MB of system memory and a 64MB graphics card, that is a Radeon 9000 or GeForce4 Ti-class or better, to adequately run the game. Using the full retail release of the game patched to v1.08, we put the graphics cards in this review through their paces to see how they fared with a popular title. Here, all graphics settings within the game were set to the maximum values, but with soft shadows disabled (Soft shadows and anti-aliasing do not work together currently). Benchmark runs were then completed at resolutions of 1280x960 and 1600x1200, with anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering enabled.


We were expecting a difference in F.E.A.R. frame rates as well, but both motherboards settled in at an average of 292 frames per second using the bare minimum graphical settings.  We re-ran the performance test again after reaching the highest stable overclock on each of the boards, with much different results.  The 100MHz increase on the front side bus of the P965 netted an additional 81fps.  The superb oc results of the Asus P5B-E got us even futher, winding up with an excellent 432 fps while running at a 454MHz FSB. 

Tags:  Intel, Asus, MSI, ATI, MS, shoot, SHO, platinum, PLA

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