Intel Springdale Showdown

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Intel Springdale Showdown - Page 8

The Springdale Showdown
Which board should you "spring" for?

Brought to you by Robert Maloney
July 10, 2003

3DMark 2001 and 3DMark03
Synthetic Gaming

For our next series of tests, we chose Futuremark's 3DMark 2001 SE and the newer 3DMark03.  Both of these benchmarks render a variety of scenes, using DirectX 8 and 9 vertex and pixel shaders.  We ran both of these benchmarks on each configuration at a resolution of 1024x768 with 32-bit color, with all other settings left at their defaults. 

The MSI 865PE Neo2 takes a surprising lead in both versions of 3DMark, surpassing the Asus P4P800 by a few percent in each test.  The placement of the boards was the same after that, with the Abit IS7 placing third, then the Albatron 865PE Pro II, and finally the Chaintech 9PJL.  The grouping of the scores in 3DMark03 was very close, as the rating is highly dependent on the video card used.  3DMark 2001 showed a little more disparity, with 750 points separating the first and last boards, a 6% delta in performance.
More Gaming:  Comanche 4 and Quake 3
Some "In-Game" Numbers...

Now that we have seen some synthetic gaming benchmarks, we felt it was time to try the "real thing".  That is, we took two games that have built-in testing modes, which will show us the average frame rate during game play.  Comanche 4 is a DirectX benchmark that is highly CPU and Memory bandwidth dependent.  For testing purposes, we ran the Demo version at 800x600x32, but disabled the audio.  Quake 3 Arena is everyone's favorite OpenGL benchmark, used in reviews seemingly since the dawn of time.  Although a bit dated, it still can be used to give reliable comparisons of system performance.  Since the frame rates can get quite high, we maxed out the graphical settings, and ran "demo four" at a resolution of 1024x768 with 32-bit color and textures.

The Comanche 4 benchmark greatly benefits from the high memory bandwidth that the Abit and Asus boards provide.  In fact, the bar graph for this benchmark mirrors the PCMark and Sandra memory tests with the Asus and Abit numbers 1 and 2, respectively, followed next by the MSI and Albatron boards, and Chaintech bringing up the rear.  Performance wise, the Asus P4P800 is three frames faster that the Chaintech 9PJL, translating to a 6% faster frame rate.  Quake 3 had MSI return back to the top of the gaming charts, over three frames per second faster than the close grouping of the three 'A's; Asus, Albatron, and Abit.  Once again, Chaintech was seen at the lower end of the spectrum.

The Ratings and our top choice

Tags:  Intel, WD, DOW, Show, SHO, spring

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