Performance Comparisons with 3DMark
MadOnion?s other "mad" creation,
3DMark 2001 SE, is a good comparison of the graphic
capabilities of a system. However, since we are looking
for more system related scores, and not looking to stress
the video capabilities, we used lower resolutions than you
would normally see in a graphics card review. We ran
two series of tests, once at 800x600 with 32-bit color and
again at 1024x768x32, both times with all other
settings left at their defaults.
It's a close race again
between these two boards, with DFI coming out on top this
time. The difference in this test was barely 150
points, which only comes out to 1%, again. Both
scores were impressive, but not as much as the overclocked
score of 13,976. This was a great score for this
test, and I was using a Ti4200 instead of a Ti4600.
We may have been able to break 15,000 had we been using such
The same breakdown continues
in this graph. The DFI just beats out the IWILL
board, this time by only 113 points. Once we
overclock the P4ES, however, we get a bonus 1100 points,
almost a 10% increase from the stock score. Either
of these boards looks good for DirectX gaming.
Performance Comparisons with Quake 3
I have the
need...the need for speed
We used the Quake 3 Timedemo
with the display settings set to their minimums and the
screen resolution at 640x480x16 for the Low Quality tests and then chose
1024x768 with 32-bit color for the High Quality tests.
This helped determine the CPU
limitations of a motherboard by minimizing the impact the
video card has on the performance of the game. With the
display settings calibrated in this manner, the ability of
the game to tax the video card is virtually eliminated,
allowing the benchmark to focus almost solely on the
motherboard's CPU performance.
Watching the demo at speeds
like this is nauseating, and luckily it was over in a
flash. The IWILL pushed out 363.8 frames per second,
completely demolishing the 331.7 fps from the DFI board,
and was the highest score we had obtained so far in a
review, at least for the moment. When we ran Quake
again after overclocking, we got an ungodly 426.5fps, 7
times the amount of frames usually considered "playable".
These scores were a little
more realistic, I guess you could say, more comparable to ones
normally found in a video card review. The two
boards were very close each producing 220+ frames per
second, with the IWILL adding an extra .5 frames.
What you could do with that extra .5 frames? One can only
wonder. Overclocking gave us a 10% increase in
performance, up to 243.8 fps.
"Real World" Performance with
Last, but not least, are
two benchmarks from Ziff Davis ? Business Winstone
2001 and Content Creation Winstone 2002.
Business Winstone is an application-based benchmark,
which runs through a series of scripts using
business programs such as Microsoft Office 2000,
Frontpage 2000, Lotus Notes and Netscape. It
attempts to emulate a business system load, and then
give a rating. We left the default setting so that
these scripts were done five times and the final
score given on the left.
Winstone 2002 is another application-based
benchmark, this time using popular content creation
programs such as Adobe Photoshop and Premiere,
Macromedia Director and Dreamweaver, and Microsoft
Windows Media Encoder. It keeps these multiple
applications open and switches among them while
Both Winstones were
indicative of two highly capable boards. Each
time, the nod went to the IWILL P4ES. It
outshined the DFI NB-76EA by 2 Winstones in the
Business Winstone benchmark, but then only by 0.2 in
the Content Creation Winstone. What is really
impressive are the scores obtained by the IWILL P4ES
while it was overclocked. We increased the
Business Winstone score by over 9 points, and the
Content Creation score by 5 and a half. That
equates to almost a 15% increase in each test.
Clearly, being able to run the CPU and memory at
higher speeds is well worth the difference in
performance one would receive.
Overall, we were pleased
with the stock performance of the board, and simply
impressed by the way it overclocked. One caveat,
however, is that my experiences with overclocking
might not hold true with others, as there are so many
variables with components, cooling techniques, etc.
We used a Zalman fan type heatsink and 92mm fan, with
two other case fans to cool down the CPU and system,
and it's always recommended that you properly cool
your system when overclocking, especially at the
speeds we were obtaining. Once obtaining these
speeds, we saw performance increases that were
terrific, and it really gives you that all important
"bang for the buck". Getting an extra 20% in
performance is great, to say the least, and it
was one of the better overclocking experiences we have
Overclocking aside, the
board came with a number of features, making this a
great value to the user. There are plenty of
drive choices. You theoretically would be able to connect up to
four devices on the ATA100 channels, another 4 on the
ATA133 channels, and when they become available, two
hard drives could be connected to the Serial ATA
connectors, bringing the total to 10 drives. I
think the only feature missing from this board was the
ability to create a RAID setup on the ATA133 channels.
While it could be said that users may opt to use the
SATA connections instead, we will still have to wait
for these drives, and IDE drives are still the
mainstay of today. It can't hurt to be prepared
for the future, however.
Rounding out the features,
the IWILL P4ES comes with 6-channel on-board audio,
which may not sound as good as having a card like the
Soundblaster Audigy, but
it still does a pretty good job. Unlike other
boards where an extra bracket might be needed, there
are center and rear audio jacks built onto the board,
as well as a S/PDIF Toslink connection. That's
just good planning by IWILL, and the only thing being
sacrificed here is an extra serial port, hardly used
these days. When you combine the great
performance of the IWILL P4ES with the number of
features, you get a solid choice for the Pentium 4
platform. We'll give the IWILL P4ES a
8.5 on the HotHardware Heatmeter.
- Serial ATA
- No RAID for IDE
- No SATA hard
drives available yet!
- No DDR333 support
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